2023 has been an eventful year when it comes to innovations in palletizing.
For starters, TAB Industries LLC announced in May that it had earned a U.S. patent for the development of an orbital stretch wrapping machine.
Not to be outdone, Sidel introduced a new compact palletizing unit combining robotics and cobotics – the RoboAccess_Pal S – which embeds three new patented features to provide an even higher level of agility, operability and compactness.
Additionally, a cobot palletizer introduced by MG Tech features a wide range of grippers – some of which are patented.
Not surprisingly, the latest palletizing and palletizing-related equipment options are touted as being economical, taking up less floor space, and featuring increased automation, which eliminates the risk of employee injury and related costs from repetitive palletizing actions.
TAB Industries LLC Earns Patent for Orbital Stretch Wrapping Machine
Orbital wrapper manufacturer TAB Industries, LLC, has earned U.S. Patent No. 11,021,281 B2 for the development of an orbital stretch wrapping machine.
Applied as the TAB Wrapper Tornado line of orbital wrappers, the patent recognizes the innovation as a packaging apparatus that wraps plastic stretch film 360 degrees around and under a palletized load by dispensing the stretch wrap from a circular ring as it rotates around a horizontal axis. This advance secures the pallet load to the pallet as a stable, unitized load and permits safe storage and transport without the need for boxes, banding, strapping or overpackaging.
Naming Tom Brizek, TAB Industries President, and Andrew Brizek, Vice President–Sales and Marketing, as Inventors, the patent is directed to an orbital wrapper that applies both compression and lateral forces to the pallet load to solve a key shortcoming of turntable wrappers. This prevents loads from sliding off the pallet and adds protection from damage in transit.
The line of patented orbital wrappers comprises TAB Wrapper Tornado Standard semi-automated models, Smart Controls automated models, Perfect Storm fully automated models, and a slate of additional stretch wrapping machines. The orbital wrappers are designed and manufactured at the company's Reading, Pa., headquarters and are delivered ready to plug in and operate with a full warranty.
For more information, see tabwrapper.com.
Sidel’s New Compact Palletizing Unit Combines Robotics and Cobotics
With the introduction of cobotics in palletizing, Sidel has been able to answer the growing market demand for very compact and affordable cells, which generally replace manual operations.
For more demanding lines, where robotic arms could offer higher technical performances, Sidel has drawn on its 50-plus years of palletizing expertise to create an all-in-one solution that combines small footprint, fast return on investment and higher case payload and speed.
RoboAccess_Pal S delivers speeds of up to 12 cycles per minute and enables a case payload of up to 25kg while ensuring a fast return on investment, typically of one to two years. The palletizing solution offers a new level of compactness with a footprint of less than 12m² for two stations with a significant pallet height of 1700mm.
“We have designed RoboAccess_Pal S to deliver a solution which offers the best of both the robotic and cobotic worlds, addressing the needs of our customers across a wide range of applications and market categories," said Fabien Chiron, Innovation Manager for Palletizing Product Line. "With more than 1,300 robotic palletizing installations worldwide, Sidel has also led the implementation of collaborative robotics since 2011. We have built from this combined expertise to deliver an innovative mixed result as well as additional brand new features.”
Available in 10 weeks, RoboAccess_Pal S is embedding three new patented features to provide an even higher level of agility, operability and compactness.
A light-weighted carbon fiber and 3D-printed clamping head helps deliver higher payload capacity and overall machine footprint reduction while handling a wide range of secondary packaging. Additionally, the patented folding guarding system ensures effortless movable Plug & Play capabilities.
Sidel is committed to ensuring a high level of safety standards, and a patented mobile physical curtain guarantees the operator’s protection during pallet supply and removal in addition to helping reduce the machine footprint further.
Sidel will be premiering the new palletizing solution at interpack, the international packaging trade fair, from 4-10 May in Düsseldorf, Germany. Visitors and journalists are invited to visit Sidel’s stand in Hall 13, Booth B47 to discover more.
MG Tech Unveils New Palletizer with Yaskawa Cobot and Rockwell Automation
On the occasion of a recent trade show, MG Tech Group presented its new high, heavy-duty cobot palletizer equipped with an HC30 Yaskawa cobot and a Rockwell Automation system.
Several features set the MG Tech cobot palletizer apart from those already on today’s market:
- Its palletization capacity, higher than the current market offer. The equipment can palletize on different pallet sizes (1000x1200 mm / 800x1200 mm / 40’’x48’’), to handle cases up to 30 kgs. MG Tech also offers the possibility of adding a lifting column in the cobot, enabling a higher palletizing height up to 2.5 meters.
- The control of open and closed case handling, making this equipment perfectly suited for food industries. Thanks to a wide range of grippers – some of which are patented — the palletizer provides multiple gripping, juxtaposed or stacked depending on the type of case. The ability to palletize open cases with a cobot arm is a first in the palletizing market.
- A perfectly adapted automation architecture that adapts to industrial constraints and allows direct control of the palletizer robot from the HMI. The MG Tech cobot palletizer can be equipped with a Rockwell, Schneider or Siemens automation system.
Equipment meeting industrial needs
The cobot palletizer is aimed at all types of markets. With a performance of up to 6 cycles per minute, manufacturers can afford a machine with easy installation and maintenance. It also provides a reduced footprint, allowing a space saving of up to 15% compared to a “standard” robotic palletizer thanks to the absence of casing around the machine.
Robot or cobot?
MG Tech has been integrating different robot manufacturers into its palletizers for over 15 years. Cobotics is a natural evolution for the MG Tech group, having been present in the 4.0 industry for years while moving toward 5.0 with cobots and AGVs.
If robots make it possible to palletize very heavy loads at a high rate, cobotics brings other advantages: a small footprint on the ground by the absence of casing, flexibility by the possible movement of the equipment, and easy start-up and use. Cobotics offers a modern factory image, affordability and clarity of robotics to operators.
A signed design
Axena Design was called upon to design MG Tech's range. Axena Design is very familiar with MG Tech, having redesigned all of the end-of-line equipment. Hence, finding the main standard equipment: an all-white electrical cabinet, anthracite gray frame/chassis underlined by an inclined human-machine interface (HMI) to facilitate operator use. Strategically placed LED systems allow the operator to be quickly informed of the production process.
A new palletizing software
To complete its palletizing offer, MG Tech has just developed in-house a new palletizing software allowing for the creation of palletization diagrams. This new intuitive software is compatible with all robotic and cobotic palletizers available on the market. It can be driven with a tablet or directly on the machine’s HMI.
Economical, Small-footprint, Floor-level Palletizer Makes Automation Easy
For plants with either limited floor space or a small budget, this compact palletizer (Model 72AN) offers a simple and economical solution to increase production and eliminate the cost and liability of manual operation.
It occupies from 10% to 30% less floor space than conventional low-level palletizers depending on the accessories required (transfer conveyor, pallet dispenser/transport) and offers complete flexibility for product feed and pallet configuration. All operation is automatic, which eliminates the risk of employee injury and related costs from repetitive palletizing actions.
No pallet dispenser is required for the Model 72AN. Up to five empty pallets can be stacked in the load area for palletizing, and the layers of product are automatically directed to the top pallet level.
Once the load is completed, the lift truck operator simply removes the top pallet and contents, and the palletizer continues to load the next pallet; once all pallets have been loaded and removed, the operator simply stacks another set of empty pallets in the loading area and the sequence repeats.
This palletizer offers the freedom of on-floor operation with an open profile and full machine guarding, plus high- or low-level product feed. It is designed for long-term operation with heavy steel frame construction, reinforced and counterweighted elevator table, and a dual, chain-driven layer transfer mechanism. A-B-C’s intelligent control package offers simple, touchscreen control of operation, changeover, production data and diagnostics.
A-B-C manufactures depalletizers, decasers, case erectors, sealers, packers, palletizers and accessory equipment for a wide range of applications. To learn more, go to abcpackaging.com.