April 15, 2021

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Conventional or robotic palletizing: advantages and disadvantages

Do your operators have MSD problems, mainly in the back? It may be related to manual palletizing operations. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of robotic palletizing.

What is palletization?

Originally, we called “palletization”, the handling operation which consists of grouping a certain number of packages on a pallet. Initially carried out exclusively manually by operators, palletizing has gradually been modernized thanks to Industry 4.0.

Who is affected by palletizing?

When you hear about palletizing today, it’s not just about placing layers of boxes on a pallet. Palletization is an organized arrangement of stackable shapes, on any support.

Are you concerned with palletizing? If you work in industrial production, chances are you are. Why? Because it is necessary to store the products that leave your production lines, either to ship them or to store them.

In fact, it’s very simple: as soon as there is a notion of storage, there is palletization.

What are the limits of robotic palletizing?

When it is manual, palletizing makes it possible to do “easily” operations which are too complex for robots or too long to set up. For example, perfectly stacking objects of different shapes so that they take up as little volume as possible is one of the many human feats.

On the other hand, if you want to robotize your palletizing operations, you will have to start by standardizing the size and weight of the objects to be handled.

How to establish a robotic palletizing plan?

The difficulty with robotic palletizing is the need to create palletizing plans. This tedious operation consists in providing the robot with all the necessary elements. Position, size and weight of objects, movement speeds and inertia are all parameters to integrate, which can quickly take a lot of time.

In addition, to establish a palletization plan you will have to optimize the space on the pallet as much as possible, which requires adjustment to the millimeter.

What are the advantages of robotic palletizing?

Reduction of MSDs

Fewer palletizing staff

High cadence

Robotizing palletizing remains extremely advantageous for several reasons. Let’s go back to its advantages in detail.

  1. Reduction of MSDs

As an industrialist, you are necessarily in the know. According to the Labor Code:

The acceptable limit for carrying loads is defined “according to the age, the sex of the employee, the distance to be covered and the characteristics of the task. The employer must take all measures to avoid recourse to manual handling of loads by employees.”

In this regulatory context and in the face of the explosion in the number of occupational diseases linked to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), you are therefore strongly encouraged to find solutions for the mechanization of workstations at risk.

  1. Fewer palletizing staff and higher speeds

The other advantage of robotization is that it allows you to reach high speeds. In addition, a palletizing robot can work day and night requiring the mobilization of a minimum of personnel.

How to simplify the configuration of palletizing robots?

The major drawback of robotic palletization is the setup time allowing to establish the palletization plan. However, once the palletizing plan is established, robotic palletizing is an extremely efficient and cost-effective solution.

Colmac – one of the best Automatic Robotic Palletizing Machine suppliers in India.