When it comes to automation, most of the current buzz is around artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, while these technologies have a lot of potential, there is an established technology that has a long track record of increasing productivity: Robotics.
If you want to see an immediate increase in the efficiency and productivity of your pharmaceutical facility, you should adopt robotics.
Modern robots are capable of doing far more, and at a far lower cost, than you imagine. Even though every company has a different business model and culture, there are three areas where robotics can improve the efficiency of every pharmaceutical company.
1. Palletization / Depalletization
Your products can’t start driving revenues until you ship them. Robots are perfectly suited for stacking boxes on pallets and getting them ready to enter your customer’s supply chain. Robots have several critical advantages over human labor for palletization.
First, the cost of purchasing a robotic system for palletization is fixed and known. Labor costs are continually increasing because of inflation, growing health care costs, and additional labor law compliance measures.
Second, palletization is incredibly labor-intensive. Human workers involved in the process are in greater danger of both acute on the job injuries and long-term occupational diseases resulting from repetitive motions than their coworkers in other jobs.
Third, robots can work on any schedule you need at any time. It’s much easier and cheaper to surge robot labor for a big launch than it is to surge human labor.
Robots can be programmed to work both palletization and depalletization tasks. Using robots to automate two of the most dangerous and labor-intensive tasks in your facility is one of the best ways to increase your overall productivity.
2. Packaging Lines
Many pharmaceutical companies have been resistant to fully automating their packaging lines out of concerns for quality control. There is a myth that robots are not able to consistently and accurately perform the delicate actions required in the pharmaceutical packaging process.
However, industrial robots have come a long way since the automobile assembly line robots of the 70s and 80s.
Today’s robots can perform intricate packaging tasks faster and with greater accuracy than humans.
Even better, many cooperative robots have been created to safely work alongside humans on the packaging line giving you the best of both automation and human problem-solving.
Packaging is increasingly becoming a front in the fight against counterfeit drugs. Your packaging is becoming more complex. If you hope to increase productivity while increasing the complexity of your packaging lines, you will need to use robots to automate some portions of the process.
3. Materials Handling
Material handling is often the most delicate and critical part of a pharmaceutical company’s operations. Ingredients need to be carefully sorted and mixed precisely to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the products.
There is no room for a mistake.
One of the best ways to increase the productivity of your materials handling is to use hand-guided robots.
These robots are the perfect partnership between human and machine. Humans can sort and mix more materials, with more precision, with the help of robots designed to be hand-controlled.
Carefully analysis of your materials handling process will likely reveal that while portions of the process are best handled with the direct involvement of a human or a human-guided robot, some elements are perfectly-suited for greater automation.
While artificial intelligence technology is making great strides, it is still in its infancy compared to robotics. You can bring in robotics to your facility today and immediately begin to see productivity increases. As artificial intelligence progresses, the result will likely be that it will make our existing robotics even more efficient.
If you need to increase productivity, start by using robotics in palletization, packaging lines, and materials handling.
If you have any immediate need for robotics or if any of these areas mentioned above are performing below exceptionally well, then please reach out and we would love to give you a free 30-minute consultation. https://www.vanguard-vision.com/book-online