Zero-footprint palletizer

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Attendees at ATX West show in Anaheim, California, Feb 6-8, will get a hands-on experience of how user friendly collaborative robots – or cobots – can now safely and effortlessly automate some of the most common manufacturing tasks in the industry.

Universal Robots’ ATX booth is the launch pad for the Zero Footprint Palletizer (ZFP) ready for distribution in North America through Universal Robots Certified Systems Integrator, Apex Motion Control. The ZFP is a simple solution for mid-rate production at a maximum load of 18 lbs.

The system can be easily redeployed throughout a facility and fits right into existing packaging lines without modification, replacing manual palletizing operations in minutes. Universal Robots’ UR10 cobot has been integrated with the ZFP, combining the full functionality of the robot with a vertical 7th axis swing system with the ability to stack on each side, supporting North American pallet sizing.

“The UR10 arm was chosen for this solution due to its ease-of-use and safety features,” says Rob Antonides, president of Apex Motion Control.

“We deliver automation solutions for the food industry and saw a clear market need for a flexible automation solution that addresses high mix/low volume runs in space restrained spaces.”

The ZFP can operate with no guarding. If an operator is detected in the carton pickup area, the collaborative safety features of the UR10 will safely reduce the speed of the robot until the area is cleared while the zero pressure accumulation infeed conveyor controls the flow of the product.

Another testament to the UR cobots’ flexible deployment potential is the new SnapWeld Collaborative Robot Welding package developed by ARC Specialties Inc exhibited at Universal Robots’ ATX booth by UR Certified Systems Integrator Robot 27. The cobot welder is the first integrated MIG welding system for cobots.

“We are getting a lot of requests for integrating Universal Robots in welding booths, so we saw this as a unique opportunity to develop an integrated low-cost system for gas metal arc welding (GMAW) applications that no one else in the market is currently offering,” says John Martin, vice-president of ARC Specialties.