The rise of consumerism has shaped the market demand for Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). Supermarkets and vendors value a variety of SKUs over high quantities of a single SKU. This is why manufacturers need to adapt to this changing reality.
Mixed Pallets, Direct To Market
Mixing pallets has emerged as the answer to an evolving market. When your customer needs half a pallet of SKU 1 and a quarter pallet of SKU 2 and 3 respectively, it makes sense to condense these incomplete pallets in one single pallet. This will help reduce shipping costs by maximizing the space used in shipping containers.
This finally allows you a flexible, demand-driven way to respond to the market. But how are these pallets mixed on demand?
Manual Operations Are Not The Solution
Some manufacturers have tried to get ahead of the curve and attempted to mix pallets the old fashioned way: with manual labor.
In an age where all your operations are automated with robots and computers and networks, you are implementing a slow, manual, and error-prone solution at the end of your production line.
Automatic, Flexible And Offline
With this shift in market trends coming in more recent times, most manufacturing plants were not planned out with mixed pallets in mind.
Technica sought to design a solution that is not only automatic and flexible but also standalone and offline to avoid conflicts with the existing operation.
Depending on the recipe, full pallets of each required SKUs are placed on the different infeed stations of this system. These pallets are introduced to the robot cell, and following the current recipe, the robot will pick each layer from the required SKU and place it on the mixed pallet.
Once the mixed pallet is complete, it is sent out for stretch wrapping, while empty pallets are stacked and sent back out of the cell for pickup.
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