OMRON Automation reduces inspection time of cartridge in COVID19 testing kits to 150 MS

  • A leading medical diagnostic manufacturer relies on OMRON as its automation partner
  • Diagnostics makers are under pressure to develop a large number of  high-quality testing equipment in a shorter span of time
  • OMRON automation reduces inspection time of cartridge in COVID19 Testing Kits
  • OMRON aims to continue to contribute to Indian society

COVID19 challenged and changed the societal norms and made the world turn towards a better and sustainable alternative. At the time of the pandemic, there was a dichotomy at play – consumers were looking to stock as many supplies as possible and the manufacturers were trying hard to keep up with the panic buying. Meantime, the authorities aimed towards testing as many symptomatic people and isolate them if found COVID positive. However, given the severity and expansion of COVID19 across the globe, there was an acute shortage of testing kits and the government had to rely on local manufacturers to stock up supplies.

The Challenge

A leading medical diagnostic maker was running behind time to satisfy the parameters of quality and quantity, given the limitations of skilled manpower and high demand for effective COVID19 testing kits. The manufacturer was trying to substitute the manual quality inspection process of the ‘cartridge’ (a key component used in the COVID19 testing kit) for an automated one. The key objective of the inspection was to ensure that the channel of the cartridge is free from any impurity or bur which would hinder the quality and effectiveness of the testing kit.


OMRON pitches in

The manufacturer, having already been introduced to OMRON’s innovative automation portfolio, shared the project details with their technical team who proactively conducted trials at the customer site even during the lockdown. It was observed that OMRON’s Vision System was able to identify impurities present in the channel and it worked along with OMRON PLC which collected the data of rejected cartridges. Another benefit of OMRON’s automation was the reduction of inspection time for each cartridge which came down to approximately 150 milliseconds as opposed to 500 ms during the manual checking.

The solution architecture

The OMRON team shared the analysis of the trial results along with detailed recommendations, with the customer which included setting up the correct architecture for the application along with suggestions on a conducive working environment. The customer was really satisfied with OMRON’s efforts in a very short span of time and accepted OMRON as an automation partner.


 OK cartridge
NG (Not Good) cartridge

Way ahead

The 2nd wave of COVID19 infections is on the rise with over 300 thousand active cases and over fifty thousand new infections each day. The need for quick and accurate diagnosis is greater than ever before as it reinforces primary healthcare and provides patients with early detection and subsequent treatment. Considering India’s huge population, makers of diagnostics are under significant pressure to produce a large number of high-quality testing equipment in a shorter span of time. This is the time when choosing the right inspection technology and a reliable automation partner is of paramount importance and OMRON aims to continue to contribute to Indian society.

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