Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Palletizing system increases throughput, cuts labor costs

Graphic Packaging International installs a complete palletizing solution to meet throughput goals and reassign workers to more skilled positions.
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
July 01, 2012

Graphic Packaging International (GPI) is a leading provider of paperboard packaging solutions, including folding cartons and specialty bag packaging.  Headquartered in Marietta, Ga., GPI serves customers in 10 countries with manufacturing in 22 cities and consumer packaging facilities in 43 locations.

A recent expansion and a labor-intensive process at GPI’s Fort Smith, Ark., facility resulted in decreased production and increased ergonomic issues.  Five lines were being manually palletized, which was physically challenging for workers who were falling short of throughput requirements. 

So, GPI looked for a solution to optimize the workforce and relocate people from manual palletizing to other skilled positions. After working with a supplier (Bastian Solutions, bastiansolutions.com) that analyzed the manual process, GPI installed a complete palletizing solution from in-feed conveyor to stretchwrappers. The final system includes low pressure in-feed conveyor, 90-degree rotation conveyors, row-forming conveyors, pallet conveyor, layer building table, shuttle car system, palletizers, a gantry system with a specially designed end-of-arm tooling, stretchwrapper and control system.

This approach provided the mechanics to support product from the bottom, while offering the versatility of multiple palletizing patterns. The end design resulted in a traditional palletizing system handling eight cases per minute in 50 unique stacking patterns.

“This solution is user friendly and easily set up by the operators,” says Gregg Ruple, GPI project engineer.  “Adjustments to each pattern are stored in the system so that those adjustments are automatically made the next time the pattern is selected and run.”

According to Ruple, “The palletizer system has allowed us to reduce manual palletizing by 50%, run more of our finishing equipment without adding any additional headcount and allowed workers to take on other positions in the facility.”

About the Author

image
Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

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!

Recent Entries

Your ProMat 2015 registration not only gives you access to the 325,000 square feet of exhibits, educational sessions and keynotes in McCormick Place South, it also grants you access to Automate 2015 located directly across the Grand Concourse hallway in McCormick Place North.

With the continual expansion of the global economy—and the supply chain reach required to support it—ProMat 2015 expects more than 2,800 attendees from nearly 100 countries.

At ProMat 2015, MHI’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) will host a Meet and Greet networking reception.

Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (CPULD) at Virginia Tech University to discuss advantages and disadvantages of all types of pallets.

The first regional Pack Expo show in the Northeastern U.S. exceeds expectations with 6,500 attendees and nearly 400 exhibitors.



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