Today’s conventional palletizing machines are constructed for speed and accuracy. Although it will vary by application, conventional palletizers can reach rates in excess of 150 cartons per minute (CPM). Within an application of very few SKUs, this is where palletizers can reach their maximum speed. A key component to achieving these speeds is “upstream” accumulation conveyors that release a layer (or slug of counted product) to the palletizer and is included in-line one case at a time. Because a conventional palletizer can only build one pre-planned load at a time, a rule of thumb is that you must have a conveyor footprint to accumulate at least a pallet and a half of product per cycle.
Conventional palletizers can often handle more complex stacking patterns than other palletizing technologies. This is primarily due to the fact that product is conveyed in-line before a row, or a layer, is constructed; upstream merge conveyors, turning devices, row and layer forming tables contribute to the flexibility in handling many different patterns.
Enhancements in conventional technology is moving at a rapid pace and recently includes features such as layer tables, slip sheet, tie sheet dispensers and integral stretch wrappers.