Palletizing machines are used for the process of loading items onto a pallet, or a flat board that is used for storing or transportation purposes. Palletizers can come in a multitude of configurations, depending on the intended application and products. Regardless of the type of product and the method of loading them onto the pallet, palletizing machines are highly advantageous over loading the items manually. Palletizing machines can load items at a much faster rate, are more consistent, and are more resilient than human workers, who may suffer injuries from strenuous, continuous hauling. Palletizing machines and depalletizers are often found in manufacturing facilities and distribution centers to efficiently handle incoming shipments and unload packaged groups of products. In addition, these facilities may install palletizing machine accessories such as load transfer stations and pallet dispensers to further aid in the management of the pallets and the loads they carry. Automatic palletizers may be fully automatic and require no manual operation, or semi-automatic and require human workers to attach and detach the pallets from the lifting arm. Palletizing machines can come in low level or high level designs.
Quick links to Palletizing Machines Information
Powering Palletizing Machines
Palletizing machines receive the packaged units via a roller conveyor, and are sorted to the pallets by automated conveyor roller. Palletizing machines are powered either hydraulically, pneumatically, or electro-mechanically. Three of the most common palletizing machines are robotic palletizers, low level palletizers, and high level palletizers.
Robotic Palletizing Machines
Robotic palletizing machines, also known as automatic palletizing machines, are usually placed between a pallet dispenser and a conveyor line that brings in pallets. Using a hydraulic robotic arm that features either flat pincer arms or suction cup arms, the machine can lift products and place them in an organized and precise fashion on top of a pallet. These types of palletizers come with several benefits. They are highly versatile and can be customized for the specific needs of the application, such as a timed packaging process or different loading options to accommodate for more delicate items. They are hands-off, and allow for employees to devote their attention to other tasks. Finally, they drastically raise the palletizing speed, reducing the loading time to as low as several minutes. As fast as they are, however, robotic palletizers can be detrimental to a facility’s production line if the robotic palletizer operates at the wrong loading speed. Therefore, it is important to consider the facility’s production time and adjust the unit if it runs too slow or fast.
High and Low Level Palletizing Machines
Whether a palletizing machine is classified as low or high level depends on the placement of the feed area.
- Low Level Palletizing Machines
- Also known as floor-entry palletizing machines, load units at the ground level. Several advantages come with using a low level palletizing machine. They do not require an additional work platform, and are thus typically lower in cost. They are much easier to maintain because the machine’s components are more accessible. Since the feed area is on the ground level, it is in close proximity to other mechanisms of the machine. Therefore, the operator of a low level palletizing machine can oversee the machine more closely while performing other related tasks.
- High Level Palletizing Machines
- Move units from a story above floor level, and this configuration comes with its own set of benefits. Because the feed area is placed over the top of the rest of the machine, a high level palletizer takes up less space within a facility. High level palletizing machines are capable of processing 40 to 50 units per minute, making them ideal for high-speed, more demanding applications. Unlike their low level counterparts, the feed area is located further away from the other sections of the machine, like its case packer or case sealer. Although this placement makes the machine more difficult to monitor, it allows for clearance over forklift aisles, and allows for a smoother flow as the units travel from section to section in the palletizer.
Palletizing Machine Customization
Aside from these standard configurations, palletizing machines can come with certain modifications to handle either a specific type of product or a combination of more than one product, such as bags, cases, drums, or bottles. While automatic palletizing machines are a popular choice for many manufacturing companies, there are some cases where manual palletizing machines are a more recommended choice. Companies that utilize manual palletizing machines include smaller facilities, and companies that handle sensitive items. Manual palletizing machines are the ideal machinery for the handling of products that are either heavy or fragile. There are some businesses that utilize a combination of automated and manual machinery.