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Hekuma to present new automation concept for pipette tips

Hekuma to present new automation concept for pipette tips


True to the company's slogan "First in high performance automation", HEKUMA is committed to consistently delivering top performance and optimized automation solutions. The system manufacturer has recently completed the development of their latest concept for the production of pipette tips. The new "HEKUtip" fully automated production cell combines speed, quality and flexibility once again providing customers with significant productivity advantages.

193568 GoodParts

HEKUMA has continued its successful development work in the implementation of production systems for a wide range of medical technology products. The first generation of HEKUMA’s pipette tip automation systems were introduced in 2012 and caused a sensation with their high availability andoutstanding performancewith unrivalledshort cycle times. The “HEKUtip” concept far exceeds the performance of those early systems.

HEKUMA are dedicated to the ongoing continuous improvement of the specific processes and in particular those that impact on speed and quality. For example the gripper technology as part of the linear demold robot enables take-out times for 16 to 128 cavity molds of less than 0.6 seconds. Cycle times of only 4 to 4.5 seconds are achievable.

Additional time savings result by parallelizing and synchronizing the single work processes, which can only be achieved with a high degree of sophisticated drive technology. The servomotorized handling axes realize fast and product-friendly transfer with extremely high and repeatable positioning accuracy, which also makes system qualification easier. In addition simple setting optionsenable fast format changes by the operator at the terminal. Mechanical parts are kept to a minimum and limited where possible to components that come into direct contact with the product.

193568 LinearGripper

“On-the-fly” camera inspection plays a decisive role in guaranteeing product quality. Pipette tips are 100% inspected without contact for presence, a dimensional check of the inner and outer diameters, horizontal and vertical burrs, spray skin, edge ejection and much more. Only 1.25 seconds are required to fully inspect 24 pipette tips. Reject parts are automatically removed and replaced with known good parts. A reject rate of up to 8% can be accommodated without impacting on the system cycle time.

During further handling, the filled racks are also inspected for completeness and presence. When transferring the pipette tips into the product rack the HEKUtip system offers an option to have the rack filled with mixed or cavity separated product. The second optiontransfers the tips one for one into the rack. This results in a better traceability which guaranties a minimum of quality assurance, if no camera inspection is required.

Ultimately the customer receives a proven and extremely reliable, durable and low-maintenance system with excellent technical availability. The modular design incorporates a high degree of standardization across the entire system with perfectly coordinated automated steps. Andreas Montag, HEKUMA’s product manager and pipette tip specialist adds, “HEKUtip benefits massively from the experience we have gained over several years in order to be prepared for the future with a standardized automated pipette tip concept.“

193568 Rack

The modular design offers a high level of flexibility enabling a system to be configured or modified to suit a wide range of customer specific requirements. Typically the options will be the number of cavities best suited to their business requirements, the choice between a 100% camera inspection or a random control, the option for labelling or marking of product racks, and further packaging options for the racks to include stacking, lidding, banding and shrink wrapping.Systems can also be configured to include the process of filter separation, feeding and filter assembly and batch tracking. The HEKUtip system can be expanded from a standalone operation to a fully automated process to suit the customer’s requirements and budget.

With the HEKUtip HEKUMA has developed a cleanroom-compatible system that accommodates all the relevant requirements for the production of pipette tips. This ultimately provides our customers with an enormous advantage in terms of the quality of their products and the productivity and efficiency of their production processes.

You can get a detailed impression of the HEKUtip concept at this year's K trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. There HEKUMA will present the system live in cooperation with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag from 16th - 23rd October.

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