Robotic Palletizing 101: When is it time to automate?
This is the third article in the Robotic Palletizing 101 series, written and published as a direct answer to the rising tide of new companies considering robotic palletizing solutions in their warehouses, distribution centers, or manufacturing operations. So far we’ve covered what robotic palletizing is and why it’s important and provided and overview of the key benefits of robotic palletizing solutions.
So, let’s say your company is currently manually palletizing and depalletizing to process inbound and outbound inventory. Maybe you’ve attended a trade show and saw a shiny new robotic palletizing solution. Maybe you saw an eye-catching video on LinkedIn or through a marketing email. Maybe you read a press release about a competitor who recently invested in a robotic palletizing solution. Whatever the reason may be, your question is the same: “Is it time for my company to automate palletizing and depalletizing?”
The answer is different for every business and warehouse and there are many reasons that your company may consider robotic palletizing solution. This article will present three challenges you could be facing in the form of “I need…” statements and address how the challenge can be solved through a robotic palletizing solution. If any of these statements sound like something you would say, it’s time to consider automating your palletizing process.
I need more throughput.
As mentioned in Robotic Palletizing 101: Key Benefits, throughput is one of the biggest reasons companies elect to automate their palletizing. Throughput has a profound impact on bottom lines. More inventory in the door means more orders out the door, which means more revenue for your business. The simple fact of the matter is manual labor cannot compete with the speed of robotic palletizing solutions. If you rely on manual labor, you’re tying the speed and efficiency of your entire operation to the number of manual palletizers you can afford and their speed. Robotic palletizing solutions afford the highest potential throughput, reducing bottlenecks and increasing operational efficiencies.
I need to cut down on labor costs.
There was a key phrase above regarding how throughput is tied to the number of manual laborers palletizing that you can afford. Sure, a company could try and reach throughputs equal to a robotic palletizing solution, but at what exorbitant labor costs is that realistically achieved? Robotic palletizing solutions do have high up-front costs, especially compared to the upfront cost of onboarding some new laborers, but the industry standard is between 6 and 18 months before the return-on-investment kicks in and savings begin.
This cost-saving effect is further compounded by a reduction in costs associated with workplace injuries. As mentioned before, palletizing is a menial, tedious, and repetitive task. This perfect storm of lifting and placing sometimes heavy objects repeatedly is often one of the highest causes of workplace injuries in warehouses. A robotic palletizing solution eliminates this risk by shifting that repetitive lifting task away from manual labor.
I need to use my floor space more efficiently.
If you’ve worked in a warehouse before, you know that floor space is constantly at a premium. Making good use of that floor space is a critical factor in determining the overall effectiveness of an operation. This is especially difficult for operations experiencing rapid growth that may be pushing the limits of their existing floor space. Robotic palletizing solutions are an elegant way of addressing this challenge and saving floor space. These automated palletizing solutions are almost always designed and built on a case-by-case basis. As such, you can get a customized solution that perfectly fits whatever space you have available and ensure you make the most efficient use of the space you have.
Carter Intralogistics has a history of helping companies take their first steps into robotic palletizing and we are happy to answer questions or concerns you may have about incorporating robotic palletizing into your operation. If you’re interested in our mixed-case palletizing solutions and software, read the data sheet. If you have a project in mind, contact email@example.com and someone from our team will get in touch with you.