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Smart Robotics launches new robotic mixed case palletizer

Smart Robotics, a warehouse robotics and automation specialist, has launched its Smart Mixed Case Palletizer, an industrial robot pick and place station.

Smart Robotics says the system is designed to improve warehouse delivery speed by removing one of the biggest bottlenecks – manual palletizing of mixed products or stock-keeping units (SKUs).

By using warehouse automation, the robot enables another step towards touchless shipping and allows large distribution centres to pre-sort to multiple destinations without increasing full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) in shipping.

Since consumers are shopping more online, the retail and ECom sector has experienced a sharp influx of parcels moving through the respective warehouses.

Higher order volumes and the digital customers’ demand for frictionless shopping and shipping procedures have left many operational and logistics managers in need of optimised outbound shipping processes for same or next day delivery.

Essentially, the Smart Mixed Case Palletizer allows for improved warehouse capacity by automatically stacking goods for delivery from the main warehouse to the respective receiving location – without warehouse floor workers having to manually pick and place goods.

As the next-gen version of its predecessor, the Smart Palletizer, the Smart Mixed Case Palletizer is able to stack mixed cases. The robot’s stacking behaviour is not limited to packages that are of the same size or weight and it can predict its own stacking sequence, as if playing Tetris, whereas traditional palletizing solutions rely on predefined stacking patterns to palletize goods of the same size, weight, and shape.

The Smart Mixed Case Palletizer does not rely on a predetermined stacking pattern, meaning the robot can govern itself to efficiently sort and stack randomly mixed parcels as they come in.

Johan Jardevall, CEO at Smart Robotics, says: “Customer demands are ever changing and with timely deliveries becoming an even greater factor in customer satisfaction, brands and retailers cannot afford delivery delays stemming from insufficient warehousing processes.

“By implementing the Smart Mixed Case Palletizer, item handling can be achieved with greater speed and accuracy at distribution centres, which better enables same day delivery.”

Smart Robotics is currently undergoing preparation for the first customer installation. Together with a leading sports brand, with warehouses located in Europe, Smart Robotics is preparing to implement the first version of the Smart Mixed Case Palletizers.

The objective is to test touchless shipping and faster delivery times when a parcel moves from the warehouse to transport.

By automating this phase in the logistics process, decentralised warehousing grids can be planned more efficiently to cut back on parcel travel time, since the Smart Mixed Case Palletizer aims to reduce multiple steps in the warehouse and distribution network.

At present, says Smart Robotics, following a mixed SKU stacking pattern, the Smart Mixed Case Palletizer can pre-sort mixed batches of items, packaged in medium to large (up to 25 kg) boxes, from the sorter to pallet. Based on the robot’s “stacking accuracy and palletizing efficiency, small load distribution improves”.

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