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 ·

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

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!

Latest Whitepaper
Sorting Out Your Sortation Options
Guiding you through the process of evaluating and selecting the right “mission-critical” sortation solution
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
How does a fastgrowing, e-commerce startup company build out order fulfillment capabilities? Thrive Market answered that question with its new facility in Indiana.
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
Putaway 101: Everything in its Place
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
ProMat closes: Make your plans for Modex 2018
With a record number of exhibitors and attendees seen at ProMat 2017, MHI anticipates more of the...
Keynote: Magic is the result of over-preparation and over-delivering to customers
During his keynote presentation Wednesday afternoon, Earvin “Magic” Johnson told a packed...

Keynote panel confirms digital supply chain shift seen in new MHI study
Wednesday’s keynote panelists agreed it is time to embrace the shift to digital supply chains seen...
MHI to honor original products, solutions with 5th-annual Innovation Awards
On Wednesday, during MHI Industry Night with Dana Carvey, the winners of the 5th-annual MHI...