A collaborative robot palletizer does the heavy lifting.

As full service robotic integrators it is no surprise that we have gotten quite heavily into the realm of robotic palletizers.

What is that? Well, robotic palletizing is using a robot is used to arrange products or packages onto a pallet. The robot, or cobot, is programmed to pick and place items in a pattern on the pallet. This improves efficiency and reduces human error. Palletizing is commonly done in warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities to arrange products for shipment. Robotic palletizers lead to increased production speed and improved accuracy compared to manual palletizing. So, it is commonly seen as a great place to start automating.

As the automation market has grown and changed there have been more types of robots designed to be used in palletizing applications. Historically, palletizing was the realm of the industrial robot, but with advancements in collaborative robots like the UR20 there is competition. Obviously, the weight and size of the product being palletized as well as the stack pattern and speed needed are the big factors to consider when you are looking into a palletizing application. Lucky for you though, we can provide both industrial and collaborative robotic palletizers!

Which type of robotic palletizer is the right fit?

Collaborative Robot Palletizers

Well, there are several reasons why someone might choose a collaborative robot (cobot). Cobots are designed to work alongside human workers, reducing the risk of injury compared to industrial robots. They can palletize in a smaller space than an industrial robot too since they don’t need the same guarding. Cobots are easier to program and set up for a palletizing application compared to industrial robots. That means they are ideal for smaller facilities, or for companies with limited automation experience. Also, cobots are cost effective compared to many industrial robots, making them a good choice for companies with limited budgets. Additionally, they are flexible and can be easily reprogrammed for different tasks, making them a good choice for facilities with changing production needs. Collaborative robots are also a great choice because of their reduced training requirements; they require less training for operators compared to traditional industrial robots.

Industrial Robot Palletizers

Just because industrial robots require more training doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for them! Obviously you need an industrial solution when your rates and weights require it. With their higher capacities comes the potential for greater efficiency. Since industrial robots can handle tasks faster than human/cobot workers, there is increased end-of-line speed. Sometimes one industrial palletizer can handle the throughput of multiple cobots. They are designed to be precise, reducing the chance of human error in the palletizing process. Though the upfront cost can be high, they reduce labor costs and are robust. Also, ironically, the same system that requires guarding to prevent injury saves employees from injuries caused by heavy, repetitive tasks. Industrial robots are also more scalable and can handle an increasing workload as a facility grows. A collaborative solution might be topped out. This makes industrial robots an attractive option for companies with long-term growth plans.

Collaborative or Industrial, you need an integrator!

On the surface you might think you are getting a better deal by going DIY, but consider the expertise we bring to the table. Integrators like us have extensive experience in designing, building, and implementing palletizing systems, and we bring that to a project to ensure the best possible outcome. We are also a single source supplier, so you don’t have to worry about finding ancillary equipment. We already have relationships with manufacturers of common add-ons like pallet magazines, conveyors, box erectors, and AGVs/AMRs. Working with us saves you time and resources compared to trying to do the project in-house, since we handle all aspects of the project from design to implementation. Integrators ensure a palletizing system integrates (ha!) seamlessly with other systems in the facility, improving overall efficiency of your operation.

Collaborative robotic palletizers do the heavy lifting! Well, of products under 20kg...
This robotic palletizer uses a boxEZ with a custom EOAT designed to be able to not just erect a box, but palletize it!

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