Getting Started with Automation in MedTech

Article | HowToRobot

Manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices are integrating robotics into their processes at a rapid rate. Learn about common applications and how to get started.

Bloomberg reports 45% of German manufacturers complain of a lack of available and skilled workers. An ever-increasing need for traceability and quality control contribute to the need for greater automation. Meanwhile, pandemic-related supply chain issues are an incentive to bring production back from outsourced locations.

Robotic automation offers excellent opportunities to increase productivity, crucial to maintaining and enhancing a firm’s competitiveness in the marketplace. So, how does one determine where to begin with implementing automation?

Most common applications

Taking a look at the most common applications in which automation and robotics are implemented, regardless of industry, is a great place to start. As HowToRobot’s 2022 German Automation Market Report documents, Germany is the most automated country in the European Union, with 38% of Europe’s robots. Most German makers of medications and med-tech devices already have some level of automation within their production processes. However, there are still many opportunities for advancement.

Outlined below are some of the most common applications for robotic automation in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry. These are tasks for which the technology is mature, and the return on investment is rapid.

Pick and Place

Automating the picking and placement of objects can result in a manifold increase in speed over human operations.

Quality Control and Inspection

Robotic automation enables manufacturers to achieve greater testing throughput because of their higher speed and better accuracy.

Logistics and Material Handling

With multiple sensors and safety algorithms, automated logistics is typically safer with a higher output than manual means of moving materials.


Automated assembly is faster and yields more consistent results than manual operations.

Machine Tending

In this case, human laborers feed parts or material into the machine, wait for the operation to complete, remove the parts, and perhaps perform some other task such as tool changing while the more repetitive and mundane aspects of the process is automated.

Packing and Palletizing

A very common application for robotics, loading cartons into boxes and assembling boxes onto pallets are tasks well performed by robots.

How to Find the Right Solution

Not only are many applications ripe for automation, but also numerous vendors offer products and solutions for each of these tasks. It is a challenge to get an overview of what’s available and to make a well-informed choice of the best vendor and the optimum technology. 

HowToRobot has compiled the world’s largest directory of robot vendors. As a business in need of automation, it is free to post a request on the site and receive tailored proposals from suppliers.

It is often helpful to talk with people who have seen companies like yours successfully implement robotics. Although discussing your needs with vendors can be valuable, sometimes a more impartial viewpoint is desirable. HowToRobot is associated with Gain & Co, a consulting firm with highly qualified engineers who collectively have experience with hundreds of successful robotics projects. You can reach out and confer with an unbiased and knowledgeable advisor to work toward the right solution for your specific needs. Additionally, the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry is highly regulated, so it is also helpful to be able to receive expert advice from people who are familiar with those regulations and how they impact automation. 

Market report offer

Members of MedTech Pharma have access to an exclusive discount on HowToRobot’s report which provides an overview of the German suppliers of robotic automation equipment (including those specialized in healthcare and pharma). The report, „Market Analysis of Robot and Automation Firms in Germany – 2022“ can be obtained for 40% off the list price by MedTech Pharma members by utilizing the code “medtech-pharma” when purchasing the full report.

About the company is a global market platform, connecting buyers and sellers of robots and automation solutions.

Through our digital matchmaking service and market insights, we make it easy for businesses to find the right automation suppliers and solutions to their needs.

HowToRobot’s insights and statistics helps companies navigate the robotic market. The market reports help people understand who the thousands of robot and automation suppliers globally are. We also provide a long range of knowledge articles helping businesses understand where to begin with automation and how to succeed.