Row gripping is the term used to describe the gripper head on a robotic palletiser that picks and places a row of items at a time. Row grippers are usually used to increase the cycle speed as multiple products can be picked and placed at a time. They are usually used on high-speed production lines.
A row gripper can be any gripper expanded to pick more than one product at a time e.g. vacuum, underneath, bag gripper etc. The type of gripper used will depend on the product being palletised.
Typically with a row gripper the product will come off the production line, and then the right number of items will be collated onto a conveyor or bag pick conveyor, before being picked by the gripper and placed on the pallet. Depending on the stacking pattern required, bump turn conveyors or transfer conveyors may be required to orientate the product as it come off the production line before it is picked by the gripper.
To give a worked speed example:
Let’s take a typical robot that can comfortably do 8 pick and place cycles per minute.
- With a single product gripper this would make the run rate 8 products per minute.
- With a row gripper moving 5 products at a time this would make a run rate of 8 x 5 = 40 products per minute.
The videos below show some examples of row gipping and the different types of conveyors that can be used to orientate the boxes before they are collated and picked.
This video shows how a vacuum row gripper works
This video shows row gripping with a bump turn conveyor being used to orientate the boxes
This video shows row gripping with a transfer conveyor being used to orientate the boxes
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