Pallet transfer, wrapping and labelling system providing an increase in through-put and accurate downstream tracking

New retailer bar coding requirements call for all pallets received from product manufacturers to have identification labels on the two fork entry sides, ensuring the pallet information can be read regardless of which way the pallet is facing when stored.

These requirements developed a need within large manufacturing companies for a comprehensive system incorporating pallet labelling and tracking, capable of labelling pallets on two sides, to reduce required manpower and ensure accurate product labelling that will be accepted through the supply chain.

Scott Automation & Robotics, together with Matthews, identified this need and together developed an automated system for the labelling process, combining pallet transfer, wrapping and labelling to a single automated process. Data is recorded into PLC systems, allowing pallet tracking through downstream processing and storage, and controlled via a software system at the manufacturing plant.

A large manufacturing company eager to address retailer requirements integrated the pallet positioning, labelling and wrapping systems into various locations – and immediately experienced a large increase in line through-put capability. Pallets of finished goods are accurately tracked throughout warehouse and distribution channels. Every label applied is scanned and validated to ensure compliance with retailer requirements, and the system ensures scope for future line speed increases.

This system can be designed with either one or two label applicators per system. After loading, the pallet travels down the conveyor to the allocated stretch wrapper table for wrapping. The label applicator then utilises the wrapper table to position the pallet for label application, fixing labels to the leading and trailing forklift entries of each pallet. When the labelling cycle is complete the pallet transfer conveyor drives the pallet onto the pallet pick off conveyor.

With extensive experience in systems integration and materials handling, MAR was able to utilise all existing system controls where possible, and provide ‘add in’ hardware I/O to the existing PLC systems to control the new pallet transfer and wrapper equipment, ensuring quicker integration and ease of use.

Scott Automation was also able to alter and incorporate existing conveyors for pallet transfer to the wrapping stations.