At PACK EXPO Connects, Honeywell Intelligrated showcased its Alvey 890i palletizer. According to Honeywell Intelligrated, the Alvey series of palletizers have been used in industry for more than three decades and are known for their ability to handle a wide range of packaging types, stacking patterns, and difficult-to-handle products in a compact footprint along with best-in class-safety, performance, and ease of maintenance.
In a demonstration of the Alvey 890i, Tom Ferner, senior mechanical engineering supervisor at Honeywell Intelligrated, explained that the palletizing process with the Alvey 890i begins with cases being fed into the palletizer on a rope forming conveyor. “When necessary, cases can be rotated up to 90 degrees and a reciprocating rope pusher provides full support for any unstable cases and allows the next row to begin forming immediately. Other design features of the Alvey 890i enable low contact movement while ensuring smooth and accurate positioning. Once a full layer has been formed and compressed, the apron opens and places the layer on the pallet or on top of any previously built layers below.”
The robot arm in the Alvey890i palletizer “singulates cases onto a conveyor where they’re fed into a servo-driven vertical lift—an innovation that has a significantly smaller footprint than a traditional incline belt,” Ferner added.
A machine hoist raises and lowers the pallet as needed for each layer and when the load is complete, that pallet is discharged onto a conveyor.
The Alvey 890i’s color human machine interface gives users the ability to “create virtually any pallet layout using an intuitive pattern generation utility,” Ferner said. “That same display provides secure access to advanced diagnostics, safety status features, and documentation.”
This system also incorporates a robotic de-palletizing area. Here, a robot arm unloads individual cases from the pallet onto a standard motor-driven roller conveyor. And when the load is completely de-palletized, the system automatically transfers the empty pallet to a staging zone where it will wait there until it’s called by the system to handle a new load.
Throughout this entire palletizing process, the Alvey890i is analyzing real time and historic data to detect any condition that could impact performance. “If the system detects too much motor vibration or temperature fluctuations or under-utilization, it will provide real time alerts to help fix that problem before it can affect the entire production process,” said Ferner. “It's a predictive condition-based model that's far more efficient than routine maintenance programs and offers significant savings by focusing on the actual health and performance data of the palletizer.”
Ferner also noted that this connected system approach can improve utilization and throughput rates by pinpointing opportunities for improvement. “For example, the system will show when systems are idle, under-utilized, or not hitting throughput targets,” he said.