While robotic palletizers aren’t new, in fact, they’re a proven technology used by facilities around the globe, they do bring a number of benefits for the firms that use them. At Midwest Engineered Systems, we’ve produced automated palletizing solutions for a variety of industries, both custom and our standard robotic palletizing systems. Regardless of a firm’s final product, we’ve discovered robotic palletizing offers a common set of gains for every industry. We’ve listed some of the larger benefits below.
Drop-in performance - Small footprint and quick install
Robotic palletizers are not the highly custom robotic operations of the past. Today’s machines don’t require large amounts of space or long periods of time to get up to production speeds. Many systems are compactly designed to be installed in pre-existing production operations. Many times, these drop-in systems take up less space than the manual processes they’re replacing.
MWES systems are completely built and tested in our facility with our customer’s real products. This ensures the system will work perfectly when installed at the customer’s plant. It also allows us to dial in the settings and configurations without having to disrupt current production operations, as well as to guarantee performance metrics are met. The customer is invited to our facility to see it run themselves, before readying their facilities for new equipment.
Palletizing consistency and quality
A large part of the robotic palletizer’s capability is in its programming - and goes well beyond just stacking boxes. Well-built robotic systems are tuned to the exacting specifications of the products being moved. The tooling that holds the packaging are set to control the item to its planned destination with the correct amount of forces to ensure no drops as well to make sure to avert damage to the packaging.
These robotic systems can also be programmed to perform a variety of palletizing patterns which can be assigned to certain products or certain customers and changed on the fly. More complex systems can even be programmed to stack different product SKUs on the same pallet.
Once dialed in, robotic palletizing systems can perform these processes tirelessly, every shift, giving the firm a reliable set of performance metrics to more adequately forecast future operations.
Reliable speed while getting humans out of danger
Today’s robotic palletizers can usually meet – and sometimes exceed – the speed manual palletizers can achieve and they can do it consistently across all shifts.
Reassigning humans to more meaningful tasks through the adaptation of robotic palletizers provides a number of benefits to a firm. The two largest of which are the ability to more reliably hit packaging performance metrics and reducing potential injuries and employee burnout on high repetition operations.
For production operations that are highly automated before products arrive to be packaged, extending that automation to the end of line operations allows the firm to sidestep bottlenecks that could slow overall production. With automation at the product palletizing stage, a highly automated firm can more easily tune the packaging aspect to meet the demands of production without having to factor in the discontinuities of maintaining a human workforce at high performance levels.
Speaking of human palletizers, the opportunity for repetitive strain injuries or long term issues from daily heavy lifting activities is another common driver for adopting robotic palletizer systems. The near term issues with making sure burnout doesn’t consume valuable workers or producing nagging injuries that slow throughput may pale in comparison to the long term costs of healthcare issues and even legal claims. With automation, these issues are essentially mitigated.
If you’re considering the move to automating your palletizing operations, trust Midwest Engineered Systems to work with you to develop a packaging solution that’s right for your needs. Contact us today!