What’s trending: Top 10 demands from customers

 1.  Quick installation 
 2. Productivity rate 
 3. Ease of pattern changeover 
 4. Product flexibility 
 5. Equipment size, layout
 6. User friendly interface 
 7. After-sales support
 8. Intuitive operation
 9. High level of safety
10. Stackability

List compiled from responses from BEUMER, Intelligrated, ITW Warehouse Automation & Premier Tech
Today’s palletizing equipment must meet several customer requirements, including intuitive operation, high productivity and flexibility. To meet these demands, equipment manufacturers are upgrading their palletizing equipment. Two new automated palletizers from Premier Tech have launched to address the always important customer concern of downtime. The automated palletizers, AC-110 and AC-120, are specially designed to meet the specific needs of the ice industry. The two machines offer increased reliability and the rugged design allows for extended operation periods.
A distinctive feature of the palletizers is the gripper, made up of 48 independent suction cups. These allow it to lift several bags at a time and adapt to several different palletizing patterns, at speeds reaching up to 45 bags per minute. With this characteristic, bags can be handled without the gripper’s surface being full, still at high speeds. The palletizers’ pneumatic components can lift ice bags and bales weighing between 10 and 50 pounds.
New enhancements to hybrid palletizers from Intelligrated offer more stability to unstable loads and an integrated control system that allows both the conventional palletizer and its robotic arms to operate from a single PLC control.
Intelligrated’s Alvey® 950 series hybrid palletizers are ideal for reduced secondary packaging applications that require gentle handling. The machine integrates robotic arms with a conventional high-speed palletizer to increase pattern flexibility and facilitate quick product changeover.
Intelligrated’s integrated PLC control platform eliminates the need for traditional proprietary robot controllers, streamlining complex control communication, reducing response time and minimizing changeover delays. By maintaining a standard familiar control platform, the integrated PLC control system also reduces startup time, training, programming, hardware and troubleshooting costs. 

Improvements in software deliver hard results

ITW Warehouse Automation (ITWWA;) announces the latest improvements to its VTP palletizers and VPS software. ITWWA’s VPS software has been upgraded to enable pallet patterns to be changed in real-time. In addition, the VTP palletizers now operate up to 40% faster with the same flexibility and gentle product handling. 
Pallet patterns are built with the graphic user interface in the PC and users input package sizes and number of cases on a pallet. The software then displays the cases on the screen and users can arrange them as necessary and assign the pallet to start that pattern. With no interruption, the selected pallet automatically starts the new pallet pattern. VPS allows for an infinite number of flips or patterns – further ensuring greater productivity and load integrity. 
VPS also helps ITWWA’s VTP palletizers take on more functions. The robotic palletizers can handle each case or SKU differently as the VPS communicates to the robots case characteristics, so they can handle each accordingly. 
The BEUMER Group also offers software enhancements to its paletpac palletizer, a high-performance machine for palletizing bulk goods in bags. The geometrical accuracy and stability of the palletized stacks enable them to be stored without any problems and guarantee reliable integration into the downstream packaging systems. 
The BEUMER paletpac 5500 features increased speeds of up to 5,500 bags an hour – with eight bags per layer. To enable these improvements, BEUMER’s developers have optimized the software responsible for layer formation in the new BEUMER paletpac 5500. 
Improvements in machinery functionality and software enhancements set the stage for more streamlined palletizing efforts to meet the needs of packagers.