Members press release

Stäubli, France - IFR-Partner

Robots for the medical, pharmaceutical and chemical industries

June 2012

TX60 StericleanThrough the introduction of the six-axis TX60 Stericlean, Stäubli Robotics has succeeded in automating processes in the medical and pharmaceutical industries where the use of robots was formerly deemed impossible. A few years after the world premiere of this revolutionary machine, there is now a complete range of robots, from TX40 to RX160, that conform to Stericlean standards.

Stäubli emphasized its outstanding expertise in the construction of robots for the medical and pharmaceutical industries in developing the first Stericlean robot. This innovation opened up completely new fields of application to robotic automation because, thanks to its clever construction, the Stericlean robot is able to function reliably in gaseous hydrogen peroxide environments such as those frequently encountered in the medical, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Consequently, the way now became clear to robotic automation under aseptic conditions.

The success of the TX60 Stericlean and its high acceptance in target markets have led to a steady expansion of this series. Today, TX series models and the RX160 are available as Stericlean versions. 

Stäubli Robotics Germany General Manager Manfred Hübschmann: "No manufacturer in the world can offer a comparable range of precision robots for VHP (vaporized hydrogen peroxide) environments. Stäubli has the perfect machine in its program for any application, from the ultra-compact TX40 and our highly competent, multi-purpose TX60 and TX90 to the large six-axis RX160 and RX160L with a safe load-bearing range up to a maximum of 20kg and a reach extending to 2010mm. Long-arm versions of the respective types of robots are also available. As a result, Stäubli is the world?s leading partner for the automation of aseptic processes."

Superior design and performance

In the design of Stericlean variants, developers benefited from the pioneering enclosed structure of the TX robot series, which is the robot of choice for use in cleanroom environments and applications involving extreme environmental conditions. All Stäubli Stericlean robots are specially encapsulated, which gives these machines IP 67 protection rating. The performance and accuracy of Stericlean variants correspond to the superior performance values of the standard models.

Parts that are subject to the greatest stress and wear are made of stainless steel. Surfaces are first subjected to a special treatment process in order to increase corrosion resistance and ensure reliable operation in VHP environments before the robots get their final coat of paint. The painting itself is finished to a high standard. All Stericlean six-axis robots are GMP (good manufacturing practice) compliant.

Whilst the big six-axis robots are the machines of choice for germ-free production requiring high load and/or range capability, the smaller Stericlean robots can also undertake processes such as sterilizing, decontaminating, filling etc. in isolators and glove boxes, thanks to their ultra-compact design. Such systems can now run automatically, whereas in former times, the operator had to work laboriously through the appropriate openings in the isolator box wearing thick gloves to give protection from an aggressive or toxic environment.  

Problems with places that are hard to reach manually within the glove box are now a thing of the past, since robots with their superior mobility can access every corner. This makes the process not only safer but also much faster in comparison to the laborious manual way of working. In addition, hazards to employees from toxic pollution are completely excluded. And by fully automating systems, the greatest contamination risk factor of all, i.e. the human operator, is excluded from the process. Consequently, Stericlean robots make a significant contribution to the protection and safety of both staff and products.