In any type of warehouse facility or distribution center, there is the trade-off between efficiency and technology and cost. For many owners and operators of these facilities, the cost is the most important factor. However, by considering the cost savings that technology offers what appears to be a high initial price can quickly result in less manpower required, faster order processing and higher efficiency.
Understanding the advantages of robotic palletizers as the choice for new palletizing equipment can help any warehouse owner, operator or manager to determine if this is the most cost-effective option to consider. Generally, the alternative will be a conventional palletizer, which may also be an option to consider in some specific applications.
With the use of robotic palletizing equipment, a computer controls the system, which includes an arm on a two, three or four-axis design. This will allow the system to orient to the particular box or item, create a row and then move the row to the pallet.
Other types of palletizing equipment can be designed for high-level operations, and will allow the pallet rows to be much higher. Once the pallet is formed, the system then lowers the loaded pallet to the outgoing conveyor.
With the robotic option both high and low palletizers can handle much more complex types of loads automatically and through pre-programmed solutions. They can be configured to accept multiple packaging lines and create a separate pallet for each line, greatly speeding up throughput.
With robotic equipment in place, the system can automatically accommodate all types of materials by reading SKUs and appropriately palletizing the materials based on that recognition. They can also handle many different types of packaging including pails, bags, boxes, cases as well as plastic containers.
They tend to be smaller than conventional palletizers even though they provide more options for handling materials. This makes them a very good option as an upgrade in existing warehouses or as the choice for new warehouse operations.
The rate of palletizing for the robotic palletizers can range from approximately 8 cases per minute to up to 30. The rates will change based on the type of picking required as well as the stacking patterns required on the pallet.
Mixed case palletizing is also possible with the use of robotic palletizers. This can help warehouse companies in consolidating shipments to end users, helping to minimize the use of pallets and wrapping while also maximizing the space on delivery vehicles.
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