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Full Layer De-Palletizing of Rainbow Pallets

A national, big box home and garden retailer required a very high volume depalletizing system for a new, 1.5 million square foot warehousing and distribution facility.

The challenge was to design and build a de-palletizing system capable of keeping pace with the influx of shipments, accounting for nearly 20,000 SKUs, from 60 dock doors running 24 hours a day. Keeping up with that volume meant finding, gripping, removing and placing 12 layers of product each minute.

A significant challenge of this project, in addition to the sheer volume of product, was the high proportion of rainbow pallets that had to be handled. On any pallet, layers would range from 3” to 18” in height.

Another challenging aspect of this project was the poor condition of many of the loads after the shipping containers had survived inland transport, port handling and loading, ocean transport, port unloading, and finally multi-modal inland transport in the US. Many pallets were broken, loads had shifted, tops were mushroomed, and some layers were crushed.

The PASCO solution incorporated custom software to dynamically capture and store each SKU’s layer dimensions and overall height, a time of flight 3D vision system to locate the top layer of each pallet load at the pick station, and custom software to analyze the captured point cloud data and transmit offsets to the robots for the X,Y, Z and R axes.

We integrated 2 FANUC 700 KG robots in a mirrored, side by side configuration. A vacuum table captured and discarded slipsheets from pallets, and, finally, a carton flipper ensured that any individual cartons over a certain height were flipped over.

To learn more about this palletizing project, or to discover how PASCO can assist you with one of your own, contact us today.

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