A majority of the modern-day manufacturing processes are being transformed from isolated and separate areas of automation to more connected equipment. They encompass cloud-based data storage and analytics to deliver powerful business insights. A number of end line palletizing equipment are used in a variety of manufacturing applications to increase productivity demands and meet diverse packaging requirements.
Palletizing and de-palletizing equipment that is been used in modern-day manufacturing processes are flexible, robust and adaptable. Palletizer is one such palletizing equipment that has made a number of recent advances in connected technologies. It facilitates the transition in manufacturing units and alters the present prevalence of cloud solutions to the industrial internet of things. It helps in the transition to wireless speed improvements and machine-level sensors as well. Palletizing equipment is recently being equipped with a number of advanced diagnostics solutions and predictive failure capabilities so as to improve the throughput rates in the manufacturing process and the uptime in critical operations in unit production.
What are palletizers?
These are the process of putting high volume items into a pellet for the convenient shipping process. The process originally involved manual labor who are been used for putting boxes and heavy bags into pallets before loading them into trucks. The process has witnessed tremendous change with the invest of sophisticated systems such as the Alvey Palletizers. The machine helps in forming neat rows of the products on the pallet. They also help in more efficient logistics and lower risks of transportation for the company.
They are undoubtedly the most critical part of the manufacturing process and if anything goes wrong in them, the entire production gets affected. With the help of these palletizing machines, it is possible to keep the end of line packaging, distribution, and other operations at a speed that is desired by the industry. It is ideal for food, beverage, and consumer packed goods and omnichannel retailers to get the flexibility and dependability that is desired to keep up the efficiency of the production process round the clock.
Top ways to use sensors for palletizing and depalletizing
Optimizing the efforts of palletizing and de-palletizing demands careful planning and also some skills. Boxes of different shapes and sizes get stacked on top of one another which demands the creation of an ideal layout. Pallets are used in the majority of supply chain operations so as to efficiently move multiple goods from one location to another. Some manufacturers make use of manual palletization whereas others use automatic and robotic methods. Regardless of one’s palletizing strategy, the ultimate goal of any supply chain operation is to ship the majority of products as possible. This can be accomplished by making use of the space on each of the individual pallets.
To make this a reality the palletizer is fixed with a camera to offer a snapshot of the pallet that the operator will see. It will give them clear pictures of misaligned objects, incomplete layers and validate the pallet for its accuracy in packing and location. With the help of visionary sensors, it is possible to optimize the efforts on palletization in absolutely no time.
A. Palletization optimization through static 3D data:
As the camera is mounted over the pallet, the operator will get a bird’s eye view on the entire arrangement and locate any openings in the pallet. They will also be able to ascertain if the pallet is full and is ready to load the truck. The visionary sensors render the verification if the pallet has any unpacked space of not. The robot can then be instructed to note the exact location to place the box.
Previously the option for installing the camera was on the conveyor and the robot, which enhanced the chances of damage for the sensor. But more recently the cameras are installed directly above the pallet and it also stays stationary over there. It takes up less space and is configurable easily as well when it mounts above the pellet. As the user is receiving the static image of the pellet, there is no necessity to have additional sensors such as safety sensors or encoders to monitor the movement.
Based on the 3D snapshot the operator is able to direct the robot where to place the package exactly. After exactly knowing where the opening lines in the pallet, the user is able to make a more precise pick and place operations. This goes a great way in saving time and money and the robot scanning is no more required to locate an opening.
B. Load optimization:
Supply chain operations are those that look forward to pellets to get a number of manufactured goods out per day without incurring additional freight costs. The visionary sensors make the pelletizer smarter by making the maximum out of the existing pallet space. The pallets are able to get built and unpacked faster, resulting in reduced costs and enhanced throughputs.
Apart from fast loading and unloading of the pallets, it is also possible to check the availability of the pellet. The 3D camera is able to detect appropriately if there is no pallet available if the pallet is available and if it is empty or full and if there is more than one pallet stacked on top of one another. It is also able to check the orientation of the pallet. This ensures that the user spends less time on the floor having to verify these small details.
Thus the robotic in-line Alvey Palletizers render a high-speed solution for flexible and accurate in-line palletizing. It uses one or more of its robotic arms for the precise loading and makes use of repeated patterns for high speed and accurate layer deposit. It is ideal for both small units with smaller packaged and units that involve complex loading patterns. Depending on the product and the pattern of arrangement, they can load about 100 cases in a minute. The system is extremely easy to configure for any type of product. IT accommodates products that demand minimal secondary packaging without disturbing the integrity of the finished product.