Warehouse automation in laboratories and pharma logistics
The pharmaceutical sector and, in particular, associated logistics has traditionally been very demanding in terms of productivity, quality and availability. To this must be added the strict regulation that rules the sector that imposes, not only special storage and treatment conditions for the merchandise, but also correct traceability. These two factors drive advances in intralogistics, automatic and semi-automatic technologies.
The agents of the sector have made possible and promoted the technological development necessary to provide the necessary tools to manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical products. In many cases the development has been carried out with the involvement of suppliers and customers who have placed themselves on the same side of the table rather than facing each other. Having specialized and solvent companies is vital to maintain the activity with the maximum guarantee.
JHernando, under its TramoLog division, participates in the sector, providing more than 50 years of experience in design, manufacturing, integration, assembly and commissioning. Its engineers carefully analyze each project, visit each installation to adapt the planning to the real needs of the client, regardless of whether the proposal must be designed from scratch or integrate existing solutions or non-logistical facilities that are already previously operating.
Some of the success stories that JHernando has executed in recent years have been various facilities for one of the most important pharmaceutical cooperatives, and with which its works as a practical extension of his engineering department.
A typical installation in the pharmaceutical logistics sector starts with one or more high capacity crates unstacking systems. These systems achieve high productivity and reliability with 24/7 availability. The unstacker delivers trays to the system that, after being duly identified by barcode, guide it to each of the stations where the order will be placed. The use of manual picking systems guided by RF terminals or Pick & Put to Light is common. This technology provides high reliability and low level of errors in the preparation of orders while allowing traceability. Productivity increases using these technologies can be more than 50% compared to the fully manual alternative.
The automation of picking in pharmaceutical distribution is a highly profitable option if you want to save time and minimize errors. Specifically, in this large cooperative, JHernando, through its TramoLog division, has opted for pick-to-light systems that allow operators to streamline the filling of buckets with medications as much as possible.
The crates will continue through accumulation conveyors with or without contact until they reach the end of the production line. This is where specific machinery comes into play for the introduction of documents into the trays, capping and strapping, always with the maximum guarantee of accuracy and reliability.
Once the bucket has been finished, it goes to the last part of the route: the sorting system that each bucket will send to its corresponding ramp, so that they are loaded in the corresponding vehicle and transported to their destination, maintaining maximum safety in each link in the supply chain. This system is developed by JHernando through the TramoSort division, taking advantage of the vast experience gained in high-speed conveyor systems in the parcel and e-commerce sector.
These installations are optimal for medium and even large installations and offer flexibility and autonomy that are difficult to match. JHernando, through TramoLog and TramoSort divisions has carried out many of them with great success in recent years and its trend continues to rise.
If, in addition, an even more complete automation is sought, which complies with the strict requirements imposed by law in this field and which continues to guarantee the absence of product traceability failures, it is possible to combine the route with automatic guided vehicles (AGV robots) or with dynamic or static data capture systems.
Automation enables significant improvements in productivity, reliability and availability of technology to perform the service with the highest degree of demand. The solutions that JHernando provide also focus on flexibility so that the company becomes a real partner to adapt the facilities to changes in demand in record time and with the maximum guarantee.