Palletizer machines and equipment have been supporting better product handling for years. In the secondary packaging industry, automatic palletizers provide a faster, safer, and more reliable way to create and ship secure product pallets.
However, the industry is always changing, and palletizing equipment must find ways to keep up. Programming innovations, modular designs, and other changes help packaging facilities continue to make the most of their palletizing equipment. Learn more about the ways palletizers are changing to improve product handling with this overview.
Automation Alone Isn’t Enough
Positive product handling is the key to moving safe, secure product loads through your supply chain. Automation is an invaluable part of establishing a palletizing process that ensures positive product handling. The precision of automatic palletizing equipment confirms proper construction for every single product load. Moreover, automatic palletizers construct these precise loads with better speed and safety than a manual palletizing process could achieve.
Automatic palletizers have improved the palletizing process for countless secondary packaging facilities. However, there are still challenges in the industry that must be addressed. Palletizers—along with other forms of secondary packaging equipment—must continuously evolve to keep up with supply chain complications, fluctuations in the job market, industry changes, and other challenges that arise over time.
How can facilities continue to improve their palletizing processes without sacrificing the speed, safety, and other benefits of their current setup? The answer lies in modular designs that offer complete layout flexibility without the need for customization. With a flexible design that supports your specific processes, you can implement an automatic palletizing system that scales with your business and continues to be as efficient and productive as possible. Modular design is one of the primary ways palletizers are changing to improve product handling and overall productivity in the supply chain.
A Breakdown of Palletizer Systems
Modular design revolves around quality control and layout flexibility. By working with common components, facilities can implement a palletizing system that serves their unique product handling needs. Better flexibility and control save facilities money without sacrificing power or efficiency.
To understand modular design, you must understand the different components that make up palletizer systems. Palletizers use multiple stages—such as induction, row forming, and concurrent stretch wrapping—to create a secure product pallet. Each of these steps works together to eliminate stacking errors, empower fast production, and create a precise, reliable palletizing process. By understanding the different standard and optional components of palletizer systems, you can carry out a solution that implements seamlessly into your facility’s current palletizing process.
A controlled infeed system is crucial for introducing products into the palletizer. The induction system is responsible for lining products up and spacing them out before delivering them to the row building stage. By properly aligning products, the induction system helps minimize stacking errors to create a more secure pallet.
The induction system also measures product lengths to ensure proper orientation for the pallet. When a product doesn’t match the correct dimensions—or other abnormalities occur—the induction system can either reject the product causing the issue or raise the alarm for an operator to intervene.
Row building is a key part of successful palletizing. Even small flaws in a single row can compromise the stability of an entire pallet. Automatic palletizers use advanced row building technology to minimize these errors and create a safe, stable pallet. With electronic gapping and exact entrance placement, palletizer machines can build precise pallet rows while keeping products safe from collisions, drops, and other damage.
After row building comes row forming. This process involves precisely depositing rows into proper product layers. Row forming centers the layer on the pallet automatically for an accurate and stable layer.
Like with row building, row forming requires complete precision and consistency to make a secure pallet load. If there is a mistake with a layer, the palletizer will sound an alarm before depositing that layer. This helps prevent product damage and ensures all pallets are safe and stable when they leave the palletizer.
Modular design also leaves room for optional equipment and stages. Extra steps, such as sheet handling, help you better customize your palletizing process to serve your secondary packaging needs. Sheet handling is a step that deposits pallet liners, slip sheets, tie sheets, top sheets, or other similar sheets into a pallet as needed.
This optional stage can also insert a freezer separator sheet for better airflow or an empty pallet for a double-stacked load. Sheet handling equipment gives you more control over your product handling so you can create the exact pallet design your facility needs.
Concurrent Stretch Wrapping
Concurrent stretch wrapping enables you to wrap the pallet as it’s being built rather than after its construction. By wrapping each layer as the palletizer stacks them, the stretch wrapper can create a more precise and secure wrap.
Moreover, concurrent stretch wrapping offers multiple stretch wrap options for a secure configuration that suits specific product types and pallet dimensions. Options like film overlap, bottom wraps, over the top wraps, and more help create a precise and consistent wrap that keeps products secure and on the pallet.
Hybrid Robot Capabilities
The hybrid robot option combines the benefits of robotic palletizing with the benefits of your modular design conventional palletizer. The hybrid robot provides high-performance layer-building capabilities without the hassle of robot programming. Superior end-of-arm tooling supports products from the bottom, creating more secure product handling while enabling faster motion.
Modular Design Delivers Much-Needed Flexibility
Flexibility is a major challenge for secondary packaging facilities. Businesses must be able to navigate issues like sustainability, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages without sacrificing productivity or the level of quality in their product handling.
Taking advantage of modular design in your facility allows you to implement an optimal palletizer for your needs. By using the components you need for your products and workflow, you can save money while improving efficiency and setting your facility up with scalable equipment that will grow with your business.
If it’s time to improve the palletizing process in your facility, you need a palletizing equipment manufacturer you can trust. Contact the team at Robopac USA to learn more about our palletizing equipment and implement an optimized solution for your facility.