Selecting a Robotic Palletiser: Shelf ready cartons drive robotics innovation

February 16, 2022

Retailers are continuing to drive the movement toward shelf ready packaging (SRP) or retail ready packaging (RRP), essentially meaning that stock is presented to store as easily brand identifiable, ready to place on shelf, and easy to dispose.

While the movement toward SRP is beneficial for the retailer in terms of reduced handling and waste, and ease of merchandising, to gain true efficiencies the processor or manufacturer must ensure that their palletising process (whether manual or automated) is designed to handle a more challenging array of palletised product.

Shelf ready cartons are one of the hardest products to palletise in most production facilities as SRPs can vary widely in size and shape, weight, and rigidity – and can adopt various configurations including addition of perforations, use of corrugated trays, and removable plastic wrap – that can serve to increase risk of damage.

This lack of packaging uniformity and increased fragility presents a particular problem for a manufacturing facility that runs numerous product lines in the selection of a robotic palletiser. Conventional product grippers simply do not provide the flexibility and handling ‘care’ demanded by the broad range of SRP configurations available. Ensuring product ‘survivability’ through the supply chain is key.

As the market has shifted, we at Robotic Automation have had to shift our thinking too in developing a robotic palletiser to accommodate the dilemma of managing high-speed automated palletising of SRP to ensure appropriate handling and no breakages through the packaging process.

Our patented and proven MOTOPAL robotic grippers (MOTOPAL-780 and MOTOPAL-1120) were specifically designed at Robotic Automation to resolve these challenges, being pre-programmed to handle most SRP patterns and carton sizes.

The grippers were originally trialled over a period of almost 2 years as part of a new palletising solution at client Arnott’s Huntingwood factory, where they proved capable of handling every possible carton configuration, achieving a rate of up to 30 cartons/minute.

In an industry where the only certainty is change, we are proud of our design ability to adapt and innovate to meet the needs of our clients. The MOTOPAL grippers represent a highly efficient fully servo gripper perfect for both end of line and multi robot centralised palletising applications, and represent a modern solution to the SRP dilemma.

Further information

Be Amazed! View the robotic palletiser solution that we developed for the Arnott’s Group.