The MACPac (MESH Automation Cell for case opening and packing) is a professional-grade, pre-engineered, robotics-based flexible automation cell.
Automated Material Handling
Automated material handling systems cover a broad range of tasks from moving pallets, boxes, bags, totes to stacking and destacking sheets of materials. MESH has developed and successfully commissioned many automated material handling solutions, conveyor material handling systems, and automated gantry or robotics systems across a wide range of industries and products.
MESH Automation specializes in the design and manufacturing of equipment that enables; manufacturing operations, e-commerce sites, fulfillment centers, and distribution centers to transition from manual material handling operations to fully automated material handling systems for moving, feeding, stacking, destacking, palletizing, and packaging. The benefits range from minimizing risks for employees reduced forklift usage, reduced labor, reduced running costs, and reduced floor space.
There is no doubt that many industries including food and beverage, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and even high-technology sectors can cut costs and increase their efficiency with automated material handling solutions and options.
Benefits of Automating Material Handling
The fact is that automated material handling will dramatically reduce labor costs, reduce injuries, improve product or package quality, help with seasonal labor shortages and reduce the square footage needed for the same operation done manually.
Forklifts or hand trucks are the traditional way to manually move materials from point A to point B. Automated material handling systems will move materials without forklifts by using automated guided vehicles, motorized transfer carts, conveyors, or all three. Forklifts are expensive to run and maintain. Additionally, they are a large reason for many serious workplace injuries.
Stacking and destacking materials by hand are labor-intensive and also a big source of workplace injuries. Material handling automation equipment such as a robot or gantry programmed for stacking or destacking are easy wins for your operation and will pay for themselves very quickly.
Experience matters in conveyor material handling or robotic material handling systems. MESH has the right resources and leverages its vast experience in robotics and its vertical integration model to provide competitive robotic, gantry, or conveyorized automated material handling equipment.
System design needs to be simple so maintenance can be simple and easy to understand. Operator functions to help with order fulfillment, special needs, or fault recovery need to be taken into consideration in addition to an intuitive operator interface or HMI. MESH has this experience and it shows in our equipment ruggedness and simplicity.
Capabilities of Material Handling Automation Equipment
Automated material handling solutions are much more efficient than the labor-intensive models used by a lot of manufacturers. The time to automate has never been greater because the technology is proven and the costs to complete projects typically have great returns on their investment.
- Robotic sheet stackers and destackers can be straightforward in some cases and downright difficult in others. Sheet affinity to each other through static, suction, oily surfaces can be a real problem. MESH has proven solutions for most of these.
- Stacking systems usually have a material handling infeed and outfeed that can be designed using conveyor, automated guided vehicle, or gantry-based systems. MESH has experience in these feeding systems and will explain to you the pros and cons of each for your unique system.
- Automated conveyor systems are not your most glamorous material handling systems but for a lot of products and facilities, they are the most cost-effective. Most systems have one or more conveyors but choosing the right type of conveyor requires experience like the professionals at MESH. MESH manufactures a lot of their conveyors and will develop, build and commission the conveyor control system.
- Pallet stack height – Most modern stacking robots, if configured correctly, can stack up to 108” tall.
- Pallet or stack envelope (length and width) – Most stacking configurations are designed to fit into a 48” x 40” envelope, but robots and gantries are very flexible and can easily accommodate most requirements within reason.
- Dunnage – With automatic slip sheet dispensers, slip sheet stackers and the correct end effector MESH can accommodate most slip sheet, tray, or other dunnage requirements for your automated material handling
- Safety – MESH designs our robotic and gantry destackers, stackers, and palletizers to RIA standards and will complete a risk assessment of the entire system. Our MAC control system uses a safety PLC and high-quality guarding and interlock switches that match the risk assessment’s requirements for modern equipment needs in North America, Asia, or Europe.
MESH Material Handling Expertise
Automated Conveyor Systems
Automated conveyor systems are many times the best choice for moving raw materials, work in process, and finished goods. Conveyor system design and type are important to specify correctly to assure that your product does not get damaged, you are getting the best value and the conveyor system is appropriate for feeding your other automation equipment.
Choosing the right type of conveyor requires experience like the professionals at MESH have. MESH manufactures a lot of their conveyors and will develop, build and commission the conveyor control system using their knowledge and proven software techniques to give you the best value and protect your product.
Automated Pallet Handling
Automated pallet handling systems consist of equipment that can either stack or destack empty pallets of any size, shape, or material construction and distributes them to a specific location in your manufacturing or warehousing operation.
MESH has a complete line of pallet stackers, pallet dispensers, and conveying systems to accomplish the automated pallet handling system you require. Our third generation of pallet dispensers has great value and can be seamlessly integrated into a new or existing conveyor system or work as a standalone system for manual or AGV retrieval of a single pallet. MESH manufactures their automated pallet handling equipment, conveyors and will develop, build and commission the conveyor control system.
Feeding & Picking Systems
Our expertise in feeding raw materials or picking and placing raw materials or work in process components into a process stems from our 23 years of designing and building custom equipment that inevitably involves handling a raw material or work in a process component.
The variety of products that MESH has handled is quite large from soft, light and pliable to large, heavy, and rigid. Product damage from obvious to subtle is always a concern as well as feeding speed and orientation.
Robotic Stacking Systems
Automated robotic stackers will dramatically reduce labor costs, reduce injuries, improve product or package quality, help with seasonal labor shortages and reduce the square footage needed for the same operation done manually.
People using raw manpower or forklifts are the traditional way to manually move and stack materials. Pick and Place robots will move and stack most materials without the use of manual labor and minimize forklift interaction.
MESH has designed and built robotic, gantry, and traditional product stackers. Picking the correct system is dependent on the rate, size of the product, the rigidity of the product, and requirements of the pallet and pallet exchange. MESH has achieved +- 1mm stacking accuracy using a robot or gantry.
Process Line Controls
MESH has a large and experienced controls department to handle the necessary line process control from the individual machine or robot to your ERP system interface. We have a wide experience base on your choice of controls and software brands from Rockwell, Siemens, Omron, Wonderware, Ignition, and other platforms.
MESH has pre-engineered solutions on their line of MAC cells for single robot needs, servo gantry systems (1 or multiple servo axes), and auxiliary equipment such as pallet dispensing, automated robotic palletizing, conveyor control, CNC machines, and many other pieces of equipment that could be part of your process line control or warehouse management system integration.
Automated Material Handling FAQ
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The MACControl is a highly functional and flexible robot cell controller with standard features and component specifications that rival today’s best industrial control systems.