To date, palletizing machines with a high pack feed were considered high in their processing capacity yet technically complex. In contrast, palletizers with a low pack feed were said to be more cost effective yet inferior in their performance.
This has now changed; you can now have a low pack feed AND high palletizing capacities – complete with all of the other benefits this machinery entails. With its Innopal PB1NF, KHS has developed a new palletizing system, which pairs the strengths of both of the aforementioned concepts, namely cost efficiency and high performance.
This single-station, gantry palletizer is equally suitable for use in the beverage industry and in the food and non-food sectors. In its standard version it processes the entire spectrum of one-way packs, with returnable packs doable on request. It can stack packs up to a block height of two meters (including the pallet) and a layer weight of up to 200 kg on pallets with a maximum footprint of 1.30 x 1.30 meters. So far, so good. Yet what are the individual concepts behind this new KHS development, which result in tangible benefits for the customer? Read on for our top ten!
New palletizing concept for high performance
With palletizing machines with a low pack feed, the process to date involved the cross conveyor having to wait at its highest position until the last layer had been placed onto the pallet and the finished pallet discharged from the system. On the Innopal PB1NF this wait period has been eliminated. The cross conveyor now has a barrier at its front end, which automatically opens as soon as a pallet load is finished and ready for discharge. This allows the cross conveyor to travel down to table level and pick up a new layer while the pallet is being changed.
Customer benefits: This way, the machine can process up to 500 layers per hour – a leap in performance of over 30% compared to the classic system.
No layer lift with a low pack feed
With a low pack feed there’s no need for the packs due for processing to be conveyed up to a given height. Neither an operator platform nor inclined or spiral conveyors are thus needed. Doing away with this equipment greatly reduces system complexity and eases operation.
Customer benefits: the positive effects yielded by such an elegant concept include a lower cost of investment, less maintenance effort, and a much smaller system footprint.
Fewer moving parts with a pushover plate system
As opposed to high-speed palletizers with a roller gripper head, what are known as pusher plate machines are distinguished by their compact design and high output with large handling loads. They also have fewer moving parts.
Customer benefits: comparatively high savings on maintenance and wear.
Pusher plate processes all types of pack
The palletizer processes a very wide range of packaging and products, such as cartons and film and shrink packs for cans and plastic or glass bottles. A slight amount of ribbing on the surface of the pusher plate means that no vacuum is formed when packs are pushed over onto the plate. This prevents film packs from becoming stuck, for example, and there is no danger of damage.
Customer benefits: extremely gentle processing of all types of pack. Great flexibility.
KHS inline robot groups packs flexibly and prepares layers perfectly
On the Innopal PB1NF packs can be grouped using either standard systems or robots. The Innopal RK 4 four-axis robot is the perfect choice for high outputs and a variety of formations. Servo motors automatically adjust its gripper head to widths of between 120 and 400 mm. The positive-fit gripper picks up all shapes and sizes of pack and places each one in gently and with perfect accuracy in its pre-specified position. The finished formations are then automatically centered on all sides to produce a perfect layer pattern and extremely stable pallet load.
Customer benefits: pack manipulation elements such as turning stations are not required. This cuts costs, is gentle on packs, boosts flexibility, reduces the amount of space required, decreases maintenance, and enables fast changeovers.
PC control prevents interface problems
The components in the palletizing system obey identical control concepts. A PC placed in a modular system control cabinet acts as a control computer. This PC control system is compatible with all bus systems worldwide.
Customer benefits: the palletizing technology and peripherals interact without any interface problems. The system adjusts to new formats and product-dependent travel distances at the press of a button.
All kinds of pallet conveying options
The Innopal PB1NF always conveys empty pallets separately below the grouping table, thus saving plenty of space. An optional inspection system can be installed upstream to ensure that only clean, undamaged pallets enter the machine. Various peripheral options, which include pallet conveying segments with integrated pallet magazines, pallet shuttle cars, turning segments and corner turntables, help to provide customers with the best possible functions.
Customer benefits: space-saving conveying of empty pallets. Perfect pallets for smooth operation. The periphery can be adapted to suit local conditions.
Optional, fully automatic pallet liner system
Fully automatic pallet liner system is another available option. To this end, two pallet conveyor systems are arranged as a double deck. The pallet liners can then be easily centered on all four sides so that they are exactly positioned.
Customer benefits: less machine operator dependency. Safe, continuous palletizing.
ReDiS for high availability
KHS’ remote diagnostic service (ReDiS) analyzes electronic line components and corrects any errors through an online link to KHS. The specialists at KHS even provide remote assistance for mechanical faults to help eliminate them as quickly as possible.
Customer benefits: lower servicing costs, shorter downtimes. Top line availability.
Line can be planned virtually
The planned line configuration can be viewed virtually in 3D at KHS. Analysis and planning tools enable customers to study their prospective system in its operating environment. Virtual planning also allows companies to see how their palletizing technology links up with machines before and after it on the line.
Customer benefits: possible (interface) problems can be detected and corrected prior to deciding whether to invest or not.
Conclusion: by developing the Innopal PB1NF, KHS has brought together the best of two worlds, namely outstanding performance and attractive cost effectiveness, giving customers in the beverage, food and non-food industries a number of concrete benefits for simple, powerful, and fast palletizing.