HIPRA, a pioneering biotechnological company in the pharmaceutical industry, has transformed its internal logistics processes by installing a fleet of mobile robots supplied by OMRON.
HIPRA specialises in human and animal health and is a world leader in the development of animal vaccines and advanced diagnostic services. The company is the world’s sixth largest producer of animal vaccines and employs some 2400 people worldwide. Its headquarters are based in Amer, Girona, Spain, and through its range of commercial subsidiaries and its global distribution network, HIPRA provides solutions and services to customers in over 100 countries.
New plant, new challenges
The company recently decided to expand its capabilities and its productivity and has built a major new production facility and warehouse in Spain. Another of the reasons for this is that HIPRA wants to be a pioneer not only in the products it develops and supplies but also in the production and processes involved. It therefore wanted to streamline some of its processes, particularly those involving the transport of materials, which had previously involved the manual loading of products from the machine to the cart transporter.
A key issue facing the company was therefore the need for greater flexibility and efficiency of its internal logistics processes. It wanted to achieve this by migrating to an automated solution. This had to be installed within a 100% collaborative and flexible environment that could provide high rates of production.
Another main challenge that HIPRA faced was the need to move vials of vaccine from the production area to the warehouse. This includes the transportation of 700 boxes of vials each day, with each load weighing 70kg. Associated with this was the need to feed empty boxes into the system and to manage the opening of doors whilst maintaining a 100% clean environment.
Sourcing and installing the best technology
The company therefore started looking at suitable solutions. It considered several products but eventually opted for autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) provided by OMRON. It purchased a fleet of six LD-90 robots, which were then customised to meet the company’s specific requirements. This included the need for the mobile robots to act harmoniously with employees working in the same area.