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The future of robots in the pharmaceutical industry

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

The future of robotics and automation in the pharmaceutical industry is huge.

The benefits that are currently gained through automation - production efficiencies, increased safety from handling drugs and prescriptions, and recognising counterfeit medicines - can be multiplied many times over the coming decades.  

The underlying principle is that robots are more efficient, faster, reliable and flexible than many of the current methods being used in the industry. 

What’s more, although robot types such as the Delta, Cartesian and SCARA will play extremely important roles, it is the collaborative robot (the cobot) that will make a true impact.                                                   

Cobots, because they are not hindered by cages, can work closely with humans. Because of their sensors (which means they won’t accidentally crush humans), they are slower and do need more attention to set-up, but they are ideal for smaller runs. They are flexible, can work in clean-room environments and can boost the productivity of any packing line.

And for the same reasons, a cobot is ideal in the laboratory. Here they will work even closer with the laboratory technician and be set-up to look after the menial tasks, or those tasks which are considered dangerous.  They also do not require an engineering degree to set-up either, which means lab technicians can easily set them to work, making them more efficient and safe.

The future of the pharmaceutical industry is very much aligned with the future of robotics and automation. 

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