There are many different automated palletising systems available on the market, so we have put together a few key points that you should consider before investing. This will ensure that your investment will meet your current needs as well as being flexible enough to cope with any future changes in your requirements.
Key Benefits of An Automated Palletising System
1. Production Increase
Most companies typically experience a 40%+ production increase following the installation of an automated palletising system. There are several reasons for this level of increase:
- An automated system does not take holidays or breaks, so you production process does not need to stop
- As the system is automated it forces a takt time. This means that the production process up the line has to keep to this takt time to ensure the palletiser is running at optimum speeds.
- The system will run 24/7, working longer hours than an employee palletising by hand.
- An automated system will achieve faster palletising speeds as there is no risk of the system stopping palletising due to distractions or RSI issues.
2. Fast Payback
The payback time on an automated system will be specific to your applications but it is usually very quick. Typically, as a rule of thumb, if you have the equivalent of one person employed full time for palletising, there is payback in less than 2 years.
3. Reduction in Health & Safety Claims
An automated palletising system completely removes the risk of repetitive strain injuries occurring, and therefore removes all of the associated costs that go along with RSI Health & Safety claims.
4. Other benefits
There are many other benefits associated with an automated palletising system, but some of the more commonly recognised benefits include; impressed customers, reduction in pallet stacking errors, improve stack quality, less transit damage, improved staff morale.
Return On Investment
The payback time for an automated palletising system is usually very quick, as not only do you remove the manual labour element and associated costs, but production can also continue to run throughout break times, etc. This enables you to improve your production speed and throughput capacity, enabling you to product more product in less time.
To help you calculate the ROI for your project, we have created a free, downloadable robotics and automation resource pack www.granta-automation.co.uk/freepack. This pack includes an automation project payback calculator to help you determine your predicted return on investment based on production rates, shift times, HR costs, downtime, etc. It also includes an intangible benefits calculator as these are also something that need to be considered when working out your predicted return on investment as they can have a significant effect on the payback time of your project.
Things To Consider When Buying A Palletiser
1. Staff Training and Ease of Use
How easy is the palletising system to use? Can it quickly be reprogrammed to palletise different bag or box sizes? Can your staff reprogram it themselves? With some conventional palletising systems it can be very difficult to change the stacking pattern or bag placing positions without support from a specialist programmer. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the system you choose has easy programming software as this will enable your staff to reprogram the palletiser quickly and easily. This saves you the cost of having to call out an expensive robot programmer to reprogram the system when you need to change a stack pattern or bag size. It is also important to choose a system that has automatic stack generation software so that you can simply choose which stacking pattern you wish to use without having to spend time planning. Having a system with easy programming software will also ensure that your palletising system is future proof against any changes of product size or pallet type.
It is also important to ensure that your staff will receive training as part of the palletiser installation process. A good training process will give your staff the needed skills to operate the palletising system in the most efficient and effective way.
2. Futureproof Throughput Capacity
What throughput do you need to achieve currently? What throughput are you looking to achieve in the future? Not only do you need to be sure that the system can meet your current throughput requirements, but it is also important to ensure that it has the necessary capacity to enable you to expand your sales and increase your throughput in the future. The last thing you want is to increase your sales only to find your palletiser has become a bottleneck in your production process! Spend time to think about where your business is heading in the future and ensure you invest in a system that will meet your future demands, or is easily scalable to meet them.
3. Stack Neatness
Neatly stacked pallets are key to your product reaching its final destination in the best condition. They also make for safer storage, and easier container and lorry loading. With several different methods of automated pallet stacking available, it is important that you choose a method that creates the best stack for your product. There are many factors that affect how bags will stack best such as how full the bag is, what type of product is in the bag, and how free flowing the material is within the bag. Several systems are available for shaping and flattening bags to ensure that they stack in the neatest possible way. Running a trial of your product on a palletising system before you commit to the capital expenditure is a very good way to determine what the best method is for palletising your product neatly.
4. Easy to Move/Re-site
Ensure that the system you choose can be easily moved. As your processes evolve over time, the last thing you want is to end up with a palletiser stuck in the wrong corner! There are modular palletising systems available; which means they can be quickly and easily re-situated and reconfigured to a different layout should the need arise. The modularity of these systems also allows you to adapt the palletising process over time by adding further processes at a later date such as pallet shrink wrapping, slip sheet feeding, automated pallet feeding, labelling etc.
5. Free Trial
For your own peace of mind, make sure you have tried your product on the palletiser system you are proposing to buy before you purchase it. Whilst palletising is a straightforward process, there are many factors that affect how neatly your products stack, and a trial is the best way to establish the best method. There are automation companies that will offer a free trial of your product on their palletiser before you purchase.
Downloadable Palletiser URS Template
To help you with choosing and specifying an automated palletising system we have created a downloadable Palletiser URS template. This includes all of the key specifications that need to be considered when specifying a automated palletising system, and helps to ensure that the system will not only meet your current needs, but also your future requirements as well.
As you can see, when chosen wisely, an automated palletising system will not only provide the immediate benefits of increased reliability and throughput, but will also service your future requirements. With changing market demands and the ever-quickening pace of technology, it is important to ensure that the equipment you choose to invest in is flexible and adaptable enough to cope with these changes without the need for further significant investment.
One of the most adaptable and flexible palletising systems on the market is the Granta GA15 palletising system. It is fast and easy to program without the need for specialist programming skills. The easy programming software also includes automatic stack generation for an infinite variety of products, pallets and stack configurations. Having input the bag or box size you are palletising the optimum stack pattern is shown along with a variety of other stack patterns. All you have to do is simply select the stack pattern you require using the touch screen.
As the Granta GA15 palletising system is a modular system, it can also be simply and quickly reconfigured should your production requirements change. The modularity of the system also results in short lead times and a quick install time.
If you would like to discuss this guide in more detail, or would like further information on the Granta GA15 Palletising system, then please do get in touch on 01223 499488 or email@example.com.