Robotic palletizers are just one variety of palletizing equipment. A wide variety of equipment has been developed to facilitate the movement of pallets and their loads from one place to another.
In warehouses, pallets that are moved across short distances can often be moved with forklifts and even manual pallet jacks. But in very large scale manufacturing and distribution operations, palletizing systems can give an operation the productivity boost it needs to remain competitive. There are many different kinds of robotic palletizers, and they are all used for many different purposes.
Bag palletizers are used to load and unload bags in large quantities before or after shipment of a pallet; they are widely used in the production and distribution of heavy, bagged products like concrete and bulk minerals. Depalletizers are used exclusively for the unloading of products from pallets; they make the movement of materials from loading bays to production floors safer, quicker and more efficient.
In addition to streamlining materials handling on factory and warehouse floors, robotic palletizers can account for a dramatic reduction in strain-induced injuries for workers. Especially in the movement of heavy materials, repeated bending and lifting can cause severe strain to workers and can cause injuries.
Such scenarios compromise employee health, which also leads to a reduction of productivity and efficiency, and it contributes to employee healthcare costs. Palletizing machines are capable of lifting and moving heavy objects for extended periods of time without ceasing.
The only necessary interruptions to palletizer operations should be periodic maintenance and the end of a work shift. Some robotic palletizers are equipped with safety features like QuickSTOP and Smartscan. QuickSTOP safety systems detect problems with a robotic palletizer’s components during operation; this can prevent further damage to the palletizer as well as damage to products. The Smartscan safeguard, on the other hand, protects workers in close proximity to robotic palletizers.
Smartscan systems detect the presence of humans near palletizers, and when proximity sensors are triggered, the palletizer ceases its operation in order to reduce the risk of worker injury. Palletizer systems can be a large initial expense, but it is an investment in efficiency and worker safety. Those investments consistently prove themselves to negate the expense after a short time of operation.