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Formic Launches First Turnkey Palletizer at Pack Expo 2022

The SL20 Palletizer makes automation faster and more accessible for small to mid-sized factories.

The SL20 Palletizer is an inaugural product in a new catalog of certified, off-the-shelf, robotics-as-a-service solutions available at a low cost per hour.
The SL20 Palletizer is an inaugural product in a new catalog of certified, off-the-shelf, robotics-as-a-service solutions available at a low cost per hour.

Formic, accelerating the adoption of automation across American manufacturing, launched the SL20 Palletizer–an inaugural product in a new catalog of certified, off-the-shelf, robotics-as-a-service solutions available at a low cost per hour–at PACK EXPO International. Built by Sourcelink Solutions, Formic’s new offering further underlines Formic’s commitment to removing the barriers to automation so that small to mid-sized businesses can onboard the technology and thrive amid today’s challenges. 

Buying a robot is largely untenable for the majority of manufacturers due to the risk, complexity, upfront capital, and expertise required. Moreover, amidst an ongoing labor crisis, US factories are reliant on workers to manually palletize–an activity that is injury-prone, unergonomic, and heavily dependent on staff showing up and performing consistently at a high level. In a tight jobs market with increasing wages and employee turnover, many businesses are operating on smaller margins with delayed order fulfillment, resulting in lower customer satisfaction.

The only palletizer on the market today that’s offered with all the benefits of Formic’s pay-for-productivity model including guaranteed uptime and 24/7 service, the SL20 eliminates a packager’s reliance on human labor to fulfill orders, reduces the overhead cost of retraining and injuries, increases quality and consistency of output, and enables automation without major changes to physical factory layout or introducing new complex processes. 

With zero upfront investment, 58-year-old co-manufacturer Compact Industries was able to automate for the first time earlier this year with this solution. Deployed within three hours of delivery, the system reduced hiring costs and promoted their staff to safer tasks. Compact ordered a second system within a month of use, having unlocked new scalable potential.

”U.S. manufacturing cannot survive without automation – and at Formic, we're focused on finding ways to make it ten times faster, easier and cheaper to deploy a robot and increase productivity,” says Formic Co-founder and VP of Product and Partnerships Misa Ilkhechi. “There are 1.5 million unfilled manufacturing jobs in America today, which means companies are losing production, missing deadlines, losing business, and turning down new business. Many of our customers have been trying to automate for years and our already proven, first off-the shelf-product available with our pay-for-productivity model provides an optimal route to factories to start their automation journeys.”

SL20 Palletizer - Key features:

  • Robotic palletizing system designed for end-of-line packaging processes
  • Small footprint (10x12’)
  • Palletizes up to 20 cases per minute
  • Lifts up to 20kg per cycle
  • Proven to safely work alongside people
  • Deployable in less than 8 weeks
  • Built by Sourcelink Solutions LLC, based around the Yaskawa HC Series collaborative robot
  • Formic is offering first-time customers a “no strings attached” 6-month trial for the SL20 palletizer.

Leveraging world-class engineering expertise and financing, Formic’s Robotics-as-a-Service offering helps factories start automating without the risk and complexity typically required to onboard the technology by delivering full-functioning solutions to customers who pay by the hour for usage. Formic owns, programs, installs, and maintains all its systems at its own cost, which means manufacturers only pay for operational output with performance guarantees and unlimited, 24/7 service. 

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