ROI, quality, throughput and labor are some of the things that keep manufacturers awake at night. If you have the same concerns then fear not because you are in lucky, robots are at the ready. While stalwart articulators are managing the towering pallets of goods, deft manipulators with both astounding speed and precision busy themselves on the packaging line.
Ideally, there is no job that is too small for a palletizing robot. Here are some of the ways palletizing robots are dealing with some of the industry’s pain points.
They are easier to use
Most companies that are new to robotics tend to misunderstand how simple robots are to operate. For most palletizing robots, you don’t need to be a PLC programmer or robot programmer to run them. This is because most of the day-to-day product changeovers are straightforward. This comes in handy especially to a company that is already experiencing shortage of skilled labor.
When equipped with vision and conveyor modern robotic machines can pick and place a variety of items with mind numbing precision. Already, they are known to reach about 300 picks per minute.
Better, cheaper and faster
Palletizing and packaging robots are getting more cost effective and faster every day. Equipped with integrated controls as well as human machine interfaces, these machines are now easier to use. In addition to this, they have advanced sensing and software making them smarter and more adept to handle product variations.
Robots are reliable and adaptable, they can insert packages and bags into cartons in the same way that a human worker would do, but with repeatability without getting tired or needing a break.
Clean and contamination free
One of the main growing concerns in the packaging industry is improved sanitation. More so, with primary food packaging since it involves direct contact with the food. As more robots make their way into the food handling and packaging industry, increased cleanliness continues to be a major factor.
With packaging and palletizing robots, you don’t need to wait for things to be pre-wrapped before you can secondarily handle them, you might use that time to do something more fulfilling.
Consume less energy
New robotic machines are prospective adopters of electro adhesion technology, this means that they consume less energy when compared to their predecessors. They are also more silent and lighter.
They handle larger work envelopes
In the world of palletizing, there are both high-mix and low-volume applications. Therefore, you may find a robot on track moving between 40 to 60 feet up and down a production line building multiple pallets. For packaging, there is an influx of low-volume, high-mix automation so that the robot can be able to move to individual stations. Keep in mind that one palletizing robot on a track is significantly lower in cost as compared to two robots, two safety systems, two controllers, two grippers and basically two of everything.
It is a common misconception that robots handling larger work envelopes have big and clumsy tracks. However, this is hardly the case because modern machines are built with a uni-frame that is lighter, more rigid and commands a smaller footprint among other design advances.
They have higher payback
With tracks and gantries, robots go to the products but in most applications the product comes to the palletizing robot. A good example of this is one integrator’s self-contained palletizing cells which is capable of handling a variety of products, sizes, weights and shapes. The payback analysis in the food and beverage industry is much higher because this is where palletizing automation is used the most. Other things such as ease of use, deploy ability and affordability all play a role in increasing your ROI.
There are many reasons why you should introduce palletizing robots into your warehouse or factory. Automating such processes will help you be at the forefront of becoming a leader in your industry.