Assembly systems for Corona rapid tests

Published on Apr 1, 2021


SARS-CoV-2 affects business, commerce, hospitality, industry, and everyone's personal lives. PIA Automation USA Inc. developed two assembly lines for Covid-19 rapid test equipment for a leading medical customer using Rockwell components.

PIA Automation, in addition to the assembly lines for disposable face and FFP2/KN95 masks, is now proud to apply its know-how to a new customer in the medical diagnostics sector. For these projects, Allen-Bradley controls are utilized in combination with the company's own systems such as the PIA palletizer. Both machines are designed around MagneMotion independent cart technology. The system’s flexibility enables a very fast logistic transfer of parts and allows some stations to work on multiple parts in parallel.

The sub-assembly line assembles part of the Covid-19 rapid test unit in preparation for the final assembly line. Integrated main processes are screwing, pressure testing, robot-based material handling and a new process development for tape removal. The final assembly line puts all sub-assemblies together and assembles the final Covid-19 PCR rapid test. Here, a dual-drawer system, conveyor pots and seven robots are used to feed parts into the assembly process. The stations are connected to the innovative MagneMotion system. Other processes in the line include robotic material handling, flashing software, and label printing and application.

Both lines feature PIA’s own stacker/destacker units that are capable of a four second tray-to-tray change out utilizing the Allen-Bradley Kinetix servo motion portfolio. By combining flexible components in the lines, PIA Automation was able to achieve the desired cycle time of five seconds per part. This shows once again that cooperation is the key to successful high-tech automation projects. After all, it is only through continuous development and the use of the latest technologies that we can convince customers of the quality and effectiveness of a PIA system.