Lifting column takes cobot palletising to new heights


Electric linear actuator specialist, LINAK, is using its technology to add value to cobot-based palletising solutions, as MEPCA found out.

There is an untapped automation potential for palletising goods in production and other industries. Realising this potential requires flexible, easy-to-use and affordable cobot solutions that can adjust to different palletising setups and generate rapid return on investment.

To meet these demands, LINAK has launched the ELEVATE lifting column, a new product that extends the reach of cobot palletisers in height where it is especially relevant. It also delivers on speedflexibility and precision to optimise the palletising process and ease the setup, programming and monitoring of the system.

Heiko Kleineder, Business Development Manager at LINAK, explained: “ELEVATE extends the reach of your cobot and enables it to palletise higher. This not only optimises the stacking process, but it can also reduce freight costs as each pallet carries more goods. With ELEVATE, we tailored a lifting column for cobot palletisers with a focus on fast lifting speed, interfaces, stability and compactness. The fact that it can be combined with a regular cobot makes it an affordable solution.”

New levels of performance 

With its fast lifting speed and optional simultaneous run, ELEVATE boosts palletisers to match the cycle time of the production line. The lifting speed is constant with up to 100mm/sec. and independent of load. With a brushless motor and an integrated controller, ELEVATE provides high position accuracy. Proven slider technology keeps the cobot steady and able to withstand high bending moments while moving.

The integrated controller allows for compact size and eliminates the need for external control boxes. This makes ELEVATE extremely space-saving and easy to integrate and even reduces the complexity of the whole palletiser system.

Three interface options – ELEVATE Easy, Pro or Modbus – offer the level of control and feedback required by a specific task, and data enable smooth troubleshooting, diagnostics and optimisation of performance. Due to these interfaces, ELEVATE is compatible with a wide range of cobots. Accessories like cobot mounting plates make it easy and fast to set up.

Markus Hofmann, Product Manager at LINAK, added: “ELEVATE comes with an accessory kit for easy setup. The kit includes mounting plates, cables, and, in individual cases, a cobot brand-specific driver software, such as a URCap for cobots from Universal Robots. Furthermore, you can use ELEVATE with your preferred power supply and safety relay. This makes ELEVATE an adaptable component within multiple palletiser setups.” 

A match for modern production 

The Danish system integrator BILA A/S is one of the customers that got to test the product before launch, and Product Manager Brian Spetzler was impressed:  “Our experience with the ELEVATE lifting column has only been positive. It is easy to set up, and the intuitive software plays a key role, as it enables fast configuration as well as re-configuration. This is important in production environments, where the setup is not permanent, and needs can change. In modern production production environments and warehouses, we see a trend towards automated palletising, and with increasing freight costs, palletising at height has become vital. These are some of the reasons we are excited about the ELEVATE column.” 


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