Palletising & De-Palletising

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Palletising Machines and De-palletising Machines

Modern warehousing and distribution methods mean that just about every sector uses pllets for storage and transport of their products. From lightweight goods destined for the supermarket shelves, to bricks and sacks of sand and cement, the vast majority of projects are moved around the world by pallet.

How Palletising and De-palletising Machines Work

Palletising machines assemble or dismantle pallet loads of products, groups of packages or rigid containers on a pallet, with little or no manual intervention, and secure the load on the pallet for security and stability during transportation.

A recent application for this type of machinery has been to form the retail-ready pallets, mini-pallets and dollies which supermarkets are now demanding for fast-moving product lines, not only to minimise the use of transit packing materials but also reduce the amount of labour needed in store to prepare products for sale.

Just as technology has been developed to load and secure pallets in high volume environments, machines to de-palletise or unload full pallets of rigid containers or crates have also been developed to automate the front and end of production lines.

For safety, brand image, security and weather protection reasons, various kinds of pallet load securing systems have been created. So, for example, corrugated cases of whisky or other high value spirits are secured by an all-enveloping film of plastic material. This includes a top sheet to make it as hard as possible to break into the load and to ensure that products are not spoiled if they are left out in the rain. Other, less valuable and more durable, products can be secured by a simple horizontal strap.

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What are the types of Palletising machine and De-palletising machine?

Palletisers load pallets in a varietty of ways, governed by various factors, including the level the machinery works at, the speed required and available floor space. Depalletisers unload pallets using the same methods.

Low Level

Forms a layer of packages at one low level, which is clamped and pushed onto a stripper plate and moved over the pallet. The stripper plate is then withdrawn. Depalletising works in reverse, sweeping the load off the stripper plate onto a table. Low Level Lift-Off equipment uses pneumatic grippers, magnets (for steel cans) and hooks (for kegs and crates) to raise or lower products.

High Level

Forms layers of packages at a high level and transfers them onto a pallet which is raised or lowered as the load is formed. To unload the pallet, products are gripped and removed.

High Level Lift-Off

High level palletiser that transfers the load by gripping and lifting the layer onto the pallet. To take load of the pallet, it is gripped and put onto a receiving table.


Palletiser in which several pallets of different products are formed at the same time.

Palletising Robot

Usually based on a multi-axis industrial robot, which can be programmed to form a pallet load. Can also be programmed to de-palletise.

Column Palletiser

Palletiser that creates stacks of crates which are then transferred to pallets as a group. Column depalletisers remove and destack groups of crates.

Gantry Palletiser

Palletiser that comprises a gantry supporting a pick-and-place device which can be programmed to form a pallet load.

Sack Palletiser

Specifically adapted to palletise sacks, which may work using the low-level, high-level, low-level lift-off, robot or gantry principles.

Palletising Ancillary Equipment

Empty Pallet Magazine

Machine that dispenses empty pallets from a stack or accepts single empty pallets to place on a stack.

Pallet Stacker/Unstacker

Macine which stacks or unstacks loaded pallets.

Pallet Changer

Sometimes called a pallet inverter, this machine removes a pallet load from one pallet so that it can be placed on another, usually by rotating the pallet load through 180°.

Layer Pad Inserter/Remover

Attachment typically integrated with a palletiser to place pads between layers of products as the load is formed. The same machine can be integrated with a de-palletiser to remove layer pads and restack them.

Top Sheet Dispenser

Attachement integrated with a pallet stretch-wrapper which places a sheet of thermoplastic film on top of a pallet load before stretch wrapping commences so that the load is completely covered with plastic film.

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Common Palletising and De-palletising Terminology

  • Pallet Loading
  • Pallet Wrappers
  • Stretch Wrapping
  • Pallet Loaders
  • Stretch Wrappers
  • Pallet Forming
  • Pallet Dismantling
  • Pallet Securing
  • Stretched Wrapped Pallets