This year’s trend at PACK EXPO International continues to be mobile robot palletizing. Although these devices are so small that they are easy to overlook, they can provide many benefits. For trade show brands looking for flexible end-to-end solutions in tight spaces, these mobile devices make economic sense.
“Due to labor constraints, the days of $8 an hour for stacking boxes are over, so you need to palletize,” says Brian Stock, president of SourceLink Solutions. “However, many of our customers in food manufacturing, contract packaging and others have older facilities with limited space.
Enter SourceLink’s new SL25 Mobile Palletizer on display at SourceLink booth N-5460. This industrial mobile pallet stacker combines the payload of a standard, stationary robotic pallet stacker with the cost efficiency of a mobile platform, all in a very compact unit.
Drives by mobile
The SL series is truly mobile, its frame design allows for easy transport throughout the facility. When its mobile frame doors are folded and locked in place, the entire unit can be moved by a single operator using only a pallet jack through a narrow 4-foot opening. By reopening the panels and turning on power at another station, the SL Series can palletize new loads in another palletizing section of the plant in as little as 10 minutes.
Stock claims that SourceLink’s rapid deployment of the SL Series results in rapid uptime, saving end users both cost and time.
“We can roll this into the customer’s factory and stack the boxes in 30 minutes, without sending a team of installers to spend a week fixing equipment to concrete, building guardrails and running a bunch of wires.”
The floor-level SL Series offers two, 6-axis models capable of stacking loads up to 20 boxes per minute (depending on case size and pallet model) and 80-in. tall In addition to the SL25 industrial robot on display, which lifts payloads of up to 25 kg, the SL20 collaborative robot loads maximum payloads of 20 kg.
To keep employees safe
Stock showed us several design features of the industrial robot designed to ensure worker safety around the open-format palletizing chamber. The SL25’s protective hood has two area scanners, one serving as a light curtain and the other a slow, controlled stop similar to that of a collaborative robot should a worker breach a barrier, eliminating uneven stops. Inside the cell, three sensors on each side use a radar-based inspection system that ignores inert objects (cases) while preventing people entering the area from accidentally launching the robot.
The SL series comes standard with a 24V zonal infeed conveyor, optional extended box infeed conveyor and box turning devices. SourceLink can also set up the unit with an optional dual-feed conveyor to palletize two SKUs at once. SourceLink offers other options for the SL Series, including special lever end tools and custom programming for slide sheet applications.
The SL series is very versatile and can be used in any palletizing market, from case boxes with chip bags or heavy aluminum cans to chemical buckets.