Robotic bag palletizers use a robotic arm that lifts the bags either one by one or in batches, stacking them on a nearby pallet. With this type of process, products can be palletized either one at a time, by row, or by layer depending on the type of end-of-arm tooling. These robots can also be equipped with vision systems to stack products very precisely and even overlap bags.
Advanced models can be equipped with a slip sheet dispenser, a pallet dispenser, and an exit pallet conveyor to move the load to the pallet wrapping machine which improves the utilization and speed of the machine. Compared to conventional palletizers, they also provide great handling and versatility.
Factors for selecting a bag palletizer:
Capacity: Choosing the right type of palletizer is usually not straightforward. The first thing that is needed is the palletizing capacity, which is usually expressed in units per hour. Small productivity usually yields handling each unit separately and can be performed either from a simple layer palletizer or a robotic palletizer. The higher the productivity, things tend to lean towards layer palletizing and usually to inline palletizers.
Serving single or multiple lines: Choosing between multiple lines and a single-line palletizer is the second factor that must be taken into account. Multiple lines with slow-moving units will generally yield robotic palletizing and single lines with high productivity are generally handled by layer palletizers.
Product type: The third factor that affects the type is the kind of product being palletized. Palletizing bags that partly cover each other on the same layer can be easier realized with a robotic palletizer. On the other hand, having the need to press and tighten the whole layer from the sides, or press the whole layer.
Flexibility: Robots tend to be more flexible since they can be easily reconfigured to handle different products. However, this is not always true, since a new gripper, reprogramming, robotic cell restructuring, re-engineering, etc can sometimes cost more than buying a new more up-to-date palletizer.
Impact on ROI
Robotic bag palletizer benefits by gaining productivity, reducing scrap, increasing quality/consistency, minimizing rework, and improving safety. Each of which represents gains that contribute to your Return on Investment (ROI).
Robots offer peace of mind because they are predictable and produce high-quality work. They can also be repurposed for a broad range of applications.
Another factor to consider is that robot programming and maintenance costs are lower than training and maintaining operators to do an equivalent amount of work.
Health & Safety
Manual handling of loads, such as bending and twisting while stacking bags, is one of the main risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). They affect millions of workers and they cost employers more.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Organizational Safety and Health Organizations (OSHA) organizations worldwide promote a good strategy for manual handling. To help prevent manual handling injuries in the workplace, they should avoid such tasks as far as possible.
EFFECTS & BENEFITS
Impressed customers. When your customers see a robot palletising in your factory, they can’t help but be impressed with your technologically advanced processes.
Reduction in errors and improved stack quality. An automated palletising system will reliably pick and place products onto the pallet in exactly the right position.
An automated palletising system typically boosts staff morale. This is often due to the fact that staff no longer have to perform the repetitive task of stacking pallets by hand and are enjoying their new role within the company.