How Robotic Depalletizers Work
In a fully automated depalletizing setup, pallets are delivered to the robotic depalletizer, either by human operators or pallet conveyor. The pallet is scanned and the product information is sent to the warehouse software system to keep track of inventory down to the individual item.
The robot unloads the pallets either by full layers of cases, rows of cases, or case by case, depending on the system design and the EoAT (end of arm tool).
Items are then placed on an outfeed conveyor, sorter, or specialty equipment like a descrambler that singulates and orients the items for downstream processes like storage, further processing, or outbound order fulfillment.
Mixed Product Handling
Mixed product handling is a method of depalletizing that automates unloading of assorted products from a single pallet. Mixed pallets maximize pallet density, allowing for diverse, demand-driven pallets ideal for ecommerce, food and beverage, and distribution operations. These loads, sometimes referred to as a “rainbow pallet,” can be comprised of homogenous layers of any single product, or mixed products within a layer.
Artificial Intelligence and Vision System
For effective mixed-load pallet unloading, advanced machine vision and artificial intelligence aid the robot in accurately and safely picking and placing product. Equipped with this cutting-edge technology, Bastian Solutions’ mixed product depalletizing robots don’t require training or programming to handle your current products or new product integration.
As new products are introduced, the AI software builds a library of objects it has seen and handled over time, along with optimal picking information. This is shared across the entire fleet allowing them to continuously learn from each other so they can function as a single, highly efficient depalletizing operation.
The AI and vision platform directly interfaces with Bastian Solutions’ Exacta® software, communicating product data and sharing inbound product information. This integration allows the cells to run with even higher autonomy.
Robotic depalletizing is an effective and flexible solution that works in a variety of pallet unloading applications, including:
- Case Depalletizing – Dispensing of single product cases one at a time for increased flexibility and speed over manual operations.
- Row Depalletizing – Handling complete rows of homogeneous product at a time, this option expands on single case picks for greater efficiency.
- Full Layer Depalletizing – Removing a full layer of single product cases using a standardized end of arm tool (EoAT) for faster throughput rates than case or row handling.
- Collaborative Depalletizing – Safely unloading pallets in environments with high operator interaction with less floor space and capital expenditure than industrial robots.
- Staging – Arranging empty containers in proper orientation or feeding filled containers directly into production equipment for further processing.
- Custom Product Handling – Destacking of unwieldy product – tires, kegs, bags, batteries, and scrap metal – for down lane operations like sortation, manual or automated storage, or inspection.