Packaging: Focus on palletizer products
November 02, 2010 - MMH Editorial
Floor-level palletizer with extended accumulation table
Combining the economy and accessibility of a floor-level palletizer with speeds associated with high-level machines, the 72AE palletizer incorporates an extended accumulation table that allows continuous layer forming during transfer and stacking. This feature increases the volume to more than 35 units per minute. It also includes energy-efficient electric motors, quiet operation and pre-programmable layer patterns and pallet configurations for easy startup and control. The unit can palletize cases, trays, bags or totes. Automatic changeover is directed by the operator touch-screen panel. For flexibility, intelligent control accepts new or modified pallet, layer and product configurations from authorized personnel, with all operating parameters independently adjustable. A-B-C Packaging Machine, 800-237-5975, http://www.abcpackaging.com.
The electric workstation lift for palletizing offers quiet, energy-efficient operation. The area beneath is large and open for easy straddle stacker access to the platform. For easy maintenance, standard 115-volt power units are rear mounted for access when the lift is in the down position. The lifts are offered as an alternative to pneumatic and hydraulic powered solutions for applications where air is not easily available and hydraulic fluids cannot be tolerated. Advance Lifts, 800-843-3625, http://www.advancelifts.com.
Robot works in tight spaces, delivers 20 cycles per minute
Delivering speeds up to 20 cycles per minute, the EC-171 high-speed robotic palletizer is equipped with a built-in collision detection system. Incorporating a large working envelope with small rotation radius and energy efficiency, the robot works in tight space constrictions at a high rate of throughput. A 10.5-inch color touch-screen is included for human interface control (no laptop required). The system offers onboard diagnostics, advanced programming platform, and up to 400 different pre-programmed recipes. American-Newlong, 317-787-9421, http://www.american-newlong.com.
Modular, low-level in-feed case palletizing
Compact, low-level in-feed case palletizers offer modular construction and provide total automatic operation at speeds up to 280 layers per hour. To save power, an auto-shut down feature is included. Ideal for limited space applications, the in-feed and pallet handling systems have been separated from the main frame. All electro-pneumatic operation eliminates container contamination for sanitary use. Features include a heavy-duty, open frame, triple strand drag chain discharge conveyor, case pusher bar with equally distributed pressure, and PLC-controlled case orientation. For simple operator interaction, touch-screen technology gives access to system parameters. Bastian Material Handling, 314-432-2224, http://www.bastiansolutions.com/automation/palletizing/case_palletizers.asp.
Accurate, gentle stacking of heavy bags
The Paletpac 5000 high-capacity bag palletizer and stretch hood film packaging system gently stacks and secures bagged, bulk materials on pallets. The machine stacks 5,000 bulk material bags per hour. It uses a bag flow distribution process that ensures low handling speeds and gentle handling on belt conveyors to reduce dust and prevent bag deformation. To accommodate different stacking heights, the stretch hood unit can be adjusted and includes an ultrasonic sensor to determine the film length required. A formed hood is pulled over the complete pallet stack and is stretched to the bottom edge of the pallet to secure the stack. The Beumer Group, 732-560-8222, http://www.beumer.com.
Safety, performance features included standard
New safety and performance features have been added standard to the supplier’s line of palletizers. These include category 3 electrical circuits with dual-circuit safety interlocked door switches and light curtains at discharge. To protect personnel from moving parts, upper level guarding and a perimeter hand railing has been added to high-level palletizers. Case entry guarding on both high-level and floor-level palletizers is configured as a moveable tunnel or an access door. For simple addition or modification of patterns, an easy-to-operate controls package provides for adjustment of PLC timers and variable frequency drive speeds, plus generates production reports with enhanced alarm and troubleshooting support. Columbia Machine, 800-628-4065, http://www.palletizing.com.
Kawasaki robotic palletizers offered in North America
Kawasaki robotic palletizers—which can palletize at rates up to 30 bags or cases per minute (1,800 cycles per hour)—are now offered by a designated North American system integrator. A direct coupled gearbox with AC servo motors directs the robot with absolute pulse encoders on all axes. To program a layer or pallet pattern, operators use a hand-held pendant with 6.4-inch liquid crystal color display and menu-driven interface. Features include Ethernet and RS232 ports and a collision detection system. Conveying Industries, 303-373-2035, http://www.conveyingindustries.com.
Modular, low-level palletizer handles multiple pack patterns, pallet types
Capable of accommodating multiple pack patterns, plant layouts and pallet types, the heavy-duty, medium speed LLP low-level, in-feed palletizer handles more than 20 cases per minute. Offered in either right- or left-hand parallel infeed configurations, the modular unit can interface with side load or end load pallet dispensers. A user-friendly human-machine-interface allows programming of additional pack patterns without field service. For safety, a framed guard door package, safety circuits and muting light curtains are included. Currie by Brenton, 800-535-2730, http://www.brentonengineering.com.
Robotic arm retrofit creates hybrid palletizer
Alvey robotic arm retrofits for existing in-line case palletizers create a hybrid palletizer that combines flexibility and repeatability with the speed and reliability of conventional layer deposition. The solution yields gentler positioning and rotation of product, automatic line changeovers, pattern changing flexibility, and extended life at a lower cost than a new installation. Completed on-site, the retrofit removes the slat divider and existing case turners and replaces them with one or more robotic arms for pattern forming. Also included are end-of-arm tooling, operator interface terminal screens, in-feed conveyor and PLC programming. With quick product reconfiguration and instant line changeovers, systems achieve packaging rates of more than 100 cases per minute. Intelligrated, 513-881-5239, http://www.intelligrated.com.
Software generates robotic palletizing patterns
Robotic palletizing systems—including multi-lane palletizers, layer palletizers, lean palletizers, bag palletizers and vacuum palletizer grippers for hard to handle products—use the ABB Pickmaster 5 software for a standard, but flexible, palletizing solution. The software allows the creation or modification of case sizes and pallet patterns. To enable palletizing of multiple products within a single cell, configurations range from one to five in-feeds and out-feeds. Options include complete end-of-line automation with conveyors, automated guided vehicles and stretch wrapping. QComp Technologies, 920-757-0775, http://www.qcomptech.com
System palletizes directly to two stretch wrappers
The stack and wrap palletizing/stretch wrapping cell combines two or more lines into a centralized, automated palletizing stretch wrapping station. The integrated equipment builds the unit load on the stretch wrapper for more efficient handling of lightweight, unstable loads in less floor space. Incorporated are a robotic arm, two stretch wrappers, automatic pallet dispenser, and conveyor system to deliver empty pallets to each stretch wrapper. Once a predetermined number of cases are loaded onto the first pallet, the first wrapper applies film to stabilize the load layers, while the robotic arm builds a load on the second stretch wrapper. The alternating process repeats until the load is complete and product is discharged to a conveyor transfer system. The system can handle two different products simultaneously for high throughput. Schneider Packaging Equipment, 315-676-3035, http://www.schneiderequip.com and Lantech, 800-866-0322, http://www.lantech.com.
Palletizer delivers product changeover in less than 60 seconds
The master 3500 high-level palletizer features a servo-controlled layer pusher and pallet lift motors, advanced machine diagnostics, and a totally integrated Allen-Bradley control architecture. The machine is economical and reliable, and it also includes enhanced ergonomics for ease of use. Recipe-driven product changeover can be accomplished in less than 1 minute. Thiele Technologies, 612-782-1200, http://www.thieletech.com.
Hybrid robot palletizer for bags, cases and trays
RoboTier palletizers integrate a Fanuc M-710 robot for pick and place operations onto a standard layer-conditioning apron. The unit supports product from the bottom, allowing high-speed robot motion and handling security. Loose spread placement on the apron increases robot speed and accommodates greater product variability. Once a layer is completed, four-sided clamps center the layer on the pallet, preparing the load for optional concurrent stretch wrapping. For easy creation of new patterns without PLC or robot programming, load building software is included and accessed with a touch-screen control. TopTier, 503-353-7388, http://www.toptier.com.
Palletize 108 cases onto two full pallets per minute
Constructed entirely of stainless steel, the case palletizing system handles plastic and wood pallets. The system palletizes two pallets per minute, each holding nine stacks of cases stacked six high, or 54 cases per pallet. Ideal for wash-down use, the system includes an electric-powered pallet dispenser and an empty pallet pusher that transfers pallets into the stack loading zone under the transfer plate. The hydraulic palletizing unit features an in-feed conveyor with stack stop pan style drive, in-feed stack transfer pusher with load zone transfer plate, and full pallet loading. The system is protected by a safety fence with light curtains. Westfalia Deam Systems, 800-673-2522, http://www.westfaliausa.com.