|

Palletization: The Ultimate Guide To Identifying Different Types

palletization

February 23, 2023

Palletization is a core step in the supply chain process. On the surface, palletizing can seem very simple — you just stack boxes onto an empty pallets. But there are many different types of palletization and various ways to compare these types.

With so many different pallet types and materials, process layouts, and levels of automation, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to determine which type of palletization is best suited to your specific needs.

In this guide, we walk you through each of the different types of palletization. We compare each type’s advantages and disadvantages to help you identify the best one for you.

How many types of palletization are there?

Given their supposed simplicity, pallets can be surprisingly complex.

It’s hard to say exactly how many distinct types of palletization there are. Depending on who you are talking to, they may have different ways of categorizing pallets and the processes surrounding them.

For example, a pallet manufacturer may differentiate pallets by material, shape, or industry – different industries sometimes require specific pallets for regulatory reasons. A process engineer might instead look at how pallets can fit into the packing processes in different ways. And an automation engineer will probably look at the different levels of automation.

As a pallet user, it’s helpful to understand these different categorizations so you can make more informed choices for your end of line processes.

4 ways to compare different types of palletization

There is no definitive “standard” that describes different types of palletization.

However, here are 4 useful ways that you can differentiate between them:

1. By pallet type

One handy way to compare pallets themselves is to look at the type of pallet.

For example, you could compare them by the material that the pallet is made from, such as wood, metal, or plastic. You can also compare the design of the pallet, such as winged, stringer, or nested.

You can find out more about different pallet types in our article 10 Types of Pallet You Should Definitely Know About.

2. By palletizing pattern

Another common method of comparing pallets is by their palletizing pattern. This means looking at the order and orientation in which you placed boxes on the pallet. Examples include interlocked, split, row, and pinwheel.

The pallet pattern has a strong impact on the stability of the boxes. You can find out more about palletizing patterns in our article 7 Palletizing Patterns for Your Cobot to Reduce Product Damage

3. By process layout

Another way of looking at palletizing is to not focus on the pallets themselves, but to look at how they integrate into the rest of your operations.

By choosing the right process layout, you ensure that the steps leading up to your palletizing operation are the most efficient possible. Examples of different palletizing process types include serial palletization, parallel palletization, and hub and spoke palletization.

4. By level of automation

Finally, a very helpful way to compare different types of palletization is to look at the level of automation.

Level of automation determines how much of the palletizing task you have given (or could give) to automated machinery.

What’s the most useful way to compare palletization types?

With all these options, what’s the most useful way to compare palletization types?

It depends on why you are looking to compare them.

Comparing by pallet type is useful when you are purchasing pallets. However, it is not such a useful comparison once you already know what pallets you will be using.

Comparing by pallet pattern can help you optimize your use of space on the pallets themselves. This is can be an ongoing process and it’s helpful to check your pallet patterns regularly, especially if you are changing your pallet layouts often.

Comparing by process layout is most helpful when you are designing or improving your entire facility layout. After this, it’s unlikely you will look at process layout very often.

For many people looking to improve their palletizing process, the most relevant is the level of automation. By comparing for level of automation, you can make the right decisions about what technological solutions would most help your palletizing process.

Palletization by level of automation: advantages and disadvantages

When you are comparing palletizing types by level of automation, there are 4 basic levels you can look at.

Here are the 4 types along with their advantages and disadvantages:

1. Manual palletization

The first and most common level of palletization automation is manual palletizing. This requires no automation and instead relies on a human operator to move, organize, and stack products onto the pallet.

The chief advantage of manual palletizing is its flexibility and simplicity. However, it has huge disadvantages, including being unsafe for human operators, costly in terms of labor, and inconsistent in quality.

2. Semi-automated or aided palletization

After manual palletizing, many companies add some level of automation or mechanical aids to help with the palletizing task. A semi-automated process might include a system to pack layers onto a pallet, but that still requires human input.

An advantage of semi-automated systems is that they are readily available and can be almost as flexible as humans. However, they are often costly, less flexible than other forms of automation, and take up a lot of space.

3. Conventional automated palletization

The conventional approach to automating palletization tasks is to use fully automated palletization machines. These are commonly used in mass production environments.

An advantage of conventional palletizing automation is that they palletize very quickly. However, a downside is that they are huge, complex to install, and inflexible to changes.

4. Robotic palletization

Robotic palletization involves using a robot to stack products onto the pallet. There are different types, from large industrial robotic palletizers (that share some of the same downsides as conventional automation) to collaborative robot palletizers.

Collaborative robot palletizers, in particular, are very flexible, cost effective, and easy to deploy. Although they are not as fast as their conventional counterparts, they offer the benefits of robotic palletization to many more environments than was possible previously.

Finding the best type of palletization for you

Which type of palletization is best for you?

It’s helpful to first decide what you want for your palletizing. This will help you decide the best way to compare the different palletizing types on offer.

If you are looking at robotic palletizing, you can make your life much easier by choosing a palletizing application kit. This includes everything you need to get started with palletizing automation and removes many of the common roadblocks that hold people back.

Source

Related Articles


Changing Scene

  • Westburne and Kinova Announce Groundbreaking Partnership

    Westburne and Kinova Announce Groundbreaking Partnership

    Westburne is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership that is set to redefine the landscape of collaborative robotics. Westburne has joined forces with Kinova, a global provider in robotics innovation, to deliver cutting-edge solutions that will transform industries and elevate Westburne’s commitment to technological advancement. This partnership marks a significant milestone in Westburne’s journey towards… Read More…

  • ABB Appoints Morten Wierod to Succeed Björn Rosengren as CEO

    ABB Appoints Morten Wierod to Succeed Björn Rosengren as CEO

    The ABB Board of Directors has appointed Morten Wierod as Chief Executive Officer. He will take office on August 1, 2024, and succeed Björn Rosengren, who will step down from his position as Chief Executive Officer effective July 31, 2024, and retire as of December 31, 2024. From August 1, 2024, until the end of… Read More…


Sponsored Content
The Easy Way to the Industrial IoT

The way to the Industrial IoT does not have to be complicated. Whether access to valuable data is required or new, data-driven services are to be generated, Weidmuller enables its customers to go from data to value the easy way. Weidmuller’s comprehensive and cutting-edge IIoT portfolio applies to greenfield and brownfield applications. Weidmuller offers components and solutions from data acquisition, data pre-processing, data communication and data analysis.

Visit Weidmuller’s Industrial IoT Portfolio.


ADVANCED Motion Controls Takes Servo Drives to New Heights (and Depths) with FlexPro Extended Environment Product Line

Advanced Motion Controls is proud to announce the addition of six new CANopen servo drives with Extended Environment capabilities to their FlexPro line. These new drives join AMC’s existing EtherCAT Extended Environment FlexPro drives, making the FlexPro line the go-to solution for motion control applications in harsh environments.

Many motion control applications take place in conditions that are less than ideal, such as extreme temperatures, high and low pressures, shocks and vibrations, and contamination. Electronics, including servo drives, can malfunction or sustain permanent damage in these conditions.

Read More


Service Wire Co. Announces New Titles for Key Executives

Bruce Kesler and Mark Gatewood have been given new titles and responsibilities for Service Wire Co.

Bruce Kesler has assumed the role of Senior Director – Business Development. Bruce will be responsible for Service Wire’s largest strategic accounts and our growing Strategic Accounts Team.

Mark Gatewood has been promoted to the role of Vice President – Sales & Marketing. In this role, Gatewood will lead the efforts of Service Wire Company’s entire sales and marketing organization in all market verticals.

Read More


Tri-Mach Announces the Purchase of an Additional 45,000 sq ft. Facility

Tri-Mach Elmira Facility

Recently, Tri-Mach Inc. was thrilled to announce the addition of a new 45,000 sq ft. facility. Located at 285 Union St., Elmira, ON, this facility expands Tri-Mach’s capabilities, allowing them to better serve the growing needs of their customers.

Positioning for growth, this additional facility will allow Tri-Mach to continue taking on large-scale projects, enhance product performance testing, and provide equipment storage for their customers. The building will also be the new home to their Skilled Trades Centre of Excellence.

Read More


JMP Parent Company, CONVERGIX Acquires AGR Automation, Expanding Global Reach

Convergix Automation Solutions has completed the acquisition of AGR Automation (“AGR”), a UK-based provider of custom, high-performance automation design and systems integration primarily to the life sciences industry.

Following Convergix’s acquisitions of JMP Solutions in August 2021 and Classic Design in February 2022, AGR marks the third investment in Crestview’s strategy to build Convergix into a diversified automation solutions provider targeting the global $500+ billion market, with a particular focus on the $70 billion global systems integration and connectivity segments. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Read More


Latest Articles

  • Helping McMaster University Adapt its Buildings for the Future

    Helping McMaster University Adapt its Buildings for the Future

    McMaster University is using technology to better control and manage its legacy thermal systems and create smarter buildings. Carmichael Engineering Ltd., a Canadian systems integrator, worked closely with ABB Canada’s experts and its highly adaptable smart building platform, ABB Cylon, to improve energy efficiency, enhance user adaptability, and leverage innovative technologies in locations across campus. Read More…

  • FLIR’s Thermal Camera Technology: A Crucial Component in Industrial Settings

    FLIR’s Thermal Camera Technology: A Crucial Component in Industrial Settings

    Thermal imaging technologies like the ones by FLIR improve safety, operational efficiency, and cost savings in many automated and industrial applications. By capturing the infrared radiation emitted by an object or process, it identifies thermal anomalies that warrant further investigation by experts. Today, thermography is more sophisticated and accessible than ever, making is easy for… Read More…