“Ergonomics” – people hear that word thrown around the workplace all the time. There are ergonomic chairs, ergonomic exercises for those sitting at desks, etc. So what exactly is “ergonomics”? Ergonomics is an applied science that centers on equipment design that intends to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.
What does that have to do with industrial robotics, or more specifically robotic palletizers, you ask? Well, I’m here to tell you.
When human workers perform palletizing functions manually, they are forcing their bodies to lift, bend, and twist several times per hour. This can cause severe back, neck and leg injuries over time. These injuries drive up labor costs for the manufacturer and are dangerous to the employee.
These injuries can also decrease productivity as workers get slower due to aches and pains, or when a new person has to train in an area due to a worker who is out of work due to injury.
This situation can cause a huge problem with the ergonomics for manual palletizing. No matter how scientists slice it, humans have their limits, and over time, their bodies will break down due to strained, repetitive tasks.
Enter the palletizing robot. This machine does not need breaks. It does not take sick leave or vacation. It does not even need a couple of days off here and there. It could, in theory, run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The robot is stronger and faster than a human – even a human using a lift assist. Some robot palletizers from FANUC, Motoman and KUKA can lift as much as 1350kg at a time with an increased accuracy and repeatability over manual applications.
The improved productivity and cycle times are a plus for manufacturers. These robotic palletizing systems not only decrease the cycle times for production lines, they save on labor and production costs while increasing the manufacturers’ return on investment.
Switching to automated robotic palletizing may be the only ergonomic solution for palletizing in the workplace. It keeps workers away from heavy lifting and trains them on how to run the robot. This gives workers a new set of skills and saves them from painful and dangerous back-breaking labor, which ultimately creates a win-win situation for manufacturer and employee.
RobotWorx, a certified integrator for FANUC, Motoman and KUKA robotics, has several palletizing robots and workcell systems that can cover several different palletizing needs. There are robots that can be mounted from the floor, wall, shelf or ceiling, lending to diverse layouts and workspace availability.
If you in the market to switch to automated palletizing to decrease labor costs, increase productivity, and protect your employees, contact RobotWorx today at 740-383-8383. Our engineers will work with you to find the right robot palletizing system to fit your facility’s needs.