Ten considerations for developing an optimal palletizing solution
Automating palletizing and depalletizing is far from one-size-fits-all. Consider these tips for developing an optimal solution.
While palletizing and depalletizing products may sound like a simple task, the specifics can be rather complex. From the material handling robot with its end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) and load distribution requirements to the product itself, there are a lot of areas to consider in order to meet crucial cycle times.
1. High speed. The speed at which the system must load or unload pallets greatly impacts the design of EOAT.
2. Layer loading. Will it always be the same number or types of boxes or will it vary?
3. Weight. Moving at high speed with a heavy load impacts the design of the vacuum system and EOAT.
4. Porosity. The permeability of the box must be accurately measured for proper design of the vacuum system.
5. Center of gravity. The larger and heavier the item is, the more important it is to maintain the hold at the center of gravity.
6. Product deflection. The design of the vacuum system is affected when the lifted load does not maintain its shape.
7. Mixed product. The complexity of the design and control system is compounded when there are several types of loads being moved by the robot and by the number of combinations of product.
8. Multi-lane pick, multi-pallet drop. The design of the entire system is impacted when the robot must have the flexibility to pick from or drop off loads in different areas/lanes.
9. Environment. The ambient temperature, humidity and potential temperature fluctuations in the loading/unloading area greatly impact the design of the system and the behavior of the packaging material being palletized.
10. Box assembly. Is the top completely closed or are there gaps between flaps on the box?
– This originally appeared on Applied Manufacturing Technologies’ (AMT) website. AMT is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org.