Robotic Palletizing for Multiple Lines Using Transfer Car to Convey Loads to Stretch Wrapper
Kaufman's multi-national food product corporation's customer needed to reduce labor on four lines within their production facility because they were having difficulty finding people to operate these lines reliably. They hired Kaufman Engineered Systems to design and build a fully automated system to palletize four lines and then transport loaded pallets to be securely stretch wrapped. The system utilizes four FANUC M-410iC/185 robots, a transfer car built by Kaufman, and our own KForce R20 stretch wrapper.
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The customer packages and distributes multiple product lines in large quantities, and this particular facility had real difficulty finding the labor resources to operate four specific product lines reliably. The first challenge presented to Kaufman was to design and build a system that would fully automate these four product lines. The second challenge was to find the space in their facility to accommodate a centralized palletizing system and then design and build the system to fit within the confines of that space. And the third challenge was to ensure maximum stability of the loads after palletization.
Providing an efficient, compact footprint with all the over and under conveyors required for the system and maintaining fork truck traffic on one side was critical to meeting the customer's challenges for this project. And again, the stability of the palletized loads throughout the process was also a big requirement for this customer.
Kaufman designed this KPal V Centralized Palletization system to fully automate the four product lines and meet all the requirements of our customer. We utilized four FANUC M-410iC/185 robots. Kaufman designed and built a zoned vacuum end-of-arm tool for each robot in order to handle multiple case sizes and weights. In addition, the system was built with chain conveyors rather than traditional roller conveyors to enhance the stability of unit loads being transported all the way through to the stretch wrapping station.
We also incorporated an automated high-speed transfer car with hold down for transport of completed unit loads to stretch wrapper. The transfer car was built with over-under orientation to achieve a one-to-one exchange at the palletizing cells, so completed unit loads move onto the transfer car, and the transfer car simultaneously releases a new empty pallet to the cell. This keeps all the movement to and from each of the four palletizing cells on one side of the system, allowing for uninterrupted fork truck traffic on the other side.
Finally, we implemented a KForce R20 rotary arm stretch wrapper at the end of the line so that completed unit loads would be efficiently and securely wrapped for distribution.