Robot Applications: Palletizing 217

This class explores how industrial robots enable advanced capabilities for palletizing systems. Robotic palletizing work cells use a combination of robots and conveyor systems to move objects and place them on pallets or other appropriate storage containers. Robotic palletizing offers a safer and more efficient application for palletizing operations. Advanced and flexible end effectors and software enable adaptability within processes and the ability to simulate and coordinate processes and technologies digitally.

An understanding of robotic palletizing is an important part of industrial robotics and automated manufacturing applications. After taking this course, users will understand the technologies, systems, and operations associated with robotic palletizing.

  • Difficulty Intermediate

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 11

  • Language English


Or fill out this form and a specialist will contact you shortly

Course Outline
  • Industrial Robotics
  • Material Handling
  • Palletizing
  • Palletizing Configurations
  • Types of Robots for Palletizing
  • Peripheral Devices
  • Palletizing Review
  • Applications and Industries
  • Automation and Software
  • Palletizing Integration
  • Final Review
  • Describe industrial robotics.
  • Describe robotics in material handling.
  • Describe robotic palletizing operations.
  • Describe different palletizing configurations.
  • Describe the types of industrial robots used for palletizing.
  • Describe appropriate peripheral devices for palletizing.
  • Describe the applications and industries for robotic palletizing.
  • Describe software and automation technology used for palletizing.
  • Describe the considerations for integrating robotic palletizing operations.
Vocabulary Term


A device that activates movement in either a linear or rotary fashion. Actuators can be motors located at the joints between linkages or be hydraulic cylinders or other linear drive mechanisms that form the linkages.

articulated robots

A type of robot with two or more segments connected by flexible joints that closely resembles a human arm. Articulated robots often perform welding operations.


A manufacturing process in which two or more components are joined together to create a finished part. Assembly processes using robots assisted by vision systems are efficient, consistent, and more accurate than human assembly.

automated guided vehicles

AGV. A programmable and highly sophisticated autonomous vehicle, often integrated with sensor technology, that moves throughout a space. Automated guided vehicles are often used in warehouses and agricultural environments.


The use of self-regulated equipment, processes, or systems that meet manufacturing requirements with limited human intervention. Automation is an efficient means of production.


A theoretical straight line that is used to measure the location and orientation of an object in three-dimensional space. Axes in the Cartesian coordinate system include the X, Y, and Z axes.

Cartesian robot

A type of robotic arm that has prismatic joints only. Cartesian robots use linear motion and rigid structures to lift heavy objects.


A robot that can be programmed to learn a specific task in order to assist humans. A cobot, also known as a collaborative robot, is designed to interact with humans in a shared workspace.


A robot that can be programmed to learn a specific task in order to assist humans. A cobot, or collaborative robot, is designed to interact with humans in a shared workspace.

collaborative robots

A robot that can be programmed to learn a specific task in order to assist humans. A collaborative robot, also known as a cobot, is designed to interact with humans in a shared workspace.

computer numerical control

CNC. A self-contained system of computers and precise motors that executes program instructions to guide machine tool components. Computer numerical control allows operators to program sequences of machining operations.


The main device that processes information and carries out instructions in a robot. The controller has a CPU or processor and provides the means for interfacing with the robot, saving programs, and processing instructions to drive the robot.


A device that carries parts or other components from one area of a manufacturing facility to another. Conveyor belts are commonly used to transport parts from production to packaging.


Removing objects, such as parts or boxes, from pallets and other storage containers. Depalletizing robots can remove objects from storage containers and sort them according to SKU.

end effectors

A device attached to the end of a robot arm that allows it to interact with a part, component, or material. The end effector may be a gripper that allows the robot to pick up objects and place them down.

end of arm tooling

EOAT. A device attached to the end of the robot arm in order to interact with a part, component, or material. End of arm tooling, also known as an end effector, may be a gripper that moves objects, a welding torch, or other tool, such as a grinder, that performs a manufacturing task.

factory acceptance tests

FATs. An assessment that ensures new equipment meets its purposes and requirements. Factory acceptance tests usually occur at a vendor's location and verify that equipment operates correctly and meets all customer specifications.

fixed range extenders

Rigid pedestals for mounting robots and other equipment to add height. Fixed range extenders are ideal for added height to operations with higher payloads.

force sensors

A device that uses electricity to measure the pressure between objects. Force sensors enable a cobot to adjust the speed of its movement based on the specified levels of pressure when colliding with people or objects.


The mechanized bridge upon which tooling is mounted. Gantries include cartesian robots that move along rigid, linear beams.


A dexterous material-handling component that resembles and performs similarly to a human hand. Grippers allow robots to perform complex tasks, such as handling small parts or assembling components precisely.

industrial robots

A reprogrammable machine sometimes used in place of a person in a manufacturing setting. Industrial robots perform dangerous or repetitive tasks with a high degree of accuracy.

in-line palletizer

A palletizing system where products are fed into a work cell to be placed in or on a storage container. In-line palletizers can be expanded by adding additional conveyor systems within a single cell.

input devices

A device that allows a human being to communicate with and program a robot. Input devices include keyboards and teach pendants.

layer forming palletizer

A palletizing operation involving a robot packaging objects and another robot in the cell placing the packages on to a pallet or other storage container. Layer forming palletizers combine multiple material handling processes in to one work cell.

light curtains

A field of light that stops a machine when the light is blocked by an object. Light curtains prevent robots from striking workers and equipment.

machine tending

Loading and unloading of materials into machinery for processing. Machine tending uses robots that are precise and often interact with CNC machines.

magnetic grippers

A device that uses magnetism to attach to parts. Magnetic grippers allow robots to perform tasks such as handling and moving parts.

material handling

The process of loading, unloading, placing, or manipulating material. Material handling operations often require highly repetitive tasks that are ideal for robotic work.

mixed configuration palletizing systems

A robotic palletizing setup that uses a variety of equipment to handle multiple products and complex operations. Mixed configuration palletizing systems use sensors and other equipment to handle different products, containers, and layer formats within the same workcell.

mobile robots

A robot that is able to move through space. Mobile robots often use tracks or a set of independent wheels to move.

motion control

Controlling the movement of machine elements. Motion control is produced by using a mechanical source of power like an actuator and managed by software and digital systems.


Applying a protective cover to materials, products, or parts. Packaging robots are more consistent and efficient with their use of packaging materials, such as cling film and adhesive tape.

pallet dispenser

An automatic device that moves pallets in or out of a work area. Pallet dispensers allow pallet delivery to be automated without manual machinery.

pallet layers

A term referring to the number of boxes or items stored, the number of layers of boxes, or the stacking pattern used on a pallet. Pallet layers can be designed and optimized by software for efficiency and stability.

pallet pattern

The number of items stored on a pallet layer, along with the number of layers and arrangements of objects on the pallet structure. Pallet patterns are an important planning consideration for palletizing operations.


The process of placing and securing containers or objects on pallets or other storage structures. Palletizing robots are especially useful for moving objects that would be too difficult or too heavy for humans to move.


A low, portable platform on which goods and materials are stacked for storage or transportation. Pallets are also known as skids.

path planning

The process of mapping a robot's route for a task. Path planning determines the positions and orientations of a robot and its end effector during a task.


The maximum amount of weight that a machine is able to manipulate. Payload limits vary robot to robot.

pick and place

The process of moving parts from one location to another. Pick-and-place robots, sometimes called part-transfer robots, improve the precision, quality, and speed of manufacturing operations.

prismatic joints

A joint that moves in a straight line across a single axis. Prismatic joints are also known as linear joints.


A joint that rotates around a single, circular axis. Revolute joints, also known as rotary joints, give robotic arms wide ranges of movement.

safety fencing

A type of physical barrier used to deter accidental entry into a robot's work cell. Safety fences should have signs warning of the hazards within their boundaries.


A portable measuring device that to collects an information from objects. Scanners can collect geometric information, or collect product barcode information.

Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm robots

SCARA robots. A type of serial robot that has four axes of movement. Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm robots are often used for material handling applications.


A device that detects a change in a physical stimulus and turns it into a signal that can be measured or recorded. Sensors allow robots and other devices to interact with their environment and monitor operations.

site acceptance tests

SAT. A final inspection of equipment, its installation environment, and the system's operation. Site acceptance tests are the system's final testing before operation.


Stock keeping units. A number assigned differentiate products and track inventory levels. SKUs use assigned based off of variables like price, manufacturer, or size.

slip sheets

Pallet-sized sheets made of plastic, paperboard, or other materials for storage and shipping operations. Slip sheets may be placed automatically by a palletizing robot.


The coded instructions or programs that control robot hardware functions and operations. Software allows robots to perform complex tasks with autonomy.

stock keeping units

SKU. A number assigned differentiate products and track inventory levels. Stock keeping units use assigned based off of variables like price, manufacturer, or size.

supply chain

A complex network of companies and suppliers that produce and distribute a product. A supply chain consists of a company, its suppliers, its distributors, and its customers.

telescopic columns

A structure added to a robot or machine that adds additional, customizable height to the operation. Telescopic columns can add adjustable height to robotic arms used in palletizing.


The rate of production for a process over a specific amount of time. Throughput can be optimized with robotics and smart manufacturing.

vacuum gripper

A device that uses flexible suction cups and vacuum-controlled airflow to attach to parts. Vacuum grippers allow robots to perform tasks such as handling and moving parts.

vertical gantry systems

A programmable and automated device that adds height to a robot's operation. Vertical gantry systems can be programmed automatically change height during operation, without manual adjustment.

vision systems

A collection of advanced optical components that collects data and forms an image, which is interpreted by a computer. Vision systems can be used to measure and inspect manufactured parts using the collected image data.


A joining process that uses heat, friction, or a combination of methods to fuse two materials together permanently. Welding is used in a variety of industries from auto manufacturing to aerospace engineering and can be performed by industrial robots.

work cell

The area composed of a robot and any external devices or equipment that interacts with the robot, including additional robots. Robotic work cells can include multiple robots controlled by a single interface.


The joint that connects the gripper or other end effector of the robot to the robot arm. Wrist joints have a number of components to allow full rotational movement for the gripper or other end effector.