When you want to automate your end-line processes with a palletizing solution, there are a variety of options available on the market. Depending on your performance needs and budget, one solution may be a better choice than another.
How would you compare the various solutions to determine which is correct?
The right solution can help you optimize production, make better use of manual labor and reduce costs. But the wrong solution can be a costly mistake.
By evaluating key consideration options — such as cost, throughput, ease of integration, and more — you can make a better decision that will ensure you find a palletizing solution that’s right for you.
Here is a guide to compare the various palletizing solutions on the market.
Step by step guide to compare palletizing solutions
Before you even think about purchasing a palletizing solution, you should first be clear about what you need from it.
Here are 5 steps to compare different solutions:
Understand your needs and goals — It is important to have a clear idea of what you want from a palletizing solution. This may include performance metrics, such as throughput or payload. But it can also include terms of service, such as customer support or training availability.
Research various solutions — Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, it’s time to research the different solutions available in the market. Use your preferred metrics as a guide and don’t be afraid to ask suppliers for ideas on how they would solve your particular challenge — they are masters of their own solutions.
Evaluating potential vendors — Look at vendors who can provide a suitable solution for your palletizing needs. Also pay attention to partner networks — providers in Robotiq’s partner network, for example, can deploy Palletization Solutions with extra support from Robotiq if needed.
Compare solutions to your metrics — Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential vendors, compare the proposed solutions against your preferred performance metrics. At this stage, it’s more of a “sanity check” to make sure you don’t forget key requirements during your quest.
Make informed decisions – Finally, decide which robotic palletizing solution you will use. Since you may have contacted the vendor during your search, you should start from a warm relationship.
You can sometimes speed up this process if you have seen a working palletizing solution that you like. Many people who have used the Robotiq Palletizing Solution have previously seen it work in another facility or in one of our trade show booths.
11 key considerations when choosing a palletizing solution
When comparing the different solutions, there are a few key considerations that can be useful to take into account.
Here are 11 considerations:
1. Types of palletizing solutions
First, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the different types of palletizing solutions available.
Palletization types include fully manual, semi-automatic, robotic and conventional full automation. Each has its own benefits and is suitable for different purposes.
2. Complete solution cost
The cost of a palletizing solution is a concern for many when they compare options.
While costs do matter, it’s more important to balance the return on investment with the cost of the solution. Keep in mind that some solutions, especially conventional automation, can incur additional costs that are not immediately apparent.
3. Throughput capability
For many companies, adding throughput to their palletizing task is a top priority. By increasing the throughput of your end of line processes, you can often increase the output of your entire operation.
There are also features from several solutions that can help increase throughput even further. For example, using Robotiq’s multipick feature can increase throughput by up to 75%.
4. Scalability for growth
Look for a palletizing solution that can scale easily, as your palletizing process can directly impact your ability to efficiently distribute your product.
Inflexible manual palletizing and automation solutions can often hinder a company’s growth. It is more difficult to scale than more flexible palletizing solutions, especially when there are labor shortages.
5. Pallet making quality
While people are increasingly focusing on the throughput advantages of palletizing automation, robots can also significantly improve the quality and consistency of palletizing. This results in less damage and happier customers.
Look for a solution that can consistently meet the quality requirements of your palletizing task.
6. Ease of integration
For many companies, add Robotiq Palletization Solutions was their first step towards robotic automation. This is why it is so important that the solution is easy to integrate.
Consider how easy it would be for you or one of your team members to edit the robot’s program. When you choose a solution that’s easy to integrate, it puts you in control of your own palletizing process.
7. Configuration options
Different palletizing solutions may offer different configuration options, including adding additional sensors and equipment.
Better configuration options make it easy to customize the solution to your specific needs. PowerPick Gripper, for example, provides 46 configuration options.
8. Security features
Safety should always be a priority when looking at palletizing. This applies to both automated solutions — which must have appropriate safety features — and manual palletizing, which can cause safety problems due to ergonomics.
Collaborative robots are usually inherently more secure than other types of automation. However, even they require guardrails for palletizing due to the nature of the task.
9. Information and training
A factor people often forget is the amount of information and training available to support your palletizing solution. With the right training, even members of your team with no previous robotics experience can control the robot’s running.
For example, Robotiq’s eLearning platform Filled with useful courses to get you up and running in robotics quickly.
10. Customer support
One thing Robotiq Palletizing Solution users often comment on is the high level of support when using our products.
Good customer support is essential to troubleshoot any issues that may arise and ensure your palletizing deployment runs smoothly.
11. Time from order to deployment
Finally, a key consideration is how quickly you can implement a palletizing solution once you decide to go robotics.
For many customers, Robotiq Palletizing Solutions is up and running within weeks of order. For a more customized version, it may take several months.
Get started with robotic pallet building now
Switching to robot palletizing doesn’t have to be a daunting process. When you know what you’re looking for in a palletizing solution, you can get started quickly, easily and with the confidence that the solution of your choice will work for you.
If you want to get started quickly, contact us about Robotiq Palletization Solutions and let us help you make your automation project a success.