When manufacturers can't staff tasks on their production lines, it severely affects the bottom line resulting in drastic increases in overtime, cycle time and downtime. With the U.S. unemployment rate remaining at 3.5 percent, the lowest in 50 years, 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day and few millennials interested in joining the manufacturing industry, companies are increasingly looking at automation to solve production challenges.
Universal Robots, in partnership with Columbia/Okura, will soon launch the new miniPAL™, a mobile palletizer product powered by the UR10e cobot arm. The flexible miniPAL™, with a footprint of 11'x13', can palletize at two pallet locations for optimized operation.
The latest design includes two safety mats and two area scanners that detect when people enter the work envelope, allowing the system to meet even higher speeds when not in collaborative mode. The system plugs into 110V AC wall power, can be set up in less than a day, and delivers an average payback between 8-10 months, depending on application and industry.
"The partnership between Columbia/Okura and UR allows the two companies to provide a safe and economical palletizing solution to clients who are facing labor shortages, many of whom may also be new to factory automation," says Brian Hutton, president of Columbia/Okura LLC. "With the introduction of a collaborative palletizer, employees can be reassigned to work on higher value, less strenuous tasks where their time and skills are better served."
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