IBT Provides Palletizer for Nebraska Plant

By IBT Inc

December 16, 2009

Engineering

Synopsis:

A global manufacturing company and IBT recently designed, built and installed a robotic gantry system for palletizing boxes onto pallets at the company’s Nebraska plant. The company worked in conjunction with IBT Material Handling and Systems Integration (MHSI) Group and an IBT Sales Representative in Nebraska. IBT just delivered the palletizer in November 2009.

Background:

This company came to IBT looking for a solution to a palletizing problem. They were aiming to increase the up-time of the machine, therefore increasing production.

Challenge:

To increase the challenge of this application, the footprint of the palletizer had to be minimized to fit into an already crowded plant floor. Ceiling clearance also added complications. The footprint for this particular application did not allow for the same robotic palletizer system that IBT MHSI had used in the past. Therefore, IBT MHSI had to design the system from the ground up.

Solution:

A base frame was designed using Parker Hannifin IPS extruded aluminum that allowed the system to fit into the required footprint. A series of five Thomson linear actuators mounted on the frame form the three axis of motion (X, Y and Z). The actuators are controlled by three Allen-Bradley Servo Motors and an Allen-Bradley PLC. A Hytrol 138-ACC conveyor was used to transport the case from the production area to the palletizer. The pneumatic vacuum systems, supplied through Norgren and Anver, allow for lifting the cases and rotating the case 90 degrees as needed to match the pallet pattern. A light curtain was incorporated to ensure that operators do not enter the palletizer while operational. IBT MHSI designed the control panel to tie all the equipment together and make this into a palletizing system.

Results:

This palletizer picks up one or two five-pound (2.3 kg) boxes approximately 18″ x 12″ x 14″ (46 cm x 31 cm x 36 cm) and places them on a pallet. The pallet holds fourteen boxes per layer and builds seven layers tall. There is one pattern of assembly, but it rotates by 180 degrees level to level. This has freed up the operator to improve the efficiency of the production machinery.

Details:

This project was handled in the same fashion as all IBT Material Handling and Systems Integration Projects. After putting together a preliminary design and incorporating a few changes based on the company’s input, IBT finalized a complete system quote.

The commissioning company approved and this quote became a project. Detailed designs were then prepared and presented for approval. The prototype system was built in the IBT Technical Service Center and tested using actual product from the customer. Once the machinery was fine tuned, IBT invited the customer to our facility for a Factory Authorized Test. Upon acceptance from the customer, the palletizer system was broken down and shipped.

This system is just one example of the multitude of applications IBT can give you for packaging and palletizing using fully integrated robotic systems. To find out more and discover other significant advantages gained by using robotic systems in your facilities, contact IBT Material Handling and Systems Integration.

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