PalletPro XS - bag palletizing

Compact robotic cell for palletizing sacks. Regardless of the type of product inside the sack, PalletPro XS offers you the possibility to palletize up to 515 sacks per hour in standard configuration. With PalletPro XS you can palletize sacks of: sugar, flour, glue, cement, sand or any other material. This cell has been specially developed for high productivity, regardless of the weight handled. The robot cell has a wide range of additional equipment options. This way you can benefit of the perfect solution adapted to your needs.

Advantages & Benefits

The concept is designed to be used by operators without robotics knowledge.

With full process automation, up to 50% of workspace can be saved.

The uninterrupted process is guaranteed 24 hours a day. Shutdowns are only those scheduled for maintenance purposes.

Access to the equipment in the cell is easy. Maintenance times are short: 15min/24h and 3h/6months.

By automating the process we have the possibility to make taller pallets, thus reducing the footprint.

Automation with industrial robots offers process flexibility. The system can easily adapt to production changes.

The palletising applications are in that way designed so that they can be connected to existing factory traceability systems.

It is minimized the risk of work accidents and occupational diseases caused by repetitive strain and work.

Capacities and Specifications

What is bag palletizing and how does it work?

Bag palletizing is the process of automatically stacking and arranging bags of products onto pallets for efficient storage, handling and transportation.

Bags are conveyed to the palletizer which uses mechanical arms, pushers, or robotic grippers to pick up the bags and arrange them onto a pallet in a specific stacking pattern to create a stable unit load.

Here are the key points about how bag palletizing works:

  1. Bags of product (e.g. food, agriculture, chemicals, etc.) are conveyed from the production line to the palletizer machine. The bags are typically made of paper, plastic or woven polypropylene.
  2. The palletizer uses mechanical arms, grippers, or robotic end-effectors to pick up the bags one at a time or in layers. It arranges the bags onto a pallet in a specific stacking pattern to create a stable unit load.

What are the main factors to consider when palletising bags?

The main factors you should consider when palletising bags include:

  1. Bag material, shape, weight, and size, which impact the palletizing process and equipment requirements.
  2. Pallet patterns and stability, ensuring bags are arranged in a secure, interlocking manner to prevent shifting during transport.
  3. Throughput and speed, with the palletizer able to keep pace with upstream bagging line speeds.
  4. Integration with upstream and downstream equipment, such as bagging lines, conveyors, pallet dispensers, and stretch wrappers.
  5. Safety and product protection, using gentle handling to avoid bag damage and implementing safety systems like light curtains and emergency stops.
  6. Environment and utilities, accounting for factors like floorspace, ceiling height, compressed air supply, and electrical power.
  7. Flexibility for future needs, selecting a palletizing system that can adapt to potential changes in bag sizes, materials, or throughput.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select the optimal bag palletizing solution for your specific products and production goals, ensuring efficient and reliable operations.Our production lines automation consulting service will help you pick the best technical solution.

What are the different types of bag palletizers?

There are several types of bag palletizers available in the market:

  • Robotic Bag Palletizers: These use an articulated robotic arm with a specialized gripper or suction tool to pick up and place bags onto a pallet. Robotic bag palletizers offer flexibility, precision, and the ability to create complex stacking patterns, overlap bags, and handle multiple SKUs. They can be floor-mounted or overhead-mounted and are ideal for low to medium production capacities.
  • Conventional Layer Palletizers: Also known as high-level or low-level palletizers, these machines form complete layers of bags and then deposit each layer onto the pallet. They use mechanical arms, pushers, or side squaring devices to create tight, uniform layers.
    Conventional palletizers are fast (up to 40 bags per minute) and excel at making square, stable pallet loads, but have less flexibility than robotic types.
  • Hybrid Palletizers: These machines combine features of both robotic and conventional layer palletizers. They use a robotic gripper to pick and place bags, while also incorporating layer squaring and compression like a conventional palletizer.
    Hybrids offer the flexibility to create complex patterns and the ability to make dense, stable pallets at high speeds.

What are the key differences between conventional layer and robotic bag palletizers?

When choosing between conventional and robotic bag palletizing, factors such as product type, production volume, space, and workforce must be considered.

The key differences between conventional layer palletizers and robotic bag palletizers are:

  1. Speed
    Conventional layer palletizers are typically faster, able to handle up to 40 bags per minute (2200 bags per hour) in a high-level configuration. Low-level conventional palletizers are about half that speed.
    Robotic bag palletizers have a lower maximum speed, typically handling 10-40 bags per minute (600-2400 bags per hour).
  2. Flexibility
    Robotic bag palletizers are more flexible and versatile. They can handle multiple SKUs, create complex stacking patterns, and overlap bags as needed to create tight, stable loads.
    Conventional layer palletizers are designed for high-speed single SKU palletizing. They form complete layers and deposit them on the pallet, but have limited ability to vary patterns or overlap bags.
  3. Pallet Quality
    Conventional layer palletizers use squaring plates and compression to create very uniform, square, and stable pallet loads. Each layer is tightly squared before being deposited.
    Robotic bag palletizers can create the programmed patterns precisely but may not create as tight and square a load as a layer palletizer.
  4. Footprint
    Robotic bag palletizers tend to have a slightly smaller footprint and can be more easily integrated into existing lines and spaces.
    Conventional layer palletizers, especially high-level models, require more vertical space and specific infeed conveyor configurations.
  5. Cost
    Conventional layer palletizers are often slightly lower in initial cost compared to robotic bag palletizers.
    However, the total cost difference depends on the level of automation, safety systems, pallet handling, and other customizations required.

Conventional layer palletizers excel at high-speed palletizing of consistent products, creating dense, uniform pallet loads.

Robotic bag palletizers provide more flexibility for multiple SKUs, complex patterns, and overlapping, but at somewhat lower maximum speeds.

Hybrid palletizers aim to combine the benefits of both technologies.

What are the cost differences between layering bag palletizers and robotic bag palletizers?

There are a few key points about the cost differences between conventional layer palletizers and robotic bag palletizers:

  1. Initial equipment cost can be comparable: For the most basic systems, the initial cost of a conventional layer palletizer and a robotic palletizer can be similar. However, this depends on the specific features and level of automation included.
  2. Robotic bag palletizer costs have come down: While robotics were historically seen as expensive, the cost of robotic palletizing solutions continues to decrease. At the same time, their performance and usability have improved.
  3. Conventional palletizer costs have increased: Due to rising labor and healthcare costs in the packaging equipment industry, the costs associated with building and maintaining a conventional layer palletizer have gone up. It’s estimated to take about 3 times the machine shop hours to create a conventional system compared to a robotic one.
  4. Total cost depends on customization and features: The overall cost difference between the two types depends largely on the desired level of automation, safety systems, pallet handling, and other customizations required.
    Adding features like automatic slip sheet dispensers, pallet conveyors, and stretch wrapping will increase the price of either type of system.
  5. Maintenance and operating costs favor robotics: With fewer moving parts, robotic bag palletizers typically have lower ongoing maintenance costs compared to conventional machines. The preventative maintenance on a robot is generally a fraction of what is required for a conventional palletizer.

While the upfront equipment costs can be comparable for basic systems, the total cost of ownership tends to favor robotic bag palletizers when considering the increasing costs of conventional machines and the lower operating expenses of robotic solutions.

However, the final price depends heavily on the specific application requirements and level of automation needed.Contact us to get a quote that suits your needs.

What bag types can be palletized by a robotic bag palletizer?

Robotic bag palletizers can handle a variety of bag types and materials, including:

  1. Open-mouth bags: Robotic palletizers with precise grippers or suction tools can reliably pick up and place open-mouth bags filled on automatic bagging machines. The robot can maintain the bag shape and create stable stacking patterns.
  2. Valve bags: Bags filled and sealed on valve bag equipment are commonly palletized using robotic systems. The consistent shape and closure of valve bags allows the robot to efficiently handle them.
  3. Poly bags and pouches: Robotic palletizers with specialized grippers can handle smaller pre-made pouches and poly bags, like those used in food and pet food packaging. The gripper can secure the bags without puncturing or damaging them.
  4. Paper and woven polypropylene bags: Both paper and woven PP bags can be palletized using robotic systems. The robot can be fitted with the appropriate end-of-arm tooling to handle the specific bag material and maintain its shape during stacking.
  5. Bulk bags and FIBCs: Large bulk bags and flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs) weighing up to 2200 lbs can be palletized using higher-payload robotic palletizers. The robot’s end effector can securely grip and lift the filled bulk bags.
  6. Bags of varying weights: Robotic palletizers can typically handle bag weights ranging from 5-50 kg, with some systems able to palletize even heavier bulk bags. The robot payload capacity and end-of-arm tooling are selected based on the bag weights.

In general, the flexibility of robotic palletizers allows them to handle a wide range of bag types, sizes, and materials. The key is to integrate the right end-of-arm tooling, such as clam-style grippers, vacuum cups, or fork-style tools, to securely handle each bag type without causing damage.

This adaptability makes robotic bag palletizers suitable for diverse industries and packaging applications.

What are the common applications of bag palletizers in different industries?

Bag palletizers are commonly used across several industries that handle bulk materials in bags:

  1. Food and Agriculture: Bag palletizers are widely used in the food and agriculture industries for efficiently stacking and securing bags of products like seeds, grains, rice, corn, sugar, salt, coffee, cocoa, cereals, milk powder, flour, and other bakery materials. Palletizing helps automate the handling of large volumes of bagged agricultural products.
  2. Animal Feed and Pet Food: The animal feed and pet food industries rely on bag palletizers to stack bags of feed, pet food, fish food, and compound feed ranging from 5 lbs to 165 lbs. Palletizers can handle the high volumes and varying bag sizes common in these sectors.
  3. Chemical and Fertilizer: Chemical companies use bag palletizers to stack and secure bags of raw materials, ingredients, and finished products like fertilizers, resins, granules, and plastic pellets. Automatic palletizing ensures precise and stable stacking for safe transportation of chemical goods.
  4. Building Materials: Manufacturers of building materials like cement, mortar, plaster, sand, and aggregates commonly palletize heavy bags of product for distribution. Bag palletizers can reliably stack the dense, weighted bags and create stable pallet loads for shipping.
  5. Minerals and Mining: The minerals and mining industries use bag palletizers to stack and secure bags of mined materials like gypsum, lime, and industrial sand. Palletizers automate the handling of heavy, bulky bags for improved efficiency.
  6. Other Non-Food Products: Bag palletizers also find applications in stacking bags of various non-food products like cat litter, seeds, firewood, charcoal, and other bulk materials that are commonly packaged and shipped in bags.

What are the safety considerations when operating a robotic bag palletizer?

When operating a robotic bag palletizer, key safety considerations include:

  1. Conducting a risk assessment to identify potential hazards and determine appropriate safeguards.
  2. Implementing safety devices like light curtains, laser scanners, locking gate switches, e-stops, and safety mats to secure the robot cell and prevent accidents.
  3. Complying with safety standards which provides guidelines for robot installation and safeguarding methods.
  4. Providing thorough training to all personnel working with or around the robotic palletizer on safety procedures and potential hazards.
    See our robotic cells specialized training for complete assistance.
  5. Performing regular preventive maintenance, cleaning, and service to ensure the palletizer operates safely as intended.
    For proper and professional maintenance of your robotic bag palletizing system, consult our robotic cells maintenance service.
  6. Designing the robotic palletizer with safety in mind, considering factors like the robot’s work envelope, travel paths, proximity to workers, safety fencing, and interlocked access doors.

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