At Amtec Solutions Group, located in Huntsville, Alabama, one of the robotics manufacturing solutions we offer is palletizing and depalletizing robots with a wide variety of packaged products. Whether you desire palletizing in a straight column stack, or an interlocked pattern, we can create a solution for you. In this blog, we will go into even more detail about robotic palletizers. Learn more below.
What Is A Robotic Palletizer?
This type of robotic palletizer utilizes a robotic arm to pick up, orient, and place and arrange individual objects into a single stack or predetermined interlocked pattern. It is suspected they will soon supersede conventional palletizers all together. They offer several advantages such as versatility, lower capital cost, and the ability for multiple tasks. This is why robotic palletizers are becoming the more preferred choice in manufacturing and other environments.
The History Behind Palletizers
Before the introduction of automated palletizing, there was/still is the manual hand stacking process used to move and arrange products into pallets for distribution and other means. As you can guess, the method is slow, time consuming and very tiring for the worker. In the early 20th century, pallets and pallet handling became one of the most important logistic tools. As the transport of heavier loads became faster and faster, a need for even more new material handling and storage capabilities came after.
The first mechanical palletizer was built in 1948 by Lamson Corp. It was a row-forming palletizer, meaning the materials are arranged on a row forming area then transported to another area where other layers are stacked, repeating the process until a complete stack of materials is produced and ready to be placed on a pallet. Robotic palletizers were first introduced in the 1980s.
Types Of Robotic Palletizers
Robotic palletizers can function both alone, or in conjunction with other units. They also have the ability to perform other tasks other than just palletizing/depalletizing. Learn more about the different types below:
- In-Line Palletizer – The simplest and most common type of robotic palletizer. This single palletizer functions with some designs and secondary capabilities such as slip sheet, stretch wrapping, and pallet dispensing.
- Layer-Forming Palletizer – This refers to an integrated system of robots, whereas each robot performs its own task. A simple layer-forming process is usually composed of two robots. One robot might do the layer assembling, while the other focuses on stacking. The number and type of robots, programmed actions, and other functions will vary depending on the manufacturer.
- Mixed Configuration Palletizer – This refers to the ability of robotic palletizers to accept different products and arrange them into a single pallet. This type of palletizer is usually top of the line. It’s the most versatile type of robotic palletizer and can perform adjustments in minutes without needing reprogramming.
- Cartesian Palletizer – This type of palletizer can move its end-of-arm tool in the directions, or the Cartesian axes. This type is slow, and limited as far as the products it can handle, they need to be consistent in size and weight. However, it is generally the cheapest option when it comes to robotic palletizers.