Robotic Palletising

We design robotic palletizing cells to achieve exceptional performance from palletizing robots. Our robotic palletisers meet UK standards.

Looking for Palletizing Robots to Speed Up Your Process?

PPhoenix offers customised robot systems for your unique needs. From a single palletising cell to a multi-line system. Our robotic solutions include pallet grippers, safety equipment, and I/O on the control panel. We understand that every business has unique needs, and that’s why we provide custom solutions.

We also work with reputable palletising system suppliers for more efficiency on conveyors. However, if you are not sure how much a palletising robotic cell costs, please click on our Robotic Calculator to have an idea of the costs.

FAQs on Technical Palletising Robots

These FAQs provide a comprehensive overview of the technical aspects, benefits, and considerations involved in using robotic palletising systems in various industries.

A robotic palletizer is an automated system that uses robotic arms to stack and arrange products onto pallets for storage and transportation.

Robotic palletisers use programmed instructions, sensors, and end-of-arm tooling to pick products from a conveyor or other source and place them accurately on a pallet according to a specified pattern.

Main components of Robotic Palletising

Key components include the robotic arm, end-of-arm tooling (such as grippers or suction cups), sensors, control systems, and programming software.

Common grippers include vacuum grippers, mechanical grippers, and magnetic grippers, selected based on the products being handled.

Payload capacities can range from 10 kg to over 500 kg, depending on the robot model and application.

Robot Palletiser typical cycle time

The cycle time can vary but generally ranges from 5 to 15 seconds per cycle, depending on the task complexity and product characteristics.

Installation times can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the system’s complexity and site readiness.

Yes, they can be integrated with existing conveyor systems, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and other automation equipment for seamless operation.

Software for robotic palletising

Robotic palletizers use specialized software provided by the robot manufacturer, which often includes user-friendly interfaces for programming and customization.

Robotic palletisers are highly reliable, with mean time between failures (MTBF) often exceeding thousands of hours, depending on the operating conditions and maintenance practices.

Payload capacities can range from 10 kg to over 500 kg, depending on the robot model and application.

Maintenance of Palletiser Robots

Regular maintenance includes checking and replacing wear parts, updating software, lubricating moving parts, and performing calibration checks.

Regular maintenance, proper training for operators, and using high-quality components and software updates are essential for optimal performance.

Yes, modern robotic palletisers can be reprogrammed and equipped with various grippers to handle a wide range of product sizes and shapes.

Reprogramming a robotic palletizer is relatively straightforward with the right software, allowing quick adaptation to new products or pallet patterns.

Robotic Palletising Cost

The cost varies widely based on the robot’s capabilities and additional features, typically ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 or more.

ROI depends on factors like labour cost savings and increased productivity, with many businesses seeing payback within 1 to 3 years.

Yes, they are designed with multiple safety features such as sensors, emergency stop buttons, and safety cages to ensure safe operation around humans.

Standards Robot Palletising

Most robotic palletisers comply with industry safety and operational standards, such as those set by ISO and ANSI.

Future trends include increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for smarter operation, the development of collaborative robots (cobots), and advancements in gripper technology.

Top advantages of Palletising Robots

Palletising robots offer a range of advantages in various industrial and manufacturing settings. By leveraging these advantages, businesses can enhance their operational efficiency, reduce costs, improve safety, and maintain high-quality standards in their palletizing processes.Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Increased Efficiency and Productivity: Robots work continuously without breaks, significantly boosting throughput and production rates.

  • Consistency and Precision: Robots ensure precise and consistent product placement, maintaining high-quality palletizing standards.

  • Cost Savings: Robots reduce labor costs and enhance efficiency, leading to overall cost savings.

  • Improved Safety: Robots handle heavy lifting and operate safely in hazardous environments, reducing injury risks for human workers.

  • Flexibility: Robots are reprogrammable to handle different pallet patterns, products, and configurations, and seamlessly integrate with other automated systems.

Robotic palletising
Standard six axis robot

Main Elements of the Palletising Robot Cell

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Types of Robots for Palletising

There are two different types of robots most often employed for palletising cells:  (1) the standard robot and (2) the dedicated four-axis robot for palletising operations.  Having talked about the advantages and different robot types let’s have a look at the main elements that make up the majority of robotic palletising cells.

First, we have the robot itself. Considerations here are for payload, envelope, and cycle time. In terms of the payload, this will be the maximum weight that the robot can handle.

The total payload will be the weight of the product plus the weight of the gripper. The robot payload will need to be greater than the combined weight of the product and gripper. Also, it will need to be borne in mind that if the centre of gravity is offset from the centre of the mounting flange this will reduce the payload capacity of the robot.

palletising system

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Dedicated four axis palletising robot

In the case of the dedicated palletising robot there are only four axes as opposed to six. This means that the tooling is limited in orientation to rotation solely around the vertical axis of the gripper.

However, the majority of palletising operations do not require any tilting of the product.  It means that the advantage in using a dedicated palletising robot will be that the robot speed will generally be quicker and hence a reduced cycle time.

Palletising system
Dedicated four axis palletising robot
Control Panel Phoenix

Robot Control Panel

To control the complete cell a safety panel with cell control pushbuttons will be installed which is electrically connected to the robot controller. This panel will include the safety relays for the two safety circuits for the robot and any ancillary equipment.

One circuit will be for the Estops, these will stop the robot in all modes. The second circuit will be for the cell access and this will stop the robot and spindle whenever the robot is running in Auto mode.

Palletising Cell Design

The robot cell will also need some form of guarding which will form an enclosure to make sure that nobody is present whilst the robot is working in automatic.

The usual layout for a palletising cell is to have two pallet locations with the robot in the middle of the two. The robot will palletise to one side and once completed will move over to palletise the second side. Whilst the robot is working on the second pallet the first pallet is removed and replaced with a new empty pallet.

Each of the pallet stations will have two sets of light curtains to protect the operator. The front light curtain will be active and the robot sidelight curtain muted whilst the robot is working on that station.

If the operator were to try and enter the cell the active light curtain will stop the robot.  In the case of a completed pallet, the operator will select to enter the station and this will activate the light curtain on the robot side.

It mutes the light curtain at the entrance to the station allowing the operator to enter without interrupting the sequence.  Even so, if for any reason the robot tries to enter the station during this time the active light curtain will detect the intrusion and stop the robot.

robotic cell
KUKA Robots

Palletising Robot Gripper

Fitted to the robot will be some form of gripper for picking up the product. There are different types of grippers depending on the product and the required stacking pattern.

In the case of a pneumatic finger type gripper, this will open around the product and have fingers that close to clamp the product to stop it from moving during the movement of the robot.  However, when using this type of gripper you must consider the stack pattern.  Why? Because at the moment of placing the product the gripper will open and push any product that is already palletised.

Usually, when using this type of gripper the product is released above its position in order that the gripper has room to open.

Vacuum System for Palletising

ABB PALLETISER

An alternative solution is to use a vacuum system rather than fingers for picking up the product. In this case, the product is held in place by an array of suckers which usually grip the product from its upper surface.

This system has the advantage that tight stacking patterns can be produced allowing the products to be placed up against products already on the pallet.

Conveyor System for Palletising

factory robots

The product will normally be delivered to one or more pickup points usually in the form of a conveyor.

Therefore, the robot requires a separate PLC to manage the conveyor.  This PLC will be part of the machine that is manufacturing or bagging the product.

The interface between the robot and the conveyor is simply the detection of the absence of the pick point being vacant with a combination of the robot clear signal and product present detection.

Robotic palletising cell design

Phoenix provides a complete turnkey solution for palletising robot cells. We work together with all robot manufacturers such as KUKA, ABB, AND FANUC just to mention a few.

TOP MANUFACTURING ROBOT APPLICATIONS

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Milling cell brings a high level of flexibility and accuracy because industrial robots can produce high-quality, complex and exceptional geometric parts.

Robotic welding systems help companies gain a competitive advantage over those companies that have not made the transition to welding automation.

Industrial robots are very useful in automated assembly line operations, improving process efficiency at low operational costs and savings costs.

Palletising robots build up layers of products for shipment usually onto pallets. When the pallet is full the operator will remove the completed pallet.

Robotic cutting and trimming robot application is the process to remove any material to follow a predetermined path.

Turnkey Industrial Robot Solutions

Phoenix integrates and installs complete robotic milling solutions from initial design and consultation to manufacture. Also, we offer robot trainingrobot programmingrobot simulation, commissioning, and technical support. Whether you decide to configure your complete milling robot cell, around a new robot or reconditioned robot.