The work of stacking boxes, parts and assemblies is repetitive and often turns out to be dangerous. Palletizing has brought a much needed solution to these tasks which are an integral part of many industries. Robotic palletizing systems have made the work not only easier but also faster and less wasteful.
There are a few important aspects of the palletizing robot that every industry that employs them must know of:
- Proper Integration
Palletizing applications are becoming quite complex and it is therefore important to integrate properly. In order to have a successful project, the following factors are of utmost significance:
- Proper initial development
- After-market service
Every piece of equipment in the robotic palletizing cell is very important and you must be very observant in order to ensure overall system effectiveness.
It is often said one of the greatest advantages robots have over humans is that they can work tirelessly. However, at a certain point, the robot may not be able to take on additional rate or complexity in the patterns of pallets.
It is advisable to evaluate the utilization of the robot with each application with regard to the tasks it is expected to undertake. Every time the robot picks and places pallets, a time study should be completed to account for the time it takes to accomplish the two tasks. Additionally, every additional ancillary tasks that the robot is expected to accomplish should be taken into account as well.
The calculation of this utilization allows the integrator to tell whether a single robot is enough to accomplish the required tasks or multiple ones will be more effective.
Collaborative robots or co-bots have become quite popular. Along with other tasks that they are meant for such as part handling roles, they are also manufactured with palletizing and de-palletizing in mind. The collaborative robot is able to reach to the farthest ends of a pallet to place boxes. What one needs to consider is the weight of the product and a simple light-weight end of arm tool.
Robotic and ancillary component costs are going down. As a result, palletizing system implementation has become not only affordable but can also be justified. Furthermore, with more knowledge about robotics, a return on investment (ROI) in at most two years is possible. Palletizing system implementation make a lot of sense when labor costs which are constantly on the rise and safety in the workplace are taken into consideration.
- End of Arm Tool Design
The End of Arm Tool is usually the last thing to be in contact with the product before it lands in the hands of the end consumer. Also, it is the most integral part of the robot. The End of Arm Tool must reliably and effectively handle items such as food, cases, parts and bags.
Robotic palletizing End of Arm Tools are found in the form of:
- Universal vacuum pads
- Compression plates
- Zoned vacuum parts
- Clam-shell claw grippers
This is a factor that could make or break output and profits, therefore, it must be considered with utmost care.
- Main Criteria
The most important factors of your palletizing robot include:
- The reach of the robot: This is the distance from the center of the robot to the farthest point the robotic arm can reach.
- Payload: The payload includes the weight of the End of Arm Tool and the product the robot is handling.
- Speed:Speed is not very easy to determine since it is stated in terms rotational speed of each axis. A simulation is required to determine the requirements of speed.
- Axes: Usually, a 4-axis robot is applicable because parallels will normally be parallel with the floor when picked and placed. Where a product must be rotated or tilted, then a 5/6-axis robot is the better choice.
The most important thing is to get the right palletizing robots for your specific applications in order to drive up production by reducing costs and ensuring the safety of your employees. The highlighted factors are important in your quest to achieve this.