Choosing the correct robot reach

  • I have been tasked with purchasing a robot for my facility.


    The robot will be used for stacking boxes on a pallet. The part I'm having trouble with is choosing the correct max reach.


    The boxes will come to the robot on a conveyor and will be stacked on a pallet that is also on a conveyor. The tallest the pallet will ever be is 8' from the top of the conveyor. The pallet conveyor and infeed conveyor height hasn't been decided yet, but the top of the pallet conveyor will be roughly 6" of the ground and the box infeed conveyor roughly waist high.


    Can anyone give me some insight on what all I need to consider in order to choose the correct reach?

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  • You need to create a layout or CAD model showing the location of the infeed, pallet and robot. Then determine which robot model can reach. If you don't have that capability then you can ask for help from whoever you are purchasing the robot from to help you choose the correct model.

  • Hi jmarket56

    Welcome to the robot forum


    I hope the conveyor system and loading area is not built yet because it's very hard to fit a robot that size that reaches all the necessary areas.


    You need to specify size of box and weight and the surface of the pallet

    The tool is going to be a big variable in your decision because is going to add weight and loss of reach


    Most of the robot companies are going to show you a similar drawing that I posted below. You can figure using simple dimensions if the loaded pallet is going to fit on the blue areas.

    Now the tool, Use Google to have an idea about sizes. There hundreds of palletizer videos out there

    Be prepared to place the robot on a pedestal that could be 4 or 5 feet tall. Is the robot going to hit the ceiling ?



    Retired but still helping

  • that was spot on...

    you may also try using 3D program like RoboDK to build cell and move robot around to see if there are snugs. 4-axis palletizers need a bit of headroom due additional linkages. in general 5 and 6 axis robots are easier to use in lower ceiling environments. console robots have long reach - their rotating column is lower but longer.

    1) read pinned topic: READ FIRST...

    2) if you have an issue with robot, post question in the correct forum section... do NOT contact me directly

    3) read 1 and 2

  • Thank yall. The pallet will be 40"X48" the box will be roughly 22"X13" (can't remember exact measurement right off hand) and weigh about 5-8lbs. I plan on using a vacuum eoat to pick and place. And possibly have a pallet gripper arm on it as well to pick up and place the pallet.


    Ceiling height is not a problem and neither is having to use a pedestal.


    I will definitely check out that RoboDX program. Unfortunately, I won't have a vendor to help with choosing the robot since we will be purchasing it second hand.

  • Most of the high points have already been covered. I'll just add this: Allow yourself generous margins. Without an experienced integrator to lean on, it's going to be very easy to shoot yourself in the foot just going by sales-brochure figures.

    Not just in reach/payload, but in time. You may need some non-trivial periods of trial&error to work out all the kinks.


    Be aware of different robot "types" -- in particular, "regular" vs "shelf-mounted". Shelf-mounted robots are generally designed to be better at reaching "under" themselves than their equivalent "normal" siblings:


    Those are both 6-kg payload robots, but you can see that one can reach "down" quite a bit further. This may matter when putting your robot on a pedestal.

    Also, the shelf-mounted robot has a smaller "dead zone" (the inner wireframe outline) where it can't reach, which may also be a factor.

  • Thank you. I have decided to get a Fanuc R-2000iA/165F with a RJ3iB controller

    Well, that one is in RoboDK too:


    The R2000s seem to be Fanuc's mid-range, all-rounder models. Probably not a bad choice. The RJ3iB controller is pretty old, though. Doing basic palletizing should be well within its capabilities, but it'll be missing a lot of the more modern features. The bigger issue is that it may be harder to find spare parts or repair resources for.


    If you're buying used, definitely get a list of what options it has. Those can add some surprising capabilities, or conversely deprive you of some things that seem like they should be standard. Trig functions like SIN and COS come to mind...

  • This is like my special project of the year. And I have alot to learn about programming of the robot and integrating it with upstream and downstream conveyor, but have a small "ish" budget to work with.


    Luckily, I only have to program one pallet configuration with one size box.


    Our other machines have multiple different boxes with different pallet configurations, on those we use PalletPro but the whole set up was done years ago through a manufacturer.

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