Palletising is a key part of the manufacturing process and automating this part of the production line can bring productivity and efficiency savings. Lita palletising systems are regarded as some of the best available – but why is that, and are they right for your operation? Here we introduce Lita and take a closer look at its palletising range and what it offers.
Lita was established in 1962 and is still a family-owned company. Known for their exceptional design and build standards, machines have been installed around the world, in sectors from food to cosmetics.
Lita specialises in conventional medium to high-paced palletisers including Cartesian palletisers, layer palletisers and de-palletisers.
What are palletisers?
Automatic palletisers help to speed up the sorting, transferring and stacking of goods onto a pallet. There are three types:
- Cartesian or gantry palletisers feature a gantry or structural beam and axes which are used to pick and place items, often in complex pallet patterns. They are low speed and low output (typically less than 20 packs per minute) and as such are frequently used for handling heavy products.
- Layer palletisers can be used to process a wide range of sacks and bags, including those that are more difficult to handle, and are installed in many bottling and canning plants in the UK. They collate a full layer of products or boxes onto a table before placing it on the pallet and are much quicker than other palletisers, achieving speeds of up to 60 packs per minute.
- Robotic palletisers feature a single arm that picks up packages using a gripper, clamp, magnet or combination of devices. They are slow speed and low output but have a small footprint, can assemble mixed pallets and palletise different items simultaneously, making them highly flexible.
De-palletisers are typically used for handling bottles and cans but can be used for other containers too. There are two types commonly available, pick and place systems for low-speed applications, or layer de-palletisers for when faster throughput is required.
See a Lita de-palletiser in use
The Lita range of palletising systems includes six palletisers and six de-palletisers:
Lita has two Cartesian palletisers, suitable for handling RSC cases and shrink-wrapped packs. On both, several different gripper heads are available for handling different products and pack infeed conveyors can be designed for either single or multiple picking. Robodue is the more heavy-duty of the two, with a high maximum payload of 120kg and the ability to also handle jerry cans. Jolly has a maximum payload of 30kg and lightweight aluminium axis carriages that make the machine agile, fast and power-efficient.
There are two layer palletisers in the range. Presto and Eco are automatic low-level infeed layer palletisers and Alto has an automatic high-level infeed. All are suitable for handling RSC cases and shrink-wrapped packs. Used in medium-to-high-speed applications, Presto and Alto have an output of 42 packs per minute from a single infeed or 65 packs per minute from a twin infeed. Eco has an output of 30 packs per minute from a single infeed.
Logico is the only robotic palletiser in the range and can be designed to accommodate specific production speeds, existing lines or space restrictions. Different gripper heads are available with either side clamps or a vacuum function and infeed conveyors can be designed for single or multiple picking.
There are three different types of de-palletiser in the Lita range:
- Sirio and Metro are high-speed automatic sweep-off de-palletisers, suitable for handling cylindrical or rectangular glass & PET bottles, glass jars and metal or aluminium cans. They have an output of 180 and 140 layers per hour respectively.
- Vario and Amico are automatic lift off-type de-palletisers, suitable for handling cylindrical or rectangular glass bottles. Amico also has the option of a vacuum head for glass jars. They have an output of 180 and 100 layers an hour respectively. Arco is a semi-automatic lift off de-palletiser and requires an operator to drive the gripper head and remove the layer separators. As such, output is lower at 45 layers per hour.
- Jolly is a Cartesian de-palletiser suitable for handling cylindrical or rectangular glass & plastic jars. It has a compact footprint and like the Jolly palletiser, is agile, fast and power-efficient thanks to its lightweight aluminium axis carriages. The machine comes equipped with a vacuum-operated gripper head and is available in two speeds, standard (up to six cycles per minute) or high-speed (up to eight cycles per minute).