Articulated arm robotic palletizer picks up 220 pounds at one time

In its new DC, Dunn-Edwards uses a specially designed robotic system to handle today’s palletizing needs and accommodate future company growth.

By ·

Dunn-Edwards is a leading manufacturer and supplier of paints and supplies serving professionals and consumers throughout the southwest, and sells most of its paint through its own 109 store network.

In 2010, Dunn-Edwards consolidated all manufacturing and distribution operations into a new, fully automated facility in Phoenix, Ariz. An integral part of the automation portfolio is a high-performing robotic palletizing system that handles 5-gallon buckets of paint. In designing the system, the requirement was to palletize the buckets, 36 buckets to each pallet, at a rate up to 48 buckets per minute, building two pallets every 90 seconds.

While the equation seems daunting, throughput numbers are met using the new palletizing system that includes a single articulated arm robot (ABB, abb.com/robotics) and a vacuum gripper that can pick up four of the 55-pound buckets at a time.

Because the system is able to achieve such high speeds, Dunn-Edwards is able to serve two incoming conveyors and build two pallets at a time. The robot sits between the two conveyors and picks buckets from the left conveyor and puts them on a left pallet or from the right conveyor for placement on the right. And, if needed, the buckets from line A can be placed on pallet B, or from B to A.

While the vacuum gripper is strong enough to pick up the buckets, it’s sensitive enough not to remove the tint plugs that are attached to the top of each pail.
But the biggest consideration was the cycle time, says Clay Fenstermaker, director of engineering at Dunn-Edwards. “We first considered an overheard gantry robot system, but [our supplier] came up with a simulation that showed that the fixed-position robot could deliver the rate we needed.”


About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

ABB Robotics · Ergonomics · July 2012 · Packaging · Robotics · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Evaluating Goods-to-Person Technologies
This white paper overviews the various, self-contained, goods-to-person AS/RS systems available for handling the totes, cases and eaches most frequently faced by e-commerce order fulfillment operations, and the typical applications for each.
Download Today!
From the May 2017 MMH Issue
Every company considers itself an innovator. It’s time to include materials handling leaders in that category.
Top 20 Worldwide Materials Handling Systems Suppliers 2017
ERP Suppliers’ Changing Role
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Materials Handling Innovation (and why it matters)
Every company considers itself an innovator. It’s time to include materials handling leaders in...
Thrive Market’s Startup Distribution Network
How does a fastgrowing, e-commerce startup company build out order fulfillment capabilities? Thrive...

U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics: Version 2.0 released today
On Tuesday, the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics: Version 2.0 will be released on...
2017 Productivity Achievement Awards
Modern’s annual Productivity Achievement Awards honor companies that have made exceptional...