Briefing: Westfalia Technologies Makes The Grade With A Robotic Palletizing System for Maple-Vail
Maple-Vail is a 100-year old complete book manufacturer based in Pennsylvania. They operate two manufacturing and two distribution facilities that total more than 350,000 square feet and handles more than 30 million books and book related products with distribution centers throughout the United States.
Challenge: Solution needed for multi-stage product process
Maple-Vail went to Westfalia Technologies looking for ways to automate the palletizing of work-in-process books. The solution needed to work with their multi-stage production process.
The Fuji EC-201 Robotic Palletizer with a unique end-effector was the solution Westfalia found for Maple-Vail. Book stacks coming off the binding line are presented to the robotic palletizer in a row. The row of book stacks is held in place by a pneumatically controlled pressure plate. The robot’s specially designed end-effector has the capability of picking up 2 or 3 stacks at a time, depending on the stacking pattern and book size. The fork assembly moves into position, places the stack on the pallet, and then retracts. The end-effector has the ability to place a slip sheet between each layer to protect the books and to ensure a stable load.
The result of Maple-Vail’s new robotic-palletizing process is a fully automated system that maintains production speed and quality while helping to keep production costs under control. According to Maple-Vail, this system will save over $120,000 a year in labor costs.
- 16 stacks per minute
- 6” to 13” stack height
- 4x6” to 9x10” in size
- Pick 2 to 3 stacks at a time