Applications Automated Filter and Connector Assembly Machine

Automated Filter and Connector Assembly Machine

An automated medical filter and connector assembly machine to assemble Sterile Connectors. The machine is equipped with vibratory bowl feeding systems, a rotary indexing table, main controller, operating panel and safety devices.

Automated Filter and Connector Assembly Machine

Key features & benefits

  • Custom assembly machine with rotary indexing table
  • Check station integrated to prevent faulty components, removing them to ensure quality
  • High precision and repeatability
  • High productivity
  • Cost effective
  • Low maintenance
  • The machine can be upgraded to suit different types of cap. Changeover will be accommodated via interchangeable bowls tops, and adjustable tooling on the linear tracks and indexing table.
  • All of these benefits deliver a short payback period and impressive return on investment.

The Solution

Station 1 – Load Body

The Body mouldings are fed from a vibratory bowl feeder, along a twin-belt conveyor to a pneumatically actuated escapement, which ensures accurate positioning prior to component transfer. A pneumatically-actuated pick and place unit transfers a single Body moulding from the escapement to the tooling nest location on the indexing table.

Station 2 – Load Seal

The Seal mouldings are fed from a vibratory bowl feeder, along a single-track flat-belt conveyor to a pneumatically actuated escapement. A P&P unit transfers a single Seal from the escapement to the located Body Moulding in the tooling nest location on the indexing table.

Station 3 – Load Membrane and Heat Seal

The Membrane is supplied on reels to the machine. Following the previous cycle, the end of the Membrane is exposed through a ‘letterbox’ slot ready for collection by the pneumatic gripper. The gripper collects the exposed end of the Membrane material and pulls it through the letterbox slot where it is cut to length. If a splice is detected, the machine is stopped for the reel to be replaced. The P&P unit transfers the Membrane material over the located Body/Seal sub-assembly. Once in position above the Seal location, a temperature-controlled heat-seal head advances onto the Membrane to secure it to the Body moulding.

On completion of the heat-seal operation, the assembly is indexed to the inspection station. A count is kept of the heater cycles and the machine is stopped when a pre-set maximum has been reached. A secondary sequence for bedding in the heater when it has been replaced, moves the heater to position over a sacrificial mould body and cycles the heat seal sequence a pre-set number of times.

Station 4 – Membrane Vision Check

The fixed camera checks the attached Membrane for pin-holes and also checks the heat-seal is fully formed around the outside of the Seal periphery.
Products identified as rejects are removed and placed in a reject container at station 8.

Station 5 – Load Tab

The Tab mouldings are fed from a vibratory bowl feeder, along a flat-band conveyor to a pneumatically actuated escapement. A P&P unit transfers a single Tab moulding from the escapement and rotates the Tab through 90° assembling it to the located Body in the tooling nest on the indexing table.

Station 6 – Fold Membrane and Heat Seal

The loose end of the Membrane is collected by a pneumatic folding bar, which is mounted to a horizontal pneumatic slide with a pneumatic ‘Z’-axis. This unit folds the Membrane material over itself and clamps it in position prior to the sealing operation. On the opposite side of the mounting plate is a temperature-controlled heat-seal head (single sealing bar), which pneumatically advances onto the Membrane to secure it to the Tab moulding.

Station 7 – Inkjet Print & Inspect

A pneumatic gripper mounted on a rotary actuator below the tooling nest grips the Body spigot and raises it clear of the nest to a position in front of the ink-jet head where it is rotated through the required arc to apply the batch and serial numbers prior to the Cap being assembled. A vision system camera confirms the text has been applied and is readable (OCR character recognition).

Station 8 – Load Cap & Flow/Leak Test

The Cap mouldings are now fed from a vibratory bowl feeder. A P&P unit transfers a single Cap moulding from the escapement and assemble it to the located Body in the tooling nest on the indexing table. A Furness Leak/Flow tester is used to test the assembly for the leak through the membrane & weld at a pre-set pressure and flow. The results are compared with either a pre-set range or against a master reference that is located in a fixture on the station.

Station 9 – Load Cover / Unload

The Cover mouldings are fed from a vibratory bowl feeder, along a twin-belt conveyor to a pneumatically actuated escapement. The P&P then collects the assembly from the tooling nest on the rotary table and transfers it to the Cover escapement where it collects a Cover before transferring the completed assembly to a chute into a bagging machine.

Station 10 – Unload Reject

Rejects identified by the vision system at will be placed in a reject container.

APL design and develop rotary indexing assembly system that is tailored to the customer’s specific applications. The system can be utilized in many environments ranging from assembly, machining, testing, printing to parts positioning and transfer.

APL Skills

Custom assembly machine building and integration, machine and process control, Rotary indexing tables, Feeding and handling, Pick and place, Project management

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Automated Filter and Connector Assembly Machine

Automated Filter and Connector Assembly Machine

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