In earlier times, before assembly machines became widely used, people used to assemble the IV administration set by hand. However, relying on human operators presented a few challenges. These included slower and inconsistent production rates, an increased risk of product exposure to diseases, and the potential for finger injuries over time due to repetitive movements.
Today, manufacturing companies are striving to enhance efficiency and productivity to stay competitive. Machines are now used to assemble most parts together, and these assembled parts are then integrated into a complete IV set. This task is characterized by high speed, high yield, and a strong focus on safety. The picture shows a whole assembly process of an IV infusion set by machine, including the assembly of the fluid filter, the assembly of the drip chamber with spike, the assembly of the roller clamp, the assembly of the injection port, and the assembly of the IV tubing.
Robotic assembly systems offer several potential advantages. They can help reduce the costs associated with product manufacturing, labor, and waste. Additionally, these systems can enhance the overall quality of production, ensure repeatability, and improve work safety.
Fluid filter assembly
The fluid filter, also known as the solution filter, is located at the bottom of the drip chamber, and it consists of two components: an ABS white hollow ring and a round filter made of PP.
During the assembly process, the hollow ring is carefully placed in the correct position using an assembly machine. The round filter is formed automatically by pinching the entire PP paper. To create a secure bond, these two parts are then welded together at high temperatures.
The function of fluid filter
The fluid filter serves an important function in the IV fluid administration process. Its main purpose is to remove any unwanted particles and debris present in the IV fluid before it enters the tubing and eventually reaches the patient’s bloodstream. By effectively filtering out these unnecessary substances, the solution filter helps maintain the purity and safety of the IV fluid, ensuring a smooth and clean administration for the patient.
Drip chamber with spike assembly
The IV chamber machine plays a crucial role in assembling various components to create a complete drip chamber. These components include the spike, spike protector, air vent, air vent filter, drip chamber, and fluid filter. The IV chamber machine efficiently brings these components together, ensuring they are securely connected to form the fully functional drip chamber. This automated assembly process helps maintain the integrity and reliability of the drip chamber, ensuring its effectiveness in delivering IV fluids to patients.
Assembling the spike with spike protector, use the photoelectric switch to check if the spike is with the protector correctly. Next, the air vent filter is assembled to the spike. Above the filter, the air vent plug is assembled. The photoelectric switch is used to verify their correct assembly. To ensure the quality of the air vent, a test is performed to check if it is blocked. Any products that fail this test are separated and deemed unqualified. On the other hand, the spike that passes all the necessary checks is then assembled to the drip chamber, completing the assembly process.
Inserting the fluid filter into the drip chamber. To ensure accuracy, a check is performed to verify that the fluid filter is indeed assembled with the drip chamber in the correct position. Once confirmed, the assembled drip chamber goes through a process to blow away any dust particles present. This ensures that the chamber is clean and free of any contaminants. With the dust blown away and the parts properly bonded, the qualified drip chamber is ready to be delivered to the next assembly line. This ensures that the drip chambers meet the required quality standards before they proceed further in the manufacturing process.
Next, assembling the the spike and drip chamber together. Once assembled, a test is conducted to ensure that the drip chamber and spike are securely connected as intended. Any products that do not meet the required assembly standards are identified as unqualified and separated from the production line.
To ensure the proper bonding of the components, the machine drips and irrigates glue both inside and outside of the assembly. If, for any reason, the machine detects a lack of glue during this process, it automatically shuts down and triggers an alarm. This precautionary measure prevents any potential issues such as glue leakage.
By conducting tests and implementing safety measures, the assembly process maintains quality control and ensures that only properly assembled drip chambers proceed further in the manufacturing process.
The function of drip chamber with spike
The spike is designed to penetrate the seal of the sterile liquid source, allowing the fluid to enter the drip chamber through the spike. When the setup is done correctly, the drip chamber should be filled approximately halfway with fluid, while the remaining space is occupied by air.
The presence of a drip chamber in an IV set serves an important purpose of allowing gas, such as air, to escape from the fluid before it enters the patient’s bloodstream. This is crucial because inadvertent introduction of a gas bubble into a vein can result in what is known as an embolism. An embolism occurs when a gas bubble or any other foreign material blocks a blood vessel, potentially causing serious complications.
By having a drip chamber in place, excess air or gas is able to rise to the top of the chamber and be safely expelled, ensuring that only liquid enters the patient’s bloodstream via the IV line. This helps to minimize the risk of embolisms and their associated complications. Check more details
Roller clamp assembly
When assembling a roller clamp, the roller wheel, and clamp housing are brought together to create a complete unit.
In the assembly process of roller clamps, the roller wheel and clamp housing, which are the main parts, need to be oriented correctly and fed into the assembly machine. This is done using two separate loading modules in the machine. The bowl feeder will be orientating the parts. The roller clamp parts will be supplied to the machine using a rail transfer system.
This will be followed by the insertion process, where the roller wheel will be inserted into the clamp housing. A pick and place robot arm will be designed to move the clamp housing from the rail system to the turntable. A holding jig will be designed to hold the clamp housing. The clamp housing will be transferred using the turntable for the insertion of the roller wheel.
Finally, the inspection of the roller clamp using sensors will be completed. Roller clamps that passed the inspection will be collected at a bin while those failed will be collected by a separate bin or resent back to the second process for insertion process again. The roller clamps will be handles by another pick and place robot arm. A counter will be added to calculate the number of successfully assembled roller clamp.
The function of roller clamp
Roller clamps are commonly used in IV therapy to control the flow rate of fluids through an IV set. However, it is true that roller clamps can have limitations when it comes to flow rate control. The sensitivity of the roller wheel can sometimes result in a limited range of control. Even the slightest movement or dimension change of the roller wheel can cause a significant change in the flow rate of the fluid through the tube.
While roller clamps are widely used and effective in many cases, healthcare professionals must carefully monitor and adjust the flow rate to ensure accurate and safe fluid administration. It’s important to note that there are alternative flow control devices available, such as electronic infusion pumps, which provide more precise and programmable flow rate control.
Injection port assembly
The main injection ports of normal IV administration set is rubber tube with connector, rubber bulb with connector and Y injection port. Check more details
The assembly machine plays a crucial role in connecting the rubber tube or rubber bulb to either a Luer lock or Luer slip connector.
During the assembly of the rubber bulb with the Luer slip or Luer lock connector, alcohol is commonly used as a lubricant to facilitate a smooth and secure connection between the two components. The lubrication ensures ease of assembly and helps maintain the integrity of the final product.
Once the assembly is complete, a photoelectric switch is employed to verify if the connector has been properly assembled. This quality control step ensures that only accurately assembled rubber bulbs with Luer slip connectors proceed further in the manufacturing process.
The function of injection port
The injection port is an essential component in intravenous (IV) systems that allows for the safe and convenient administration of the additional medication or fluids.
The injection port serves as a connection point between the IV tubing and a syringe with needle. It is designed to provide a secure and aseptic site for medication injection. Healthcare professionals can easily access the injection port with a syringe with needle, allowing them to deliver medication or fluids directly into the IV tubing.
By using the injection port, medical staff can administer medications, such as antibiotics, pain relievers, or other necessary treatments, without the need to disconnect or disturb the existing IV line. This helps maintain the sterility of the IV system and ensures the accuracy and safety of medication administration.
Hypodermic needle assembly
The assembly machine is specifically designed to assemble hypodermic needle, including the hub, cap, and cannula.
Automatic hub base feeding: This feeding serves as the starting point, ensuring a continuous supply of hub for the assembly process.
Automatic needle feeding: The machine automatically feeds the cannula, into the assembly line in the correct orientation.
Automatic gluing: The machine applies adhesive or glue to secure the cannula to the hub, ensuring a strong and reliable bond.
Drying: Once the glue is applied, the assembled needles go through a drying process to allow the adhesive to set and create a secure connection between the cannula and the hub.
Automatic block checking: A quality control step that involves automatically inspecting the assembled needles to ensure there are no blockages or obstructions in the needle.
Automatic waste rejecting: Any defective or improperly assembled needles are automatically rejected from the production line to maintain quality standards.
Automatic oil soaking: This step involves soaking the assembled needles in oil to lubricate the cannula, making it easier for injection and minimizing discomfort during use.
The function of hypodermic needle
Hypodermic needles are medical tools that are used to deliver liquids under or into the skin. They are designed for various functions, such as rapid delivery of medication or fluids. Different types of hypodermic needles serve specific purposes, including intramuscular injection (into the muscle), intradermal injection (into the skin layers), subcutaneous injection (just below the skin), and intravenous injection (into a vein). Each type of needle is carefully designed to ensure safe and effective delivery of the intended substance. Check more details
IV infusion set assembly
The IV set automatic assembly machine can perform the tasks of feeding and assembling various components of the IV set, such as PVC tubing, drip chamber, roller clamp, Luer connector, injection site, and hypodermic needle, all automatically. This machine helps reduce the amount of manual work required for inspection by using an online CCD inspection system. Additionally, it is designed with convenience in mind, allowing for easy collection of production data and a compact and well-structured design that makes operating and maintaining the machine more user-friendly.
IV Administration Set wrapped and bagged
This machine is known for its reliable performance, quick and efficient operation, and visually appealing design.