We were approached by a leading magazine and periodicals distribution company to look into ways in which we can both increase the amount of totes palletised in a day, whilst at the same time reducing the quantity of staff required to do it. With an average of 17,000 totes palletised per day, minimising the amount of people required in this very labour intensive process was fundamental from a manual handling point of view.
Our technical design team set about creating a vision of a robot palletiser collecting totes and stacking them in the customers required stack pattern. Fairly early on it became evident that just handling these bespoke design totes would be fairy tricky. After weeks of discussions, deliberation and drawing, we came up with the idea of a finger collection and clamp system to pick up the totes at strategic points. There was also the need to collect totes in batches of 3’s and 4’s so a twin sided gripper head was created.
Installations were meticulously planned to fit in with client operational requirements. We had a 3 day window, working over the weekend to deliver, build, test and commission each of our robot palletiser systems before operations began again at 6am Monday morning. Engineers were also on-site for two weeks following installation to oversee initial operations, train operational staff, and be on stand-by for any post installation issues.
Our client for this project is now benefiting from significantly increased productivity and a more streamlined process flow. With the capacity to handle over 900 totes per hour, our robotic palletiser system can palletise over 21,000 tote bins every day of the week.
There are many benefits to investing in robot palletisers. Clients have reported significant increases in palletising KPI’s including improvement in throughput and stack stability. They are also reporting constant and reliable ‘pallets-per-hour’ figures throughout the day, every day of the working week. It goes without saying that our robot palletisers do not require breaks, do not fatigue during the course of the day, and will not contribute to any absenteeism or potentially costly RSI injury claims. Clients are now re-training staff previously on palletising duties to carry out other work on-site to assist with reducing other process efficiency issues.