Automatic palletizing: what it is and advantages

Feb 26, 2024

The implementation of automatic palletizing systems represents a significant innovation in the field of logistics and goods handling. This practice, which involves the automated arrangement of products on pallets, has revolutionized the way companies manage their operations and has become an indispensable component in the modern supply chain.

In this article, we will explore in detail what automatic palletizing is and what advantages it offers. Additionally, we will examine the types of automatic palletizers that exist and how they have transformed industrial processes compared to manual palletizing.

Carga paletizada automáticamente

What is automatic palletizing?

The process of automatic palletizing involves the use of robotic or Cartesian systems and advanced technology to efficiently organize, stack, and package products on pallets. These systems are designed to replace or complement traditional manual palletizing methods. Automating palletizing entails the use of industrial machinery programmed to perform specific palletizing tasks accurately and quickly.

The basic operation of an automatic palletizing system involves product identification, selection of pallet location, and manipulation to place them in an organized and secure manner. Advanced programming of these systems allows them to adapt to different sizes and shapes of products, enhancing the versatility and efficiency of the process.

The automation of palletizing systems has become a priority for many companies due to its evident benefits in terms of efficiency and accuracy, among others. Compared to manual palletizing, where speed and accuracy are often affected by human fatigue and the possibility of errors, our automated systems offer consistent and reliable execution, achieving 99% OEE.

These palletizing systems are capable of working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without the need for rest, resulting in a significant improvement in productivity. Furthermore, the millimetric precision with which these systems place products on pallets reduces the possibility of damage during the process and optimizes warehouse space.

How does an automatic palletizing system work?

1. Product Reception

The palletizing process begins with the entry of products into the automatic palletizing system, either through an automated production line or manual feeding.

2. Sorting and Orientation

During this phase, products are carefully sorted and oriented according to pre-established specifications. Sensors and artificial vision systems are employed to identify the individual characteristics of each product and place them correctly.

3. Layer Formation

Once the products have been sorted and aligned, the layer formation process begins following a predefined pattern. Using robotic systems or specialized machinery, the products are picked up and placed in the correct position to form a layer on the pallet.

4. Placing on the Pallet

As the layers are formed, they are stacked on top of each other on the pallet, creating a stable and secure load unit. Various placement techniques are used, such as overlapping, rotation, or the inclusion of intermediate separators, depending on the specific needs of the palletizing process.

Types of automatic palletizers

Depending on production requirements and available investment capacity, various types of automatic palletizers can be chosen for implementation.

Paletizador con robot industrial

Utiliza robots industriales diseñados especialmente para manipular productos y organizar palets de forma eficiente y versátil. Destacan por su eficiencia y robustez.

Cartesian Palletizer

It employs linear and Cartesian movements to manipulate products and organize pallets, standing out for its speed and load capacity.

Collaborative Robot Palletizer

They are multitasking robots that can be programmed to perform small palletizing processes. They are designed to work alongside human operators.

10 advantages offered by an automatic palletizing system

1. Operational efficiency

Automatic palletizing optimizes processes, increasing speed and efficiency in placing products on pallets, resulting in higher productivity.

2. Precision and Consistency

Automated systems ensure the precise placement of products on pallets, eliminating human errors and maintaining consistency that enhances packaging quality.

3. Cost Reduction

By minimizing dependence on labor, automatic palletizing reduces labor costs associated with manual palletizing, which doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating that workforce but reallocating it to another area.

4. Increased Safety

By transferring repetitive and heavy tasks to automated systems, the risks of workplace injuries are reduced, significantly improving safety in the workplace.

5. Space Optimization

Automatic palletizing systems are designed to make the most of the available space in warehouses, optimizing the arrangement of products and minimizing unused space.

6. Flexibility in Configuration

Automated systems can easily adapt to different types and sizes of products, offering a flexibility that is difficult to achieve with manual palletizing.

7. Traceability and Control

Automatic palletizing facilitates precise tracking of products, improving traceability and inventory control, contributing to more effective logistics management.

8. Increased Processing Speed

Automated machinery can handle large volumes of products in a much shorter time than manual palletizing, speeding up processing times.

9. Integration with Technological Systems

Automatic palletizing systems can be integrated with other technologies, such as Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and control software, facilitating a more connected and efficient operation.

10. Environmental Sustainability

By reducing waste and optimizing space utilization, automatic palletizing contributes to more sustainable practices, aligning with current trends of environmental responsibility in the supply chain.

Improving Efficiency with Automatic Palletizing Systems

Efficiency represents a crucial objective in every business activity, and automatic palletizing systems stand as fundamental pillars for its achievement.

In addition to the previously mentioned advantages of automatic palletizing, its ability to adjust to changes in demand and flexibility in managing multiple SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) significantly contribute to improving operational efficiency. The speed at which robots can palletize products reduces downtime and streamlines the flow of products from production to distribution.

In summary, automatic palletizing has become indispensable for companies seeking to improve their operational efficiency and maintain competitiveness in today’s market. The automation of palletizing systems offers a unique combination of speed, precision, and versatility that far surpasses the limitations of traditional methods.

At IPLA, we have over thirty years of experience in designing and building palletizing and end-of-line systems. If you need guidance in choosing and improving your automation system, do not hesitate to contact us.

Improving palletizing efficiency with OEE

Improving palletizing efficiency with OEE

In IPLA, we design and test our palletizers to ensure a 99% OEE for our clients. But what does this indicator really mean? How is it calculated? And what impact does it have on the efficiency of a palletizing line?

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