Hygienic handling for the life science industry

Hygienic handling for the life science industry

Yaskawa is expanding its range of solutions for hygiene-sensitive robot applications with a new European development: The manufacturer is now presenting the first two models in the Motoman HD series with a payload of 7 and 8 kg respectively. The new 6-axis high-performance robots were designed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA specifically for use in the life sciences.

In hygiene-relevant areas of laboratory automation, the pharmaceutical industry or the food industry, the robots in the new Motoman HD series (HD stands for "Hygienic Design") can take on a wide range of handling tasks. They meet the high requirements placed on sterile and clean room environments: In addition to being suitable for use in hygienic areas up to the highest clean room class GMP class A according to EHEDG, EN 1672-2 and ISO 14159, they also have the clean room class according to ISO 14644-1, clean room class 5 for HD7 and clean room class 4 for HD8, in accordance with the measurement and evaluation procedures defined in ISO 14644-14.

Hygienic design

The prerequisite for this is a hygienic design, which also incorporates the expertise of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA. The Motoman HD7 has recently been awarded the "Red Dot Award: Product Design 2024" in one of the largest design competitions in the world. The Red Dot label is internationally regarded as one of the most coveted seals of quality for good design.

On the one hand, structural details of the manipulator in the new development, such as a special axle seal and a rounded, dead-space-free design without external screws, gaps or undercuts, ensure that the robot is easy to clean. On the other hand, surfaces and materials are used that are mechanically and chemically resistant to substances and cleaners, such as those typically used in the life sciences, chemistry or food industries.

The highest protection class IP69K and a particularly smooth surface (surface roughness < 0.8 Ra) reduce the adhesion of dirt particles and microorganisms. In addition, cleaning is made easier by the fact that the application cables and media lines (e.g. for compressed air) run inside the robot arm and the cables can be routed through the robot's foot. Other advantages include low particle emissions (ISO class 5 for the HD7 model and ISO class 4 for the HD8 model) and the use of food-grade grease (Food Grade Grease, FGG).

High-performance laboratory robots for the European marketThe new series starts with the Motoman HD7 and HD8 models with a load capacity of 7 and 8 kg respectively. They are manufactured in the Slovenian Yaskawa plant in Kočevje, where they were also developed. The Motoman HD series is based on the 6-axis high-performance robots of the proven Motoman GP portfolio.

Like the Motoman industrial robots, they use the latest Sigma 7 servo drive technology from Yaskawa and thus achieve extremely high and precise movement and acceleration performance. The movement range of axis 1 is +/- 180°. The robots can be combined with the universal robot controller YRC1000 or with the compact controller YRC1000micro. Both offer a variety of modern control, communication, safety and software options.