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Case Studies-Machine Vision for Pharma

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Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Uses Machine Vision to Help Mass Produce Medicine Vials


A Pharmaceutical Manufacturer uses an automated blow-fill-seal (BFS) process without human intervention in its controlled award-winning facility. The production process features an automated packaging system that bar codes the product and packages it in cartons for shipping. They have a high production output, shipping more than 1 billion doses of medication a year.



Before reaching out to CIMTEC, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer was experiencing decreased productivity during the final pack out process. During this stage of the production, vials are loaded via robot into a large tray. If the tray isn’t completely empty before loading, it would cause an irregularity. Because of this, vials could fall out of the tray or the robot could even crash. This would result in unnecessary downtime and decreased productivity.



CIMTEC worked closely with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer to discover how a machine vision system and lighting could best be implemented into the process to help reduce the number of improperly loaded trays.


CIMTEC provided a Cognex Gen II camera to detect if the tray was empty or not before being loaded by the robot. If vials were present in the tray, the Cognex Gen II camera would send an output/alarm that the tray should be removed from the line. To achieve optimal lighting CCS America lights were installed. 


By implementing this machine vision system, the pack out process for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer has been seamless – allowing them to continue to mass-produce in demand medicine for the public instead of suffering from costly downtime.