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Optimising palletising productivity

26 October 2022

AUTOMATED PRODUCT handling takes many forms and a plethora of products is now being automatically transferred from the end of the line to pallets. Vacuum layer gripping systems from Schmalz are an integral part of many palletising robots and gantry systems being used.

The grippers used to handle these products are also becoming more sophisticated as the demands for flexibility and productivity increase. Vacuum layer gripping systems from Schmalz are fast becoming an integral part of the many palletising robots and gantry systems being used across various industry segments when automatically handling products.

The ability to handle complete layers of product, in a single cycle, both optimises the robot cycle time and increases productivity. However, there are often challenges to be overcome given the diversity of product types and palletising configurations which require to be processed. Schmalz has developed a comprehensive range of layer gripping technologies to address the unique characteristics of applications such as those found in warehousing and intralogistics operations.

Based upon a modular system, each gripper can be configured as required with choices for either rigid or flexible spring mounded robot flange connections, designed to fit most common robots and gantry systems. Various gripper modules are available, with intermediate layer handling if required, layer detection, and options for mechanical gripping support in applications where the top surface of the layer is unable to support the complete layer weight.

Layer Gripping Systems with foam are capable of handling virtually all items, and for applications where the layer may be uneven, the Layer Gripping System is also available with vacuum cups. For extremely difficult workpieces the Layer Gripping System can be fitted with an outer skirt. In each case these gripper systems can be supplied with optional zoning to add further flexibility, allowing part layers to be handled or parts to be placed in groups or in different patterns.

The ability to configure the gripping solution to the application makes it possible to cater for layers with gaps, mixed layers, intermediate layers, pallets, cardboard, and film packaging. In addition, loading and unloading of partially filled pallets can also be achieved by combining vacuum technology with mechanical gripping support.