Palletizing robots

What is a palletizing robot?

Palletizing is an important process within warehouse management, and a basic distinction is made between a semi-automated and 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 are the classic aid in this segment alongside layer palletizers.

Design 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 sacks, for example. Basically, the entire transport system is planned and designed in such a way that the palletizing robot forms the center of the system. A palletizing robot has a different number of gripping tools that are designed according to the requirements in order to be able to handle workpiece carriers or pallets. A distinction is typically 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 illness and therefore make a significant contribution 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 laborious and sluggish tasks.
  4. Flexibility: Palletizing robots can be easily programmed and adapted to meet changing needs.
  5. Scalability: Palletizing robots are easy to integrate into more complex and simpler structures, depending on the company's requirements.

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

What types of palletizing robots are there?

  • Layer palletizing robot

A so-called layer palletizing robot is one of the palletizing robots with the highest performance indicators; 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 that is used to palletize goods quickly and efficiently. It enables the user to stack loads on pallets without manual intervention. This type of automation saves the user time and money 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 goods. The chassis enables the robot to move to the various stacking locations. The control unit controls all of the robot's functions 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 with simultaneous cost savings.

  • Linear robot

A so-called linear robot gives the palletizing robot the additional function of being able to sort packages as well as palletize them. Based on one or more axes of rotation 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 sequence and position. This is particularly 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 right place.

Another advantage of the linear robot is its flexibility. As it has several axes, it can be used for different tasks. It can work both horizontally and vertically, allowing it to reach areas that are difficult to access. This results in greater 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 money when implementing logistics processes.

  • Articulated robots

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

The articulated 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 enables the robot to grip and move objects.

The articulated robot has a large number of sensors that help it to recognize its surroundings and position the gripped 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 movement sequence.

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

  • Portal palletizer

The so-called portal palletizer, which is based on three axes, classically refers to 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 along 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 work processes more efficient.

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


Logistik Lexikon

Image: Willyam Bradberry / Shutterstock

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