Case Studies / Palletizing / Cases of Dairy Products

Motoman Robot Handling and PackingEasily achieved customer’s required cycle time, as well as all other project objectives. System palletizes eight cases (four-high, dual stack load) per robot pick and place; adds slip sheet, and tier sheets, and can be programmed to build unit loads 0 to 90 degrees across the pallet. This was second palletizing system customer purchased for this plant.

Project Challenges

  • Achieve production rate of 30 cpm steady state and 34 cpm surge rate to match rate of packaging line.
  • Palletize loads up to 157.4 cm (62”) high, including pallet, slip sheets (on top of pallet), cases of product, and tier sheets (between layers 1-2 and 3-4). Wooden pallets are 1,219 mm (48”) L x 1,016 mm (40”) W x 120.6 mm (4.75”) H and weigh 22.7 kg (40 lbs.).
  • Palletize cases that are approximately 400 mm (15.75”) L x 254 mm (10”) W x 76 mm (3”) H and weigh 3.2 kg (7.0 lbs.) each, picking eight cases at a time and palletizing them in a 6 x 2 x 16 pattern. One product per pallet – no mixed unit loads.
  • The robot must be able to build the unit load 0 and 90 degrees across the pallet.
  • Fully automate palletizing process, create more consistent and stable unit loads, maximize throughput by limiting downtime, and reduce costs by improving productivity and flexibility.
  • Reduce need for manual labor and improve operator safety.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a custom UP130 palletizing solution, including:

  • Motoman UP130 robot with XRC 2001 controller.
  • Robot base riser, robot S-axis hard stop, and zone ring.
  • Motoman Allen-Bradley Remote I/O (MARIO) card.
  • Allen-Bradley SLC 5/05E PLC.
  • Allen-Bradley PanelView 600 HMI with color touch-screen interface.
  • Individual racks for pallets, slip sheets and tier sheets.
  • Two 1.52-m (60”) outfeed conveyors with fixed end stop – three-strand drag chain type conveyor with 45.72 cm (18” ) pitch centers and speed of 9.2 m (30’) per minute.
  • Custom end-of-arm tool – multi-function mechanical gripper.
  • Safety package, including: 2.44-m (8’) tall welded wire perimeter safety fencing; 1.52-m (5’) high internal panels; conveyor pass-through opening protected by three-sided enclosure to limit operator’s reach into cell; self-muting light grid at pallet outfeed area; light curtain at robot side of pallet and slip sheet racks working in conjunction with zone ring (allows operator to replenish racks while robot operates); one operator access gate with safety interlocks; three dunnage gates with safety interlocks; remote- mounted emergency stop (E-stop) buttons; dual-channel safety hardware to meet ANSI-RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Custom multi-function end-of-arm tool consists of a dual-stack mechanical gripper with pallet, slip sheet, and tier sheet grab feature and a top clamp to hold cases during robot moves. Gripper is mounted on a frame and gripper fingers are designed to coincide with stacker pick-up point. Gripper handles two stacks of four cases at a time (eight cases total). Multi-function gripper handles pallets, places a slip sheet on the bare pallet, handles product cases, and also places tier sheets between product layers, as required.

Ref: ACS-054

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