Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Packaging: Robotic palletizers paint a picture of efficiency

Customized solutions address unique challenges while improving worker safety.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 20, 2011

Kelly-Moore Paints, the fifth-largest paint company in the United States, identified two important challenges at one of its manufacturing facilities: production flow inefficiencies and hand palletizing products that weigh up to 70 pounds. In an effort to improve employee safety and ergonomics, the company set out to automate its end-of-line process with robotic palletizers.

“We needed a partner that could work with us to engineer a solution that met our needs in a scalable way,” says Keith Hussinger, plant manager for Kelly-Moore Paints. “What the provider offered was exactly what we wanted: a complete, turnkey installation with an experienced team to support it.”

Two robotic arms meet the required palletizing rates while working within the limited space available at the facility. The 5-gallon pails posed a unique engineering challenge. A 2-inch diameter tinting port on each lid could not withstand a vacuum effector, so the provider custom-engineered end-of-arm tooling that prevented the flow of air from pulling out this port.

In addition, unwrapped trays of paint cans demand a tool that can pick up quart and gallon paint can patterns as well as loose cardboard trays. The provider designed an additional end-of-arm tool with a vacuum specifically for the cardboard tray.

The final design lifts the cans and secures the tray as product is moved to the pallet.

The system was installed and delivered on time and on budget during the off-peak season in 2009. Over the next year, the facility eliminated breaks required for heavy lifting with the old manual palletizing process, and increased worker comfort while decreasing lost-time accidents.

“In only one year, we have had a 76% ROI in our labor time,” says Hussinger. “Line changeovers take only 9 minutes, representing an 80% reduction in line changeover time. The transformation has been incredible.”

Intelligrated
866-936-7300
http://www.intelligrated.com

More Packaging Coverage

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook

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

MHEM forecasts 9% growth for 2015 and 7% growth in 2016.

Event marks the 70th anniversary of industry association and event organizer MHI.

Large consumer packaged goods customer approves 24-volt packs for use in Class III pallet jacks.

2015 programs established for five committees: Education, Marketing and Communications, Membership, Industry Affairs and Standards, and End User Advisory Committee.

With lower energy prices sparking domestic economic gains, coupled with solid manufacturing and industrial production activity, improving jobs numbers, and a GDP number that shows progress, there is much to be enthused about when it comes to the economy . But that enthusiasm needs to be tempered, because big headline themes seldom tell the full story.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA