Palletizing robot

What is a palletizing robot?

Palletizing is an important process within warehouse management, it is basically distinguished between a partially automated as well as a fully automated approach. While semi-automated palletizing has a certain amount of manual support, fully automated palletizing ensures the entire process (from layer formation to stack formation) without manual intervention. This area also includes palletizing robots, which, along with layer palletizers, are the classic tools in this segment.

Structure and function of palletizing robots

The main task of a palletizing robot is to pack pallets onto load carriers - these can consist of canisters, boxes or bags, for example. Basically, the entire transport system is planned and built in such a way that the palletizing robot is the center of the system. A palletizing robot has a different number of gripping tools, which are designed according to the requirements, in order to be able to handle workpiece carriers or pallets. Typically, a distinction is made between four-axis and six-axis palletizing robots.

What are the advantages of palletizing robots?

  1. Accuracy: palletizing robots work reliably and reduce possible errors that can occur in manual processes.
  2. Availability: Palletizing robots are available around the clock without interruptions due to breaks or illnesses and thus contribute significantly to continuous production availability.
  3. Ergonomics: Palletizing robots take over heavy and monotonous tasks, which improves working conditions for human employees. This provides an excellent opportunity for workers to perform less tedious and sluggish tasks.
  4. Flexibility: Palletizing robots can be easily programmed and customized to adapt to changing needs.
  5. Scalability: Palletizing robots are easy to integrate into more complex as well as simpler structures, depending on the company's requirements.

Overall, palletizing robots offer a more efficient, precise and flexible solution for the transport processes in a warehouse environment or a production environment.

What are the different types of palletizing robots?

  • Layer palletizing robot

A so-called layer palletizing robot is one of the palletizing robots with the highest performance figures; a distinction is made between pallet stroke and layer stroke. Their core task is to place entire loads on pallets.

The layer palletizing robot is an automated system used for fast and efficient palletizing of goods. It allows the user to stack loads on pallets without manual intervention. This type of automation saves the user time and costs when transporting goods.

The robot usually consists of a gripper arm, a chassis and a control unit. The gripper arm is equipped with sensors that can detect the position of the material. The trolley enables the robot to move to the various stacking locations. The control unit controls all functions of the robot and monitors its actions.

Layer palletizing robots are often used in warehouses or factories to palletize stacks of loads efficiently and safely. They offer the advantage of lower error rates than manual palletizing methods, as well as greater productivity while saving costs.

  • Linear robot

A so-called linear robot gives the palletizing robot the additional function of being able to sort packages in addition to palletizing. Based on one or more rotary axes with different radii of action, packages can be positioned in a targeted manner.

The linear robot can also be used to place packages in a specific order and position. This is especially useful when packaging products that cannot be easily distinguished by their size or shape. The robot can be programmed to place each package in the correct location.

Another advantage of the linear robot is its flexibility. Since it has multiple axes, it can be used for different tasks. It can work both horizontally and vertically, allowing it to reach hard-to-reach areas. This results in higher efficiency compared to conventional palletizing methods.

Overall, the use of linear robots offers many advantages for the automation of palletizing and sorting tasks in factories and warehouses. They are more efficient than conventional methods and save time and costs in the implementation of logistical processes.

  • Articulated arm robot

The so-called articulated arm robot represents a six-axis palletizing robot that can be individually adapted to the respective formats and is based on a cubic gripping space.

The jointed-arm robot is very flexible and can perform many different tasks in a limited space. It is often used in the automotive industry, in mechanical engineering or in the packaging industry. The robot consists of six joints that are connected to each other and can move. This allows the robot to grasp and move objects.

For this purpose, the jointed-arm robot has a large number of sensors that help it to recognize the environment and place the gripping object precisely. These sensors include light and distance sensors as well as cameras for visual positioning. The robot is controlled by a computer with special software that controls the motion sequence.

Articulated robots offer many advantages over traditional palletizing robots: they are more powerful, efficient and flexible than conventional systems; they require less space; they can also work in confined spaces; their programmability makes it easy to integrate new use cases; and finally, it is possible to run several work cycles simultaneously.

  • Portal palletizer

The so-called gantry palletizers, which are based on three axes, classically mean palletizing robots with pick-and-place tasks. Due to the small footprint and direct control of the packaged goods, these designs are relatively efficient.

The gantry palletizer is usually equipped with a gripper arm that can pick up the packaged goods and transport them to the desired position. The gripper arm is controlled by an X-axis that extends the length of the robot. The Y-axis moves the gripper arm along the width of the robot, while the Z-axis moves the gripper arm in height. With these three axes, the robot can work both vertically and horizontally, making various workflows more efficient.

Another advantage of the gantry palletizer is its flexibility: it can be easily programmed for different applications by simply adding new software or adapting existing programs. This makes it possible to use the robot as needed, saving time and money.


Logistik Lexikon

Image: Willyam Bradberry / Shutterstock

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