Pallet manufacturer adds automation

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
The RackMaster robotic welding system has two robotic welders and two workstations.

LOS ANGELES – Hannibal Industries, one of the largest steel pallet rack manufacturers in the U.S., has added robotic welding technology to its Southern California-based manufacturing facility. In addition, the company has purchased a CombiLift CombiMG 2533-02 gantry crane that has been retrofitted to move master coils of steel for a more efficient stacking pattern.

“We have been carefully moving towards robotics for more than a decade as the technology meets the levels of expectation we have for our products,” said Steve Rogers, executive vice-president of Hannibal Industries.

“This advancement will not just help us overcome the challenges of rack system frame welding, but will assist our highly skilled employees to improve overall production consistency, accuracy and material conservation.”

Among the benefits of the new 30 by 90-foot RackMaster robotic welding system are high throughput, low cycle time, repeatable welds and easy operation. It has two robotic welders, two workstations, universal tooling, a Ferris Wheel positioner, vertical-down welding procedure and a customizable welding torch.

The crane, which required both hiring and retraining and certification of existing employees in both operation as well as safety, will allow Hannibal to stack the steel master coils used for the production of racking as well as tubular products to three high, saving a significant amount of space from a typical stack that can only be stacked to two high with a traditional forklift.