A palletizer is a device or system which is utilized to stack and orientate factory products whatever they may be onto a pallet in a defined pattern. A palletizer can be operated by hand, or it can be a simple machine or can involve complex programs and robotics in order to handle multiple product sizes and configurations with one system.
Most palletizing systems as the name suggests pack product onto a wood, plastic or metal framed pallet that can easily be lifted by a forklift or crane. This packing process is carried out in a defined pattern that will be consistent for that particular product and size of container. Usually all of the packages on a pallet would be the same but a robotic system does allow the flexibility to mix different sizes on the same pallet.
The Jantz Advantage FL 2x-1000 Robotic Palletizing Cell has certain basic elements common to all configurations. Firstly there must be a staging area. This is the area where the pallet and the product(s) will eventually come together. The empty pallets are loaded into this area from a magazine that will dispense one pallet at a time from a contained stack. Secondly there needs to be a method to accumulate and control the product while it awaits the staging process. Lastly and most importantly there must be a means for the products and the pallets themselves to be brought together.
Jantz Canada uses Kuka robots and in this case it is equipped with job specific end of arm tooling vacuum lifter which can pick up any size box up to 10 kg in weight. This system is configured to simultaneously handle two different size boxes stacking one size to the left and the other to the right. The palletizer stacks the boxes or barrels into neat rows, securely packed onto the pallet. Once the pallet is full the system discharges the pallet to an area where it can be picked up by a forklift. A new empty pallet then enters the staging area and the process begins again.
Once filled a pallet typically goes to another process where the contents are covered in a stretch wrap film similar to Saran wrap to prevent the contents from shifting during transportation. There are several advantages to a palletizing system over manual labour which include reduced labour costs, increased accuracy of the placed product and elimination of potential employee injury from repetitive lifting
The ability to handle multiple products, weights and sizes without having to make mechanical changes gives the Jantz Robotic Palletizer an unparallel degree of flexibility over conventional palletizing systems. Food production facilities are ideal candidates for this system since container sizes and shapes frequently change.