Linear guide feeds robots in pill sorting application

  • September 24, 2009
  • Case Study
September 24, 2009 - Pharmaceutical automation cuts dispensing costs, ensures accuracy and increases thru-put, allowing pharmacies to recover their investment, ensure quality and lower costs to consumers. PBC Linear’s Redi-Rail linear guide was installed as a replacement positioning system for Manchac Technologies’ fully automated pharmaceutical robot, the Dosis L60. Chosen for its precision linear guidance, sealed bearings and oil impregnated wipers, Redi-Rail ensures smooth, quiet and reliable travel. This allowed the Dosis L60 to fill, seal and label 30 day prescription cards.Manchac Technologies provides accurate and immediate prescription sample dispensing. Delivered in a compact footprint (7 ft²), the Dosis L60 system sorts, counts, fills and labels 60 different oral medications for pharmaceutical use without user intervention. Originally this was accomplished using contact trucks and rails assembled into an XY gantry. However, the contact rails would experience periodic binding and system failure due to misalignment and vibration. This would cause severe downtime and skyrocketing repair costs—particularly if the system was out in the field. Lubrication was also periodically applied, but due to the environment and the sensitive prescriptions being handled, the required amount of lubrications was too messy and posed a risk of possible contamination of the prescriptions. Finally, Manchac decided to search for a more apt linear guide product. The Dosis L60 functions in a controlled environment to protect the prescriptions and run correctly. Pill dust frequently builds up inside the machine and can be corrosive to certain materials. Therefore, Manchac required a precision linear guide system to glide over accumulated particulate and consistently perform all automated tasks.PBC Linear’s Redi-Rail linear guides were the answer. Its reasonable price, sealed bearings, corrosion resistance and oil impregnated wipers made it a very attractive candidate. Redi-Rail uses a post-processed, anodized aluminum extrusion with hardened stainless steel inner raceways to assure rigidity and precision. The rails are composed of anodized aluminum to provide light weight without losing strength. Redi-Rail’s high accuracy pre-loaded sliders utilize precision-ground, double-row ball bearing gothic rollers for fast (10 m/s) operation, high system rigidity and quiet linear motion. The sealed bearings also roll smoothly over accumulated particulate and restrict further contamination. Additionally, oil impregnated wipers allow for timely and clean lubrication along the rail.After installed, Manchac noticed immediate improvement in the performance of the Dosis L60. Initial testing showed a 20-30% decrease in motor current required for operation. Redi-Rail also allowed for higher travel velocities without chatter or binding. The installation process was also simplified with Redi-Rail, supplying high accurate mounting without the threat of misalignment. Learn More

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