Sterile Product Storage and Retrieval System

A leading manufacturer of medical consumables tasked ARM Automation with developing a series of high-speed Automated Storage and Retrieval System for handling of sterilization magazines within its production operations.

Rather than build upon previous designs the customer had in place which involved complex and large footprint equipment to extract magazines from carts per the original system specification, ARM elected to approach the problem with a fresh perspective. 

Previous ASRS units at other facilities had extracted magazine carrier sub-frames from each cart, then used separate a conveyance system to extract magazines in bulk from the sub-frame.  This substantially complicated the system and required much more material handling equipment as well as limited the operator to inputting or unloading one cart at a time.  By rethinking the challenge and developing a telescoping 3 axis robot and intelligent gripper system to “find and capture” magazines directly from the cart, ARM was able to shave significant size and cost from the customer’s original design concept.

Principal Challenges

  • A less-than-rigid floor within the building structure

  • Close tolerance RFID marking and tracking

  • Variable product geometry

  • Limited footprint and overhead space

  • Compatibility with legacy carts and magazine features

  • Vision verification for inspection and alignment

  • Automated reject and manual induction features

By taking the time to step back and giving fresh consideration to the driving constraints and technical options available, ARM Automation was able to provide a smaller, more robust and more cost effective system than the customer ever expected.  It is this kind of thoughtful up-front analysis, problem solving and solid execution that combine to produce successful projects which surpass convention and provide maximum returns to our customers.