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Understanding Collaborative Robots and What They Mean for Your Packaging Operations

Understanding Collaborative Robots | Case PackingLike another member of the team, robots have come a long way in the past decade. They used to be overly complicated machines, but now, collaborative robots are seamless integrated into the packaging and shipping processes, speeding up delivery times and reducing ergonomically hazardous work. To gain efficiencies, robots are being used more frequently in distribution centers for case packing and palletizing because of the increased throughput, vision and cost savings today’s robotic technology offers.

What are Collaborative Robots?

Collaborative robots, also known as cobots, are robots that are designed to operate collaboratively with humans. These automated machines can be used for lightweight operations (like placing products in cases or trays) to more heavy duty applications (such as depalletizing and palletizing). They are ideal for medium and small-size operations who are looking to increase productivity and reduce costs.

Cobots can be used anywhere human employees are found, and are particularly suitable for tedious tasks. They are easy to use and intrinsically safe.

Benefits of Collaborative Robots in the Warehouse

Packaging Digest offers the following characteristics of collaborative robots and applications:

  • They are designed to be safe around people, either by force limiting to avoid injury if they touch, by sensors that prevent touching or by a combination of both.
  • They are often relatively light weight and can be moved from task to task as needed.
  • They do not require skill to program. Most cobots are simple enough that anyone who can use a smartphone or tablet can teach or program them.
  • Just as a power saw is intended to help, not replace, the carpenter, the cobot is generally intended to assist, not replace, the production worker.
  • Collaborative robots are generally simpler than more traditional robots, which makes them cheaper to buy, operate and maintain.

Robotic Solutions

At Hughes, we offer a larger variety of robotic solutions from various Robotic Palletizers to Case Packing Systems.

  • SOCO SYSTEM Robot-in-a-Box is a full “plug and play” solution for case palletizing. It’s ready to handle nearly all cases or pallets you want to operate with minimal maintenance.
  • Motion Industry Robotics offers easy-to-use robotic case palletizing systems that reduce costs with decreases in labor, ergonomic injuries and floor space.
  • Combi Robotic Case Packing System offers a Robotic Pick and Place Packing feature to fully automate case packing operations that may require verifying lot or serialization numbers, varying pack counts, creating retail ready packages, or automating tasks that are difficult or unsafe for humans.
  • Wexxar WF-30 with Rapid Fill Magazine delivers fast, ergonomic loading of case blanks for a faster startup and case size changeovers. The design allows for easy integration with automatic or robotic case loaders.

Robotic Packaging and Shipping Solutions

Increased global competition is driving leaner operating efficiency in today’s manufacturing plants. But thankfully Hughes Enterprises has your packaging solutions. We can offer automated systems that will be highly reliable, flexible to handle various configurations and able to handle process adjustments on the fly.

Contact us at 1-267-409-6100 to get more information on what sort of packaging equipment is right for your warehouse.