Manufacturing company Conforma automates precision work

Conforma is a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Destelbergen. Their expertise? Among other things, filling tubes and vials with liquid and semi-liquid products. Those products are then put into boxes to be sold in pharmacies. "We are looking for ways to automate our production more," explains Plant Manager Jeroen Mebis. "With the help of Flanders Make, we are developing a robot to alleviate repetitive work on our production lines."

Robot as colleague

Flanders Make set to work to build a prototype of a collaborative robot. Such a "cobot" works along with the people on the production line. "We are very happy that Flanders Make wanted to take on this challenge. We weren't sure if our request was realistic. But in the meantime, a test setup is in place and we're working on connecting the dots. The robot has already been trained to fold open the boxes, place leaflets and put the tubes neatly in the box. Now we still need to link those operations and add controls. For example, we want to make sure there are enough tubes in each box and that they are deep enough to close the box."

In addition to the operations the cobot performs, safety and maintenance features were also considered. "The cobot is equipped with all kinds of safety skills. If someone gets too close, it automatically stops. In addition, we train our technician to know the robot inside out. So he can always perform maintenance and check the systems."

Freeing up people for complex work

"As a final step in the process, Flanders Make gives us advice on the correct implementation of the hardware and software. With that, we will go to a robot builder to make our first robot. If this system works well, we will definitely think about expansion. Because if we can deploy robots and thus free up our human colleagues to do the complex work, we keep our employees happy and we can grow better as a company."

More information

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