Vaccine production machine shortlisted for Irish Times Innovation Award


HMK customer Ward Automation has been named as a finalist in the prestigious Irish Times Innovation Awards.

Ward Automation, based in Sligo, Ireland, is a leading manufacturer of world-class bespoke automation solutions for the medical device pharmaceutical and high-end manufacturing industries.

Now in their 11th year, the Awards recognise successful business innovations – providing a platform for Irish companies to showcase their products, services and ground-breaking developments.

Ward Automation has been recognised in the Manufacturing and Design category for their  vaccine production machine – a project which HMK Automation supported with parts alongside our engineering expertise.

The fully automated end-of-line Syringe Tub Palletising machine handles 600 syringes per minute and was built for a leading pharmaceutical company.

Ed Tate, Business Development Manager at HMK Automation, said: “We worked closely with Ward Automation to understand their requirements and goals using our wealth of application experience and product knowledge to optimise the solution, reducing risk and adding value through the development process, which ensured a successful implementation.

“The machine itself is an excellent example of innovation in automation that will deliver real efficiencies in the vaccine supply chain, which has never been more important than in today’s Covid-world.

“We’re very proud to be a part of such a successful project delivering so many areas of innovation in a single machine, and it’s fantastic to see our collective efforts recognised in such prestigious industry awards.

“We’d like to congratulate Ward Automation on their success and wish them the very best of luck at the awards ceremony.”

Ward used the latest technology from HMK and our partners Siemens and Neugart to deliver visualisation, PLC motion control, servo drive and precision gearbox technology to meet the demanding needs of this pharmaceutical machine.

Features of the fully automated pre-filled syringe tub inspection, labelling, lidding and palletising machine include:

  • Syringes are inspected for chips, cracks and defects. Syringes are also counted and tip caps are checked for presence.
  • Multiple labels printed and inspected prior to application.
  • Automated lid separation and application using robotics and vision.
  • Tamper proof seal application and inspection.
  • Processed tubs are stacked on a pallet.

John Ward, Managing Director at Ward Automation, added: “As innovation is at the core of everything that we do, we are honoured to be among the leading technology companies shortlisted at the  Irish Times Innovation Awards. I am so thrilled and proud of our team who continue to push the boundaries of innovative automation.”

The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on January 27.

Watch a video of the vaccine production machine in action here.

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