Solving the skills crisis in manufacturing comes in many different forms. And partnerships—be it around education or technology—are critical components in the effort to fill the skills gap on the plant and packaging floors.
Understanding that OEMs play an important role in helping end users solve the labor shortage, Columbia/Okura LLC, a provider of custom engineered robotic palletizing systems, announced a strategic alliance with Universal Robots, a maker of collaborative robots (cobots). This partnership will allow Columbia/Okura to deliver a more extensive range of robotic palletizing solutions to end users, which now includes collaborative palletizing applications.
Columbia/Okura has been working on the development of miniPAL, a mobile collaborative palletizing product that integrates Universal Robot’s UR10e, an industrial cobot with a 10kg payload and 1300mm reach, which enables it to address a wide range of applications in machine tending, palletizing, and packaging. The miniPAL collaborative palletizer, available immediately and on display at PACK EXPO Las Vegas in booth#C-4029, offers end users a variety of benefits, including:
- Efficient Set-up: Takes less than a full day; plugs into 110V AC wall power
- Easy Operation: No previous programming experience required
- Quick Payback: Average payback is between 8-to-10 months, depending on application and industry
- Flexible Deployment: The mobile set up is easily moved and re-deployed to new processes
- No guarding required: A vast majority of cobot applications work next to humans without perimeter guarding requirements
With the introduction of a collaborative palletizer, employees can be re-deployed to work on higher value tasks where their time and skills are better served.“The partnership between our two companies allows Columbia/Okura to provide a safe and economical palletizing solution to clients who are facing labor shortages, many of whom may also be new to factory automation,” says Brian Hutton, President of Columbia/Okura LLC.
With almost 25 years of robotic palletizing experience, Columbia/Okura is a joint venture of material handling leaders Columbia Machine, Inc. and Okura Yusoki, Co., Ltd. For more information, visitwww.columbiaokura.com.