Fresenius Medical Care has been producing dialysis products at the Knoxville site in Tennessee (USA) since 2014. In 2016, ADITOR was commissioned to design and implement a new APD line for the plant, which fully automates the sterilisation and packaging process for dialysis bags. With the aid of a belt conveyor system, non-sterile 3- and 6-litre dialysis bags are transported to the sterilisation unit (autoclave) and from there to the robot for final packaging.
Final packaging takes place over several stages and has a very fast cycle for which the required reliability of 99.25 percent represents a challenge. The 99.25 percent reliability required of the system is also a challenge. In addition, product handling and product monitoring placed high demands on the automation solution: dialysis bags are made of a sensitive plastic and must not be subjected to great stress. Since these are medical products that are relevant for human health, complete traceability must be ensured within the framework of quality assurance.
After the planning phase in 2016, the system was prefabricated in Saarbrücken at the Wolf company in 2017 and tested for five months from April 2017, before it was relocated to Knoxville. Recommissioning and tests at the final location will be completed in early 2018.