How Do You Keep Production Running During Pallet Change Overs When Using An Automated Palletising System?

When using an automated palletising system, keeping production running during pallet changeovers is often essential for high-speed production lines. Here are some specific strategies that can be implemented to achieve continuous production with an automated palletising system:

  1. Dual or Multiple Pallet Stations
    • Implementation: Equip the automated palletising system with dual or multiple pallet stations. This setup allows one station to be actively palletised while another is prepared or having its full pallet removed. This ensures that when one station pauses for changeover, the other can seamlessly take over without interrupting the production flow.
    • Examples: Safety systems like light curtains or shuttling gates or other safety interlocks can be integrated to allow the robot to palletise on one pallet position whilst a pallet is being loaded or removed from the other position.
  2. Automated Pallet Dispensers with Pallet Conveyors
    • Implementation: Integrate automated pallet dispensers that can supply empty pallets to the palletiser and automated conveyor systems to transport pallets through to the palletiser and on to a safe zone after the pallet is stacked. These systems reduce the need for manual intervention, significantly speeding up the changeover process between pallets.
    • Example: An automated dispenser can hold a stack of empty pallets and a conveyor can feed them into the palletiser as needed. Once the pallet is stacked a conveyor system carries full pallets to an area where they can be removed from the conveyor without causing the system to stop palletising.
  3. Buffer Systems
    • Implementation: Install buffer conveyors or accumulation before the palletising system on the product infeed to the system. These systems temporarily hold products during pallet changeovers, allowing the production line to continue running without interruption.
    • Example: A buffer product infeed conveyor with a holding capacity of several minutes’ worth of production can maintain the flow of products from the production line while a pallet changeover is in process. A buffering conveyor for full pallets will also allow the system to hold a certain number of full pallets that are waiting for removed without stopping they system from palletising.
  4. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) or Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)
    • Implementation: Deploy Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)  or Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) to transport full pallets away from the palletising station and bring empty pallets to it. AGVs/AMRs can operate continuously as they can enter the palletiser safety zone whilst the robot is running, ensuring that pallets are always available for the palletiser.
    • Example: AGVs/AMRs that navigate the production floor, picking up full pallets from the palletiser and delivering them to the warehouse while simultaneously bringing empty pallets to the palletising area and the robot never has to stop during the pallet changeover as the AGV/AMR does not break the safety of the system.

As you can see, there are various different methods that can be implemented to ensure that production remains continuous during pallet change overs.  The method best suited to your production will depend on your production speeds, product being palletised etc. If you would like to discuss your specific application, please contact us on 01223 499488 .


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