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Efficient Case Conveyor Solution: Enhancing Operations and Throughput


This customer was adding two new production lines to their facility. The new production lines would increase throughput capacity by 40%. This was too much for their current robotic palletizer. They needed a solution to create more palletizing capability for the new lines and the existing lines.


The solution was a multiphase approach that ensured production was never down more than one shift to any single line. To make room for one of the two new lines we rerouted product. To combat the increase of throughput through a single robot palletizer, a system consisting of two palletizers were used by the customer. This palletizing system consisted of a de-palletizer, a transfer cart to move the empty pallets from the de-palletizer to the appropriate robot lane, two robots palletizing up to 8 pallets at a time, a transfer cart to move full pallets to the wrapper infeed, and a wrapper to secure the loads. The conveying system feeding the robotic palletizers consisted of scanners to read the SKU number on the box, 24V zoned conveyor to singulate the cases, a reject lane for bad reads, and a recirculation loop for retries or for when one of the robots get backed up to keep the system flowing.

Phase 1

In this phase we are removing the conveyor sections between Line #2 and Line #3 and making Line#1 and Line #2 go around the top of the room instead. We did all of the prework prior to doing the cutover to make sure that we had less than 8 hours of downtime for line #1 and #2. One unique challenge for us was that we needed to maintain a fork truck aisle through the conveyor for moving equipment or other maintenance functions. To do this we made custom swing gates that gave us a 10' opening. The gates were on photo eyes so if they were opened the conveyor would stop.

Before Phase 1
After Phase 1

We installed the new line conveyor after the new line was installed in Phase 4.

Phase 2

Phase 2 was our largest and most complex phase. In this phase we disconnected the existing palletizer and provided conveyor to run product around the office and facility rooms to the new palletizers. We performed a great deal of testing during this phase to make sure that all equipment was functioning properly prior to releasing full production to the new palletizers.

Original Prior to any Phase
After Phase 2

This also shows Phase 3 which was connecting the production line on the left side to the conveying system.

Installation Process

Enjoy this video that shows the installation process.