Industrial robots have revolutionized business nationwide. From stacking robots to automated packing equipment, Vancouver businesses have increased efficiency, accuracy, and productivity through the use of industrial robots. 

Most warehouse work can be automated—and not just the repetitive motion tasks taken over by early factory robots. Robots are programmable with custom instructions now, allowing industrial facilities and businesses to determine exactly how the robots complete the tasks. At HS Automation, our automation integrators will help Vancouver's industrial facilities grow their businesses with minimal increase in labour and insurance costs using robots to stack, pack, palletize, wrap, and ship. 

Vancouver’s Industrial Businesses

Vancouver BC's economy is the largest in Quebec and the second largest in Canada, and the aerospace industry is the fourth largest on the North American continent, in terms of jobs. Other key sectors include video games, artificial intelligence, electronic goods, fashion, and tobacco. The sheer variety of Vancouver’s industries shows the necessity of adaptable industrial robots to handle the different types of materials and products being packed, stacked, and shipped.

The Port of Vancouver is the primary shipping point for most of Canada’s exports. Millions of tons of products are shipped through Vancouver every year. From raw materials, like wood and fabric, to finished products, like apparel and electronic goods, the ability to pack pallets appropriately for shipping is essential for Vancouver’s industrial facilities and businesses. HS Automation integration experts can help you prepare your products for shipping, too. Schedule a consultation for a complete business review and automation recommendation based on your particular requirements.

Benefits of Automated Workplaces

Vancouver's industrial businesses benefit from automation across many fronts. From a business perspective, increasing productivity and efficiency leads to increased revenue. Companies will be able to scale up much more quickly with automation. Industrial facilities can increase production capacity by two or three times for a relatively minimal increase in equipment, as long as the facility has sufficient space to include it.

HS Automation integration experts will train your existing employees to work with the robots, which require programming, maintenance, supervision, and people to handle the tasks robots can’t, like driving forklifts and operating the machinery.

From an employer perspective, increasing automation decreases labour costs, including lost productivity and workers' compensation payments for injuries from dangerous or unsafe workplaces. In Vancouver, Quebec, the Act respecting occupational health and safety requires employers to provide a safe workplace. Using the right automated packing equipment satisfies that requirement.

Limiting employee/equipment interaction to programming the automated packing equipment and operating the transport vehicles will help prevent muscle strain and repetitive injuries in employees. Balancing the safety of the employees against the efficiency of the automated packing equipment is essential to choosing the right system. 

A distinct advantage of an automated packing system is that while humans suffer fatigue, machines don’t. As employees tire, they are more prone to making errors, which could cost your company in many ways. In addition to the personal cost to the injured employee, your company will suffer not only from the loss of that employee's productivity, but it will also bear the loss of any materials damaged in the incident as well. 

Properly maintained equipment will also decrease material costs over time. Less bag and box breakage, tighter wrapping, and smaller offcuts are examples of savings of material costs. Automation also reduces overflow and spillage losses (which means increased profits), because it is more accurate than manual filling.

Vancouver Automated Packing Equipment

A comprehensive system of automated packing equipment includes various machines for bagging materials, plus stacking, palletizing, wrapping, and other equipment, as well. Nearly every function of the industrial packing process can be automated. Weighing, packing, stacking, palletizing, and transporting are all functions robots can handle. Our HS Automation integration specialists can provide a robust, cost-effective solution to just about any packing system.

Scales

Gross and net scales weigh material before bagging.

  • Gross weight scales are ideal for free-flowing grains, pellets, and other dry materials, like salt, seed, etc. They function as both scales and open bag fillers and recalculate the weight after filling the bags, adjusting for the bag’s weight. 
  • Net weight scales weigh the filler before transferring it to the bag, resulting in faster and more accurate packing. As with the gross weight scales, net weight scales are open bag fillers, transferring the weighed materials to the bag as part of the weighing process.

Valve Bag Fillers

Valve bag fillers are ideal for fluidized powders, like flour and lime, and granular fillers, like sugar and cement. Valve bags have a small hole at the top of the bag, through which the bag is filled via a spout from the valve bag filler. 

The valve hole is designed to seal itself as the bag fills. Valve bag fillers are customizable to meet food safety standards and with optional sealers. Valve bag fillers are specific to the type of material that fills the bag. An HS Automation integration specialist can match your particular business needs to the type of valve bag filler required, ensuring maximum fill, minimal product loss, and greater coordination between the filler and the spout.

In addition to the open bag fillers described above, tote bag fillers are also available in a variety of filling capacities. It's best to consider maximum capacity at the time of purchase in anticipation of expanding operations and increased production needs.

Tote bag fillers require manual placement of the tote bag on the machine. Depending on size, tote bag placement can require a platform for an employee. The repetitive motion could result in employee injuries. An HS Automation integration specialist can create the right automated packing system for most industrial facilities.

Bag Sealers

Bag sealing has also been automated. There are several types of bag closures, which all require sealing. Whether the bag is sealed by glue, sewing, or hot air or band sealing, there is a machine that can do it. Tell us what you need, and we will find the right equipment for the job. Just like there’s an optimal package type for different kinds of products, there is an optimal sealer for the type of package and its contents.

Vancouver Stacking Robots

As you might have guessed, stacking robots stack. They also unstack. Whatever you need to have organized for transport or storage—whether it’s bags or boxes or other materials, even when those bags and boxes are of different sizes and weights—stacking robots not only increase productivity and efficiency, but they also minimize worker injuries incurred during the stacking process.

Stacking robots can flat stack planks, bricks, sheets of glass, and more. Varying sizes of items to be stacked can present challenges, but our HS Automation integration specialists will know just what machine you need, no matter what you’re stacking.

The right equipment can also be used in extreme environments without impacting worker comfort, safety, or stamina. Whether you're stacking frozen food products in a warehouse-sized freezer unit or planks of wood outside in a snowstorm (or a desert), stacking robots will be able to perform at a higher speed for longer periods, allowing you to focus your manual labour on less dangerous, more intellectually-focused tasks.

Vancouver Palletizing Robots

For Vancouver’s industrial facilities of all sizes, palletizing robots are a key element in maximizing throughput. The use of palletizing robots can maximize your investment in your products. By using palletizing robots, your company will experience less damage, fewer and limited human errors, and less loss overall. 

Automated packing equipment doesn’t fatigue as quickly as human employees, who need sleep every day. Palletizing robots can be programmed to run 24 hours a day, if you so choose, though the machines do wear out over time (all the more reason for a comprehensive maintenance schedule). It just takes a lot longer. HS Automation integration specialists have over 100 years of experience combined. We can help bring the right level of automation to any Vancouver industrial facility. 

Industrial goods are stored and transported on pallets, which are wooden or plastic platforms of a uniform size, specifically designed to allow a forklift or similarly designed machine to lift them, whether or not they are loaded.  

Palletizing robots can be programmed to stack in specific patterns, regardless of material, maximizing fit on the pallet and maneuverability of the pallet. From single-cell robots to custom palletizing layouts, HS Automation can integrate an automation system that fits any Vancouver business’s needs. 

  • Single-cell robots are best for companies with smaller physical footprints. The palletizer fits into a space about twice the size of the pallet. A skilled operator can switch pallets quickly enough that the palletizing robot continues to stack during the exchange. An HS integration specialist will train you and your team, so you have the knowledge and confidence to operate your palletizing robots.
  • Dual-cell robots operate similarly to the single-cell robots but have twice the pallet space. The robot pivots between the pallet cells as pallets get filled and swapped for empty pallets, minimizing the time wasted by forklift operators waiting for pallets to be filled. When one pallet is full, the palletizing robot switches to the next pallet automatically, giving the forklift operator time to move the full pallet out of the palletizing cell before the palletizing robot finishes filling the other pallet and switches back to the first cell. The dual cell robot system is an excellent option for industrial facilities with larger footprints and more production.
  • Auto-cell palletizing robots and custom palletizing robots are available for high-production industrial facilities. HS Automation specialists are available to integrate the right system for any Vancouver industrial facility.

Vancouver Robotic Bag Palletizer

Industrial facilities produce bags of all types, materials, sizes, and weights, even within the same business operation. Palletizing bags takes a particular skill. Depending on the contents, bags shift their weight and shape as they move. As bags are placed on the pallet, they need to be flattened to an even surface, to facilitate further stacking. Manually stacking bags on pallets is difficult and time-consuming and, potentially, unsafe.

Automating the process requires technical and programming expertise. Filling, labelling, and preparing the bags for palletizing requires accuracy and delicacy. Grasping, lifting, and moving the bags requires grippers that can handle the variety of materials without snagging or tearing the bags.

A robotic bag palletizer is programmable to stack bags in the optimal pattern on the pallet, ensuring the pallet transfer is accomplished without slips, falls, or breakages. Your HS Automation integration specialist will design the right robotic bag palletizer system to increase throughput while virtually eliminating employee injury rates.  

HS Automation is the Automation and Robotics Expert You Need in Vancouver

Let HS Automation be your guide as you automate your business. Already automated? Let HS Automation review your existing automated packing equipment and provide you with a comprehensive report of what works and what doesn't or upgraded and how. 

Integrating the most up-to-date automated packing equipment will increase your profits and give your business room to grow and expand. As the world of "smart” automation grows, HS Automation will be right there, providing service, support, knowledge and experience. Get in touch today to get started.