The second SMARTHANDLE Use Case is related to contact lenses production. Full customization, high-volume production techniques and specialized machines are required for contact lenses production. Most of the manufacturing steps are not automated and require manual activity and interventions by operators. Current manufacturing challenges result in errors and lead to a quality rejection of 15% of the produced soft contact lenses. Automation of logistics and machine tending operations will enhance productivity and will contribute to ergonomics improvement. A flexible logistics solution equipped with smart fixtures and dexterous tools will be responsible for handling workpieces between manufacturing line workstations.

The designed dexterous and reconfigurable end-effectors will be able to manipulate all lens variances for all their production step-related shapes. In the same principle, the implemented fixtures will accommodate the lenses for logistics or processing without requiring time demanding hardware modifications.