Automating pallet transfer processes offers various benefits, including increased throughput and improved safety by eliminating the manual exchange of pallets. However, integrating a pallet transfer machine into an existing system can be challenging. In a project for a high-tech distribution center, we faced the challenge of ensuring seamless integration of the machine.
The distribution center, operated by Walgreens Distribution Centers, deals with a wide range of products, such as bandages, toothpaste, diapers, and pharmaceuticals. This diversity posed a challenge as some products faced difficulties moving through our machines.
Another obstacle was the presence of Automated Storage and Retrieval (ASR) systems in the distribution center. When sending pallets of products through a sophisticated high-rise system, it is crucial to use high-quality pallets to avoid accidents or disruptions.
Initially, the customer had an automated pallet changer system in place. This system would tip the load on its side, lower the “transfer from” pallet onto the conveyor, grip the “transfer to” pallet, and raise it to meet the load. While this system worked, it was slow and inefficient. Our goal was to develop a solution that would enhance productivity and enable swift pallet transfer while integrating with the existing automation.
To address these challenges, we designed, engineered, and installed a custom hands-free pallet transfer solution tailored to the facility’s specific needs. The machine would grab the load and pass it on to a stripper plate, which would retract and transfer the product to the next pallet. This automated system significantly increased throughput, allowing for one pallet transfer every 60 seconds.
We also made additional considerations to ensure smooth operations. Since Walgreens Distribution Centers deals with various products, not every load could be squeezed. To accommodate this, the client kept standalone pallet retrievers for off-line transfers when necessary. We also ensured that our load transfer fit the existing parameters and conducted a factory acceptance runoff to eliminate any potential downtime after installation.
After implementing this solution, the client experienced increased throughput, reduced trip-offs, and a significantly lower risk of pallet breakage when sending pallets through their high-rise system.
If your facility requires an upgrade, Cherry’s Industrial Equipment offers a range of automated pallet changers and load transfer machines. As a proud US-based manufacturer, we provide high-quality solutions, including standard machines and custom-engineered systems.
To learn more about our products and services or to request a quote, please contact us at 800-350-0011 or visit our website.