MODEX trade show is happening in Atlanta this week, but I’m sitting in the Chicago suburbs staring at snow flurries. <sigh> However, I am not bereft of news. This is the material handling show. I attend when it’s convenient, since this is not one of my specialties. Here is a solution to a problem I’ve tried to solve earlier in my career—mixed-case palletizing.

Robotics technology company Mujin will debut mixed-case robotic palletizing with intelligent buffer and re-sequencing capability. This novel application is one of several innovative solutions in Mujin’s booth (#B1407) highlighting how its intelligent robotics solutions can perform challenging picking and packing tasks without the need for advanced programming.

Mixed-case palletizing has been difficult, if not impossible, to automate. Traditionally, this labor-intensive operation requires material handlers to store the cases for an order until there are enough cases to build the pallet. Recently, many organizations have begun the process of automating the storage and sequencing of their goods to make human packers more efficient, but such material handling equipment is expensive and has a large footprint. With Mujin-powered palletizers, the robot can buffer and re-sequence cases without the need for upstream material handling equipment. These palletizers eliminate the manual operation and automate without huge operational and infrastructure changes.

“Robots are becoming more intelligent, and new applications such as mixed-case palletizing are now possible,” said Ross Diankov, co-founder, Mujin. “With Mujin solutions, all warehouses need to do is send the boxes directly to the robots, and they’ll re-sequence them before placing them on the pallet. That’s it. The process is significantly easier, more reliable and much less costly.”

Mujin’s flagship product, the MujinController, controls robots from top robotic arm vendors Fanuc, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi and Yaskawa Motoman using advanced sensing and real-time motion planning. The MujinController guides the movement of any robot arm via machine intelligence, a new and advanced category of artificial intelligence (AI) that automatically manages potential downtime scenarios through perception and autonomous decision making without the need for human intervention.

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