Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Casebook 2011: For Georgia-Pacific, a small footprint was a big step forward

A fresh approach to palletizing for a high-SKU, low-rate manufacturer improves safety and workflow.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
January 06, 2011

For Georgia-Pacific, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tissue, packaging and building products, it was time to find a new automation solution for its Brampton,  Ontario, facility. By partnering with a robotics provider (RMT Robotics, 905-643-9700, http://www.rmtrobotics.com), plant engineer Rafael Indacochea applied an innovative robotic palletizer that was safe, affordable and suited to his company’s ever-expanding product mix.

The palletizer reduces labor, increases safety, and lowers the likelihood of workplace injuries. In addition, the new system has the versatility to build multi-SKU pallet loads, one case, row or partial layer at a time, as well as require a temporary buffer to store product that arrived in cases of all shapes and sizes.

The hybrid system is a robotic palletizer in gantry form. The robotic palletizing matrix allows the gantry’s tight work envelope to become a temporary storage and retrieval system for products to be eventually palletized for warehousing. A single-load build position is all that is necessary for a multi-SKU array.

“We expected some challenges since we were first in the market using this approach,” says Indacochea. “Now we have other plants that are looking at our system. We know it will mean savings in labor, and it’s definitely paying off from a safety standpoint.”

The matrix offered Georgia-Pacific an economical alternative to conventional palletizers by eliminating the need for load handling equipment and personnel. Its compact design was also a big space saver, offering a small footprint.

The robotic picking automation is capable and resilient, able to build multiple mixed pallets simultaneously without the high leakage rate of earlier vacuum tooling.

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


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!

Recent Entries

Transportation & Logistics companies are winning customers and improving profitability by taking a fresh look at their operations. Don't miss this brand new ebook from Barcoding, Inc. and Honeywell, "Automating Transportation and Logistics: How automation and assessment programs are helping T&L companies cut costs, increase cash, and improve customer experience."

After 53 years in Jonesboro, Ark., the company will add new manufacturing capabilities and 75 permanent jobs.

Loscam, Asia Pacific’s leading pallet pooling service provider, recently opened a new depot in Kota Kinabalu, capital city of the state of Sabah Malaysia, further extending its services to East Malaysia.

The PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth inched up 0.7 percent to 53.5 over May’s 52.8 (a PMI of 50 or greater represents growth). This reading marks sequential growth for the third month in a row.

More than 30 leading suppliers of reusable products and services will be available in the Reusable Packaging Pavilion. The exhibitors include manufacturers, material suppliers, providers of washing and other specialty equipment, and service providers of reusable packaging systems and solutions.



© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA