Robotic Depalletizer

Automate Pallet Unloading to Improve Throughput and Accuracy of Receiving Operations

The process of unloading pallets for incoming materials, also called depalletizing, is a great candidate for automation using robotics. Robotic depalletizing systems can be designed to handle virtually any pallet configuration, product mix, or packaging type – eliminating the ergonomic, safety, and labor availability issues that come with manual unloading processes.

Depending on the size, weight, throughput, and physical characteristics of the product being handled, Bastian Solutions will recommend the optimal depalletizing solution for your operations, giving you a fast and effective robotic system that provides impressive reliability with minimal maintenance.

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How Robotic Depalletizers Work

full-layer-robotic-depalletizing-system-3In 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.

Other Applications

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.

Features & Benefits

  • Reduce manual labor requirements and costs
  • Lower cycle times by increasing throughput, line speed and overall system efficiency
  • Reduce ergonomic issues by reducing heavy lifting and repetitive tasks
  • Integrates with cutting-edge AI software and machine vision for autonomous, accurate product handling
  • Incoming pallet contents are automatically scanned, sending product and inventory information to the warehouse software system which automates product tracking
  • Increase uptime and system reliability by reducing handling errors
  • Scale with business growth with seamless integration of additional robots
  • Precise and safe handling for an array of products including cases, totes, bags, trays, tier sheets, buckets, bins, batteries, and oddly shaped or heavy items


When considering whether automating your pallet unloading and depalletizing operations, it’s important to consider:

  • Warehouse receiving volumes
  • Size, weight, and variety of items on the pallets
  • Desired throughput rates
  • EoAT and vision requirements
  • Operation needs, human and robot collaboration may require cobot depalletizers for safety
  • Facility layout and available footprint
  • Other machines or equipment that may need to interface with the depalletizing system
  • Factory acceptance testing (FAT) ensures our solutions meets your standards

Technologies & Specifications

Robotic depalletizing systems generally consist of the following technologies:

  • Infeed pallet conveyors that deliver product to robot
  • Pallet dispensers and empty pallet takeaway
  • Outfeed conveyors that take unstacked products away
  • Safety fencing and other safety devices like light curtains
  • Robot with EoAT with design options for zoned vacuum cups, compression plates with or without bottom support, universal vacuum pads, clamshell or claw grippers

For enhanced capabilities, the following technologies can also be included:

  • 3D or AI-powered vision system
  • Foundry-grade options
  • Enhanced safety software
  • Robot on rail systems for increased infeeds

See More Solutions


Robotic Integration Services


Robotic Palletizing Systems


Robotics Capabilities Brochure

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