Your Guide to the Benefits of Automated Robotic Palletising
In the UK, manufacturing is amongst the highest-risk industries to work in. There are over 3,000 major injuries reported annually.
However, palletising robots can decrease the number of workplace injuries and streamline production. They can also increase workplace reliability, tackling labour shortages.
But what are the other benefits of automated robotic palletising?
This article explains how robot palletising can help your manufacturing facility obtain higher safety standards while ensuring the steady production of goods and products.
Robotic Palletising Explained
Robotic palletising is used to sort, line up, and turn any type of good or product whilst on a conveyor belt. Machinery is used to place these products on a pallet.
Palletising robots also layer and wrap it in plastic, turning the pallet in the process. The conveyor belt can deliver the completed pallet to the loading dock and bring it to the truck trailers.
These systems are used to sort and palletise cartons. They can efficiently palletise a mix of pallets with a variety of products contained in them.
Robotic palletising systems feature robotic arms at the beginning or end of the packaging systems. This adds control, and its configurable programming software aids the system with mixing case pallets. There’s also increased flexibility in the supply chain as the robotic arm can be repurposed and replace the need to rebuild an entire core system.
Benefits of Automated Robotic Palletising
Utilising robotic palletisers in manufacturing and logistic settings brings many benefits, including the ability to increase productivity, a reduction in lifting injuries, a safe working environment, and a solution to labour shortages.
The UK’s manufacturing sector has faced labour shortages. This is primarily due to Brexit and the pandemic but also from a shift in people not wanting to carry out manual tasks.
However, adopting palletising robots as part of your manufacturing facility can help with labour shortages.
Let’s take a closer look at why you want to use robotic palletising.
Safe Working Environment
One of the biggest reasons for using palletising robots is increased work safety.
Some of the most common manufacturing injuries in the UK include:
- Lifting, handling, or carrying injuries
- Slips, trips, and falls on the same level
- Hit by a moving, flying, or falling object
- Physically assaulted by a coworker
- Contact with a moving machine
- Falling from a height
- Hitting a stationary or fixed object
Safety-assessed palletising robots can work next to human employees, eliminating the number of workplace injuries that occur. As technology grows, the cost of automation deployments is reduced, and this, in turn, has a reduction in worker injuries.
Many of these injuries are caused by repetitive tasks and, in some cases, products falling onto operators, but by implementing robot and cobot palletisers, these tasks are almost eliminated.
This does not mean the end of the road for these workers, as it means they can be redeployed to work on higher value, ergonomic tasks in other areas of the manufacturing plant.
Reduced Operating Costs
Since palletising robots can work day in and day out, with minimum intervention, production rates can increase, meaning more goods out the door, but simple things such as the robots requiring little, if any, lighting and lower acceptable ambient temperatures, a reduction in power usage may also be realised.
It’s also easier to regulate the workforce when using palletising robots as you may only need one person to oversee a few machines running in tandem, therefore reducing labour costs.
The majority of factories need to continuously transform and update their processes due to a change or increase in production or a change in how the products are made, or even a change in the overall type of product made. The inclusion of collaborative robot palletisers or industrial robot palletisers enables fast re-configurations of workflow.
Particularly with cobot palletisers, reprogramming of the systems has been made very simple and can be carried out by suitably trained personnel. The time scale for someone to become trained and competent on a cobot palletiser can be within a couple of days, as opposed to years of experience required on an Industrial robot palletising cell.
Workplace Reliability and Increased Manufacturer Productivity
As previously mentioned, employees might sustain injuries at work due to repetitive use. Additionally, employees take time off, whether it’s for an illness or holiday, and unplanned labour shortages can be devastating to companies.
Although it’s expected that employees utilise their paid time off, robots provide reliability day in and day out. When workers don’t take time off, they might suffer from fatigue or come to work tired, leading to more injuries. Additionally, repetitive use injuries can affect the product’s overall quality.
Palletising robots, however, can eliminate this problem as they’re engineered to repeat the same process without issue, distraction, or injury. When you build a product in a specific way, without deviation, you’re ensuring the production of a superior-quality product.
Palletising robots can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that inundated manufacturing plants can increase production. This also compensates for labour shortages.
Palletising robots alleviate strenuous work in a manufacturing facility. The result is an increase in production efficiency and less product waste as more materials are manufactured.
Within any production facility, space is a premium and costs money if not efficiently used, whether it’s for storage, packaging, or manufacturing. With new user-friendly cobot palletisers, system floor spaces can be reduced and, therefore, free up space. This provides more floor space where you need it most in areas of production. Pallet configurations are also optimised and, as a result, hold more product which in turn means fewer pallets and, again, less floor space is occupied.
Automated Robotic Palletising For All Your Needs
The benefits of automated robotic palletising make it an ideal solution for manufacturers looking to streamline production and reduce workplace injuries.
SP Automation & Robotics helps with all your special-purpose machinery needs. We create and design custom automated systems. Learn more about the benefits of our special-purpose machinery here.
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