Palletizing robots automate the process of assembling products into pallets. You can also program them to execute depalletizing tasks that are critical in production lines. A palletizing robot provides solutions that the conventional palletizers were unable to offer. Read on to understand the types of palletizing robots available and factors to consider before adopting them.
Pedestal palletizing robots are arm-like units that are fixed on a stand. They are available in different colors. While palletizing robots are often 4-axis units, they can have five or even six axes when the need arises. The number of axes the palletizing robot has dictates the magnitude of flexibility in lifting and placing a product.
4-axis units can rotate at their base, reach for the object, raise or lower it, and swivel their end-effectors to adjust the item. They come with a capacity of between a few pounds to over a ton. Operators can program one unit to palletize different lines or under high-speed processes. Different palletizing robots can also palletize a single line.
The operation of a pedestal palletizing robot is often straightforward. Pallets are placed on the specified area, either using an automated pallet dispenser or manually. Operators can program the palletizing robot to set a skid sheet on the pallet.
Once the product moves across an in-feed conveyor and drops at the end stop, the palletizing robot lifts it in batches. The robot should have the proper end of arm tool like a gripper or vacuum to complete lifting tasks. After lifting, the robot places the product on the pallet in any setup. An alternating layer setup is recommended for stability purposes.
A gantry is an enclosed structure that features an overhead span and side supports. A Gantry style palletizing robot is a palletizer that dangles from a gantry. These palletizing robot types are ideal for heavy loads at low speeds. They work well with single items, rows, layers, and unit loads.
These palletizing robots utilize a sled that shifts down tracks hanging over the working area. End effectors are elevated and lowered to handle and move the product. Gantry palletizing robots can have between 2 to 4 axes. 2 axis robots can lift and move an object along a straight line while 3-axis robots move objects along two dimensions. 4-axis robots adjust the item.
Mixed Case Configurations
Mixed case palletizing robots can pick cases and boxes of different shapes and sizes and create stable layers out of them. There are various ways of achieving this. A pedestal style palletizing robot fixed on a track can move between pallets in an arranging area.
At each pallet, the robot lifts objects and places them on the receiving pallet in a predestined stable configuration. A different system can use various conveyors to move products to a staging location.
The product is guided and adjusted along the way by pushers, sortation shoes, or robotic arms. Layers are then formed, after which the product is directed to an end stop in the appropriate configuration. The pedestal style robot then lifts the object to a pallet.
Layer Forming Palletizing Robots
Often, layer forming palletization involves a sequence of robots with each having a designated task. A simple layer-forming palletizing robot comes with one pedestal style robot fixed on a conveyor. The robot moves and adjusts the object along the conveyor to ensure as it hits the end stop; it is already on the appropriate setup for its layer.
When a layer forms, an operator removes the end stop and conveys the segment on a handling robot. This process lifts the sheet and moves it to the pallet.
Palletizing Robots need Accessories for Effective Operations
It is worth mentioning that palletizing robots are not complete. The pallets should be delivered automatically using a pallet dispenser or manually. You will need to add slip and tier sheets. The pallets have to be shrink-wrapped to facilitate safety and stability.