Palletizing’s positive turn
Packaged goods companies are changing their ways as the need to reduce waste becomes increasingly important.
Not surprisingly, the current trend on the beverage market is for lighter PET bottles. Mainly driven by the demands of large retailers for more varied, small-sized packs, secondary packaging is also feeling the pressure to reduce or even eliminate the film around packs as well as the pads between pallet layers.
To meet the need for packaging that is more environmentally sensitive and easier to handle, Sidel (www.sidel.com) has created a state-of-the-art application to transfer and turn packs to form pallet patterns. The system consists of one or more robots and a flat mat conveyor that feeds packs, moving at pre-set speeds, and spaced a specific distance apart. The robot’s special end effector turns the packs and positions them to create the correct pallet pattern. Here’s how it works.
The robot lowers the effector over the pack as it moves forward. At the same time, two flaps grip the sides of the pack, which is then displaced and/or turned while remaining on the mat conveyor. The system is described as “positive turning” because packs are not turned by impact with a device in their path as they are with a conventional “bump turn” or “collision” system.