A wide variety of companies are looking for automated material handling processes that can optimize their warehouse fulfillment operations. A Robotic palletizer makes use of a gripper or end-of-arm-tool (EOAT) to pick up the item coming down the conveyor and then places it onto the pallet. If the speeds are low, palletizing of the items can be performed manually. However, as speed increases, automating palletizing operations becomes a necessity. Supply chain managers and manufacturing operations that are considering robotic palletizing should consider the following items to select the right palletizer and integration partner when implementing a solution for their operations.
Rate is the most imperative aspect when considering a robotic palletizer. It will dictate the necessary conveyor speed, case erecting equipment, case sealing requirements, number of robots along with the model of robot that will be best suited to handle the materials. It is essential to know the goals that you want to achieve with a robot palletizer and understand what throughput you need to meet your demands accurately.
- Case Quality
All boxes are of different dimensions, weight, and strength. It becomes essential to design a system that is based upon box dimension and weight. Without knowing case dimensions, it will not be possible to pick up the boxes accurately. As a result of which, changes will have to made in programming and equipment. Changing all of these can result in a significant amount of cost, money, and effort.
- Product List
In your operation line, there could be multiple SKU’s running through the system. If you have all the SKUs identified before the implementation of a robotic palletizer, you will be able to buy the right equipment and ensuring that right programming is applied. Ensure that you test palletizing of multiple SKU’s with different dimensions before the final implementation.
- Pallet Quality
Pallet quality can vary significantly on the same production line due to environmental factors. If the production line is operating in a wet environment, it can cause damp wood to swell. In a cold environment, the wood can condense. The quality and safety of the operations can be compromised if the right pallet size is not selected. Thus, ensure that your pallet is size accurately.
- Robotic Integrator
Look for a robotic integrator who specializes in the task which you are trying to accomplish. An experienced integrator will help you in assessing the palletizing process. They will discuss all the options, criteria and requirements to design an optimal robotic palletizing solution. Adequate preparation is essential.
Identifying all of the products that will be palletized along with their specifications is an integral part of successful implementation. Choosing the right partner will ensure a smooth integration of a robotic palletizing system into production.
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