This multi-line robotic palletizing system includes four production lines that are palletized by three FANUC Palletizing Robots in two separate robot cells. In this, the first of the two cells, a FANUC M-410iB palletizing robot is used to palletize from two of the four production lines. Cases are fed to the palletizing area on a shared interconnect conveyor, and a case diverter separates products to two case infeed conveyors. The robot picks a two-row matrix of cases, utilizing multi-zone vacuum tooling. Robots in the system place the cases to the pallet in the appropriate location for the product being run. Once a pallet is complete, it is conveyed away from the palletizing station to the fork truck pick station at the end of the conveyor. Then the robot moves to pick an empty pallet and tier sheet for replacement and the cycles repeat.

In the system’s second robotic work cell, two robots palletize products of different sizes. First, as in the first work cell, a FANUC M-410iB palletizing robot is responsible for handling of pallets and sheets for the two pallet stations, and for palletizing products in a two-row matrix with its vacuum gripper. In the second palletizing station, a FANUC R-1000iA/80H robot utilizes vacuum venturi tooling for case handling and palletizing. Cases are fed into this cell on a shared interconnect conveyor with case sortation.

Each robot cell in the system includes case decline conveyors, case sortation, case accumulation, case metering, pick conveyors, vacuum end of arm tools, pallet and sheet racks, three-strand drag chain conveyor for load handling, case bypass conveyors for manual palletizing capability, perimeter guard package, necessary controls, and finally FANUC’s industry-leading palletizing robots.

This system is ideal for companies sending cases down a common trunk line and require case sorting via bar code readers. For companies with both small and large cases, this solution also provides cost savings and footprint saving due to robot economies. In the cell featuring two robots (one large and one small), the large robot had utilization time available to perform pallet handling and slip-sheet placement for both its line and one other line. As such, a smaller payload and footprint robot is able to be placed in the other line.