Home Business Insights & Advice Choosing between robotic and conventional palletizing

Choosing between robotic and conventional palletizing

by John Saunders
22nd Sep 20 12:24 pm

Palletizing is the process of packing items like a carton on a pallet in an outlined pattern. Depalletizing, on the other hand, is the process discharging the loaded objects in the opposite pattern.

Today, many plants and factories have automated their applications with a robotic palletizing solution. Apart from enhancing productivity and profitability, they facilitate flexibility to operate products for prolonged periods.

A robot system with an inbuilt palletizing ability facilitates the loading and unloading of objects without the need for lengthy lessons. Robotic work cells can be integrated into any project. Following developments in end-of-arm tooling, palletizing robot work cells are used in different factory floors.

Currently, different robotic solutions are transforming the material handling world. In this article, we shall compare conventional and palletizing robots.

Conventional vs. palletizing robots

If you want to automate palletizing processes, you can choose between conventional and palletizing robots. Before making a decision, ensure you understand your needs. For example, knowing the number of products you plan to handle and your expected production rate. Understanding this information helps you choose the ideal solution. To establish the category that is adapted to your current and future needs, you need to consider the following factors.

Conventional palletizers

Conventional palletizers can be classified into low and high-level palletizers. A low-level palletizer handles items borne by conveyors. Products are arranged and rotated depending on the pallet’s setup. They are then moved together to create a row that is either pushed or lifted with a tool that puts the items in the formation table.

Objects are arranged depending on the designated pattern. The rows are assembled one after the other to form a layer. The formation table is then lifted or lowered to achieve an appropriate positioning of the stripper plate. This process facilitates the gentle discharging of products on the pallet.

Each layer is formed using this method until the pallet is filled. The operator then removes the pallet and replaces it with an empty one. When it comes to high-level robot palletizers a conveyor moves the products. The pallet is then lifted or lowered as the product layers remain static. A high-level palletizer can attain higher palletizing speeds, and is often ideal when it comes to palletizing compressible items.

Features and Pros of conventional palletizers

1. Speed

Conventional palletizers conform to various production speeds that can vary between 15 to 40 bags per minute. However, they can also increase depending on the units getting palletized.

2. Versatility

Conventional palletizers palletize one object at a time. However, the generated pallets are compact and perfect because each layer is squared and compressed. With these features, conventional palletizers can generate high and stable pallets.

3. Maintenance

Conventional palletizers involve various mechanical operations. As a result, they require more care compared to the palletizing robot. However, you do not need professional knowledge to carry out maintenance on the conventional palletizer.

4. Footprint

Conventional palletizers take up more space in the working area.

Robotic palletizers

A palletizing robot can autonomously execute tasks designated by a logic programmable controller. The gripper or end of arm tool is often customized to handle certain objects. A palletizing robot can handle more than one unit at once depending on the pallet setup. It forms different layers on a pallet after picking them from a conveyor. A palletizing robot can depalletize through a vision system.

Features and Pros of a Palletizing Robot

1. Speed

A palletizing robot can handle up to 40 bags per minute. However, its speed varies based on the products it is handling. For example, a palletizing robot can palletize up to 1,200 cans per minute.

2. Maintenance

It comes with a few mechanical components and this reduces downtime and makes it highly reliable. Operators should have specialized training in maintenance.

3. Footprint

Palletizing robot dimensions vary based on the system’s setup. However, they are highly flexible and this facilitates installation in cramped spaces. There are various advantages of using an automated palletizing system. Many companies prefer them because they increase safety and reduce labor costs.

4. Versatility

It features different grippers making it highly versatile, one of the most important characteristics of the palletizing robot. It comes with a special end-of-arm tooling that can be modified to nearly every need. Palletizing robots can handle different types of containers.

Automation is the future

Robot palletizers have become popular units today. Whether you choose a conventional, or robot palletizer, you should research extensively. Doing so will help you choose the best unit that meets your needs.

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