Almond producers have the burden of heavy manual labor for most of the year.
Even in the “off-season”, processing operations such as roasting, hulling, dicing and crushing require multiple labor shifts throughout the year.
Almond products are packaged into heavy 25 or 50-pound boxes, and must be stacked at rates of the 12 cases per minute.
The pallet stack patterns require a laborer to bend at the waist to put the lower layers of cases on the pallet, and to reach above shoulder height to reach the top layers.
All of this makes for a very demanding, exhausting and potential injury-prone job for humans.
The task of palletizing heavy boxes in tall stack is handled easily by robots, however.
TransAutomation Technologies provided this robotic palletizer in 2020 to an almond farming company in Denair, California.
The robot palletizes 50-pound brownskin almond cases at a rate of 12 cases per minute on 2 shifts, and helped the owner reduce dependency of human labor and realize a return on investment of just over 14 months.
The robotic palletizer need very little maintenance and required no special technical skills to operate, once fully programmed and tested.