Stackers and Palletizers — Making Perfect Piles
The Roskam stacker has a control package that features touchscreen interface, along with a modular out-feed approach. This can, for example, allow a client to upgrade a manual offload stacker to one that can interface directly with a robotic palletizing system.
Roskam palletizers, with rugged conveyor construction, feature a package with PLC, PC and robot controls seamlessly integrated. All elements of the robotic work cell are controlled from a single touchscreen interface. The interface doesn't require the operator to directly interface with the robot controller.
The palletizer's footprint is a significant consideration in analyzing palletizers, according to Robert Stock, technical sales engineer for Kolbus America. Kolbus' DOCTOR line of automatic palletizers can handle various products, including bookblocks, perfect bound books, saddle stitched magazines, parcels and cartons.
The DOCTOR 20 boasts an elevator-type infeed. Built with single products, bundled or shrink-wrapped piles/cartons in mind, products can be turned 90 degrees left or right with speeds up to 20 cycles per minute.
The DOCTOR 30 was designed to palletize loose and slippery product piles with a height of 300mm. It reaches speeds of 30 cpm, and its transport unit turns products 90 degrees or 180 degrees to achieve desired pallet pattern.
With customized publications becoming more prevalent, shorter print runs are demanding speed and reliability more than ever, according to J.C. Anson, division manager, print finishing, for Muller Martini. Other considerations that factor into the decision-making process for customers include profitability, as well as the ability to handle diverse product, provide durability and reliability, and churn out quality work.
An ergonomically sensitive machine is also critical, according to Anson. "By combining stackers, palletizers and other labor-saving components into an in-line workflow, Muller Martini can eliminate the need for human interaction with the printed product. That means no lifting, no bending, no strains and no sprains."