Advances in technology and consumer demands have increased the importance of optimizing production and packaging line speeds. For most manufacturing enterprises, increasing speed is the ultimate goal. After all, packaging line productivity is the core factor in being a successful packaging solution for other companies. Without a fast and efficient packaging line, companies may see a decrease in product quality and business opportunities.
Any company that manufactures a product—especially large, heavy items packaged in boxes or bags, and places those items on a shipping pallet—is a candidate for automated palletizing equipment. It is an efficient and effective method of integration.
Wikipedia’s definition of a palletizer is a machine which provides automatic means for stacking cases of goods or products onto a pallet. The key component in a robotic palletizer is … a robot. A robot is guided by computer or electronic programming, allowing it to do tasks on its own.
What Is a Robotic Palletizer?
Robotic palletizers were introduced in the early 1980s and have an End-of-Arm Tool (EoAT) to grab the product from a conveyor and position it onto a pallet. The EoAT is often custom-designed to handle one or more specific products. Robotic palletizing systems are capable of dispensing and conveying pallets, metering cases on the product infeed and utilizing robotics to palletize cases and apply slip sheets where required.
Additional components are infeed conveyors that deliver products to the robot, pallet dispensers that automatically deliver a single pallet to the robot from a stack of pallets, and outfeed conveyors that take pallets with full stacks away from the robot. These solutions also employ automatic slip sheet or tier sheet dispensers and safety devices such as fencing and light curtains. At the end of most palletizing systems is an automatic stretch wrapper. Douglas will purchase and integrate most stretch wrappers.
Benefits of Robotic Palletizers
On-time production has never been more desirable, which is why integrated packaging is so critical. While the speed of the package line improves immensely, there are other benefits in choosing integrated packaging.
Robotic palletizing offers more features and benefits than other palletizing equipment. For example, they can handle one or more units at a time according to pallet configuration, and form multiple layers on a pallet after picking the products off a conveyor. To give you a better idea of whether one of these products is right for your business, here’s a summary of its features and benefits:
Speed varies greatly depending on the products being handled. For instance, it can palletize 40 bags a minute or up to 1,200 cans a minute.
Fewer mechanical components means significantly less downtime and superior reliability.
Various grippers give the robot great versatility, making them some of the most important elements. Its specialized EoAT can be adapted to almost every need. From vacuum and lateral to finger and magnetic grippers, they are designed to handle multiple types of containers at a time, regardless of their shape.
The equipment’s dimensions may vary depending on the system’s configuration, but the flexibility it offers allows for installation in tight spaces while still complying with the most up-to-date safety standards.
Reduction in Labor Injuries
When considering the safety that robots offer compared to a person stacking and lifting, the overall savings can be even more significant.
Robotic palletizing continues to prove profitable for packaging and packing plants. No matter your reasons for considering automating your palletizing process, a thorough evaluation of your needs will be the key to a well-adapted solution.
Types of Packaging Made Better Through Robotic Palletizing
They’re ideal for high-mix palletizing of cartons, bags, pails, glass bottles, trays and more … including food and beverage, warehouse and distribution, and industrial products.
Palletizing is a demanding application and is the last step in the assembly line before the product is loaded onto a shipping truck.
Why Choose a Douglas Palletizing System?
Douglas Stratum Palletizers are robust in design, build and assembly—built to last.
- Customers are number one
- Single-source supplier
- Deep expertise in system engineering
- Experienced in factory needs and environments
- Optimized line efficiency
- Small footprint
Robotic Palletizers with Douglas Machine Inc.
For end-of-line palletizing, the Douglas Stratum™ Robotic Palletizer completes your packaging process. The Stratum easily combines with Douglas packaging and cartoning or other upstream and downstream equipment for seamless integration. It completes your secondary packaging process, fully automated, from start to finish.
At Douglas, we form a partnership with our customers. We listen to your needs and offer education on best practices, determining the most effective integration solution. Our engineering and manufacturing experts work closely with your team to customize a layout that meets your unique plant and process challenges while maximizing ROI. Our experience and drive for continuous innovation equal a creative, seamless and optimized solution for your unique needs.
For more information on Douglas and our comprehensive palletizing solutions, don’t hesitate to call or message us. We look forward to working with you.