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
Capturing Labor, Space, and Accuracy Returns with AS/RS
Find out how the demand of e-commerce and digital age expectations are driving the need to automate material handling with AS/RS solutions to improve labor productivity, save space, and reduce costs associated with inaccurate picks
Download Today!
From the November 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for the fourth time in 20 years and shorten order delivery time from 10 days to three.
10th Annual Salary Survey: The Price of Performance
Let’s put Automatic Data Capture (ADC) Technology to Work
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the DC Voice Market
A lot has changed in the last 10 years, especially in voice technology. This webinar will cover the state of the voice market, review two leading voice solutions and help you gain a better understanding of the options and capabilities available today.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for...
Rochester Drug Cooperative: Robots ready for work
It’s still early stages, but Rochester Drug Cooperative is proving that mobile robotic piece...

System Report: Pouch sorter powers Stage’s fulfillment needs
How a hometown department store chain transformed its e-fulfillment processes with pouch sortation...
Cubing and Weighing Equipment: Measure Up
The use of cubing and weighing equipment is growing beyond dimensional weight applications.