Q: What are the benefits of a palletizing robot?
A: By automating the palletizing task there will be less tiring work for your employees. You also free up an employee to do other, more valuable tasks for your business. A palletizing robot will do a repetitive task that it has become harder to hire people to do.
Universal Robots deliver cobots which means that they can work side by side humans. It is safe and requires little extra space in your facility!
Q: What is Pally?
A: Pally is our easy-to-use palletizing software for UR-robots.
You create your desired pallet layout in our web-based Pally Pallet Builder. The unique feature for Pally is that you can make as many patterns as you like for free!
Our software is easy and flexible, and our intention is that anyone shall be able to use Pally with very little training. Once you have created your pattern, Pally sends instruction to the UR robot on how it should place the boxes on the pallet.
Q: What are the benefits of a UR robot using the Pally software?
- Easy to use – with minimal training our goal is that anyone should be able to operate a UR robot with our software Pally.
- Affordable – most customers have a positive ROI after the first year of use!
- Reliable – our palletizing solution requires minimal maintenance
- Quick installation – most projects are up and running after just one day!
- Precision – place boxes down to the millimetre!
- Less tear on the robot – Pally gives the robot smoother movements which over time could increase the lifespan of the robot.
Little down time in the production line when transitioning from manual palletizing to using a UR cobot w/ Pally.
Q: How much does a palletizing robot with the Pally software cost?
A: For pricing, we would love to get in touch with you to discuss your requirements as price might vary depending on needs. As a rule of thumb, most businesses have a positive return after the first year of use.
Q: In what countries is the Pally software available?
A: We are partners with distributors and integrators in large parts of the world who are ready to help with the installation of your palletizing solution. Even if your company is based in an area where we don’t yet have any partners, we will most likely be able to provide you with a solution anyway. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll find a solution for you and your company!
Q: How can I purchase a complete palletizing solution, including the Pally software?
A: Yes! If you contact us we will get in touch with you shortly to discuss what a good solution is for you and your business. From there, we will get you connected with one of our local partners who will provide you with a turn-key solution.
Q: I already have a UR robot. How can I buy the Pally software only?
A: You buy a Pally license by leaving your contact details here and then we’ll get back to you as soon as possible with all the details.
Q: How much does it cost to create a new pattern for my palletizing robot?
A: Nothing! You can create as many patterns as you want, and it is 100% free! We have customers running 200+ patterns on each of their robots, so the sky’s the limit here. Try our Pally Pallet Builder and see how your pallet will look with your specified pattern!
Q: How do I know that the pattern I need for my pallet will work with the robot?
A: We perform a feasibility test of your project to make sure your desired pattern is working properly with Pally and the robot. All you have to do is to leave your package data and pallet requirements in our Pally Pallet Builder and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.
Q: Is it difficult to create new patterns for the palletizing robot?
A: No, after creating a couple of patterns it is easy peasy! Most people only need half a day of training before they can fully operate the UR robot with the Pally software. One of our Pally users has 200+ different patterns that they easily switch between each week. Try our Pally Pallet Builder yourself here!
Q: How long will it take from first contact to receiving a proof of concept?
A: We can in a few days analyze your product and deliver a proof of concept. With a simulation we can visualize the palletizing process and give recommendations on the hardware setup. This way, you’ll get to see that it is working before placing your order for a palletizing solution!
Q: How long does it take from ordering the palletizing solution until I have it installed?
A: There are several factors that have an impact on the delivery and installation time, but once we place an order for a palletizing solution with a reseller, they can usually deliver and install the set-up within a month or two.
How fast can Pally palletize?
The speed of Pally depends on several factors: The box size, the box weight, your gripper anatomy, your pattern on the pallet and if you can double grip your boxes or not. We can typically do 6 lifts a minute in collaborative mode, but some customers have stretched the performance to 10 lifts a minute. At these speeds we recommend using an external safety device.
Can Pally lift heavy boxes?
Yes. If your UR robot can lift it, Pally can lift it.
I want to lift two products at the time. Can Pally do this?
Absolutely. If your gripper allows this, it is no problem. Just specify “max grip” to “2” in the Pattern Generator, and align the two boxes on the conveyor. The robot will then grip 1 box if there is only 1 box available, and 2 boxes if there are 2 boxes available and it fits in the pattern. For recommended setups here, please see the user manual
Can I use Pally with US standard pallets?
Yes, Pally handles all standard pallets – If there is reach, Pally can palletize.
It’s also possible to use your custom pallet – Pally lay no restrictions
How high pallets can Pally palletize?
Pally can go as high as your lifting column can go. So far, our maximum height done is 2100-2200mm.
Can Pally palletize two pallets?
Yes. When you specify your pattern in the Pattern Generator, this pattern will automatically be mirrored into the other side. Just set up your Pally to run on two pallets, and it will automatically start palletizing on the other side as soon as one pallet is finished.
Can I create my own patterns?
You can create as many patterns as you want. We have customers running 200+ patterns on each of their robots.
Is it difficult to create my own patterns?
No, but there are some best practices. Please refer to the user manual for how to create good patterns. After creating a couple of patterns, it is easy peasy.
I need a shim paper to stabilize my pallet. Does Pally support this?
Yes, version 2.3 and up will have callbacks where the end users can define their own shim paper routines. Inside the Pattern Generator, you specify where in the pallet you would like the shim paper. When the robot is finished with the layer before the shim paper, the shim paper callback will be called. If you have defined your own program in this node, this program will then be executed. We
Is Pally ISO/TS 15066 compliant?
You have to do your own risk assessment when installing based on the finished installation. The robot speeds in Pally can be set by the integrator or end user to be compliant with ISO/TS 15066. If you want to run the robot in non-collaborative mode, Pally supports higher speeds than recommended in the ISO/TS 15066. In such cases you must use an additional safety device.
My floor is not leveled, will this be a problem?
No leveled floor, no problem. Pally is lvl 60. Just calibrate your pallet, and Pally does the rest for you.
What is the typical installation time of a Pally installation?
Our best integrators can set up one Pally robot before lunch. Depending on products, skills and difficulty of the projects, you may spend the rest of the day drinking coffee.
Can you help me with installing Pally?
We give online training in how to set up the systems. Most integrators find this sufficient, but for non experienced customers it might be nice to have a local UR representative to help you out.
Can Pally depalletize?
Not yet! We will definitely let you know when dePally is ready.
Do I need to worry about path planning for palletizing?
Usually not. If you have an unusual setup in your hardware, you might need to tune some of the parameters in the “advanced” tab. Please see the user manual for a detailed description of how these parameters affect the path planning and speed of Pally.
Do you offer vision technology with Pally?
Not out of the box, but we are working on it.
Can Pally do a victory dance when a pallet is finished?
Yep, just add it into the “onPalletFinished” callback! You can flip tables, go crazy or just go to sleep.
I have a special need, do you support special needs?
We might. If you have a good idea for a next feature for Pally, please let us know!
I want to integrate my sensors with Pally, is this possible?
Sure, just hook them up in the I/O ports in the UR.
Which grippers can I use?
Whatever gripper you want. We have customers using UniGripper, Schmaltz and custom made grippers.To configure Pally to your gripper, just insert the dimensions of the gripper in the installation tab, and use the callback nodes to control it. It is pretty straight forward if you have any experience with UR robots.
Does Pally support additional safety devices?
Yes. You can trigger reduced mode speeds based on input from an external safety device. You can configure this in the safety settings of the robot.
Is Pally compatible with Ewellix (previously SKF) lifting columns?
Yes, we have native support for Ewellix lifting columns. You do not have to think about anything regarding translations or transformations, just specify the stroke of your column and connect the necessary wires. You are then good to go!
Can I use a lifting column of my own choice?
Yes, this will be released soon!
I want to integrate my sensors with Pally, is this possible?
Sure, just hook them up in the I/O ports in the UR.
Q: How much downtime will my business have during the installation of the robot?
A: Our palletizing solution involves a cobot – a collaborative robot – that is working side by side humans. This means that an integrator will be able to install the robot while the production is running. As soon as this is done, the robot is ready to use! By installing a cobot, the downtime in production is reduced to a minimum. We have partners who install and test a robot running Pally before lunch!
Q: How much floor space does a palletizing robot need?
A: The beauty of using cobots – collaborative robots – is that they are designed to work side by side humans, and therefore it does not require a lot of floor spacing or cages. This is especially useful for small and medium manufacturers with limited extra space available. The smallest footprint that has been installed with Pally is 0,16 m2 + the space used by the pallets.
Q: What is the expected lifespan for a robot from Universal Robots?
A: Universal Robots have a promise of 35 000 hours of use for their robots. This equals to around 4 years if the robot is running 24/7!
By using Pally, the robot gets smoother movements that have less tear on the robot. So by choosing our software Pally, your robot could be operational for even longer than UR’s promise of 35 000 hours.
Q: How fast can a robot using Pally palletize?
A: Within the collaborative settings, Pally can do approx. 7 cycles/min. If the project allows for multi grip it can palletize 14 boxes/min with double grip, 21 boxes/min with triple grip, and so on.
Q: How heavy can Pally lift?
A: Pally can lift as heavy as the robot can. Keep in mind that the weight of the gripper is part of the total sum of kgs the robot can lift. Most grippers weigh around 1kg. If you have a UR16, Pally can lift 15 kgs with the 1 kg gripper, if you have a UR10, Pally can lift 9 kgs with the 1 kg gripper, and so on.
Q: What hardware will work with the palletizing software Pally?
A: Pally is tailor-fit for cobots from Universal Robots. You can use the hardware of your choice as long as it’s compatible with Universal Robots. Our distributors and integrators are ready to give you advice on what will be the best hardware set-up for you.
Q: Can a palletizing robot with Pally only lift cardboard boxes?
A: Most businesses use Pally for cardboard boxes, but there are really no limits to what Pally can palletize as long as you choose the right gripper for the job.
Q: I want to use the palletizing robot in several places. Is it possible to move it around my production site?
A: Yes, it is possible to move your palletizer around on your production site to palletize from various conveyor belts. Our software Pally is designed to handle the moving procedures.
Q: Do Pally have a panel for the operators?
A: Yes, user-friendliness is very important to us. That’s why we have developed the Pally Operator Panel. Anyone with minimal training should be able to run the palletizing solution.
Q: Is it possible to gather data from Pally for my KPI reporting?
A: Yes, you can connect Pally to the Manufacturing execution system in your facility via our OPC UA solution.
Q: During the Covid-19 situation, is it possible to connect my palletizing solution from outside the facility?
A: Yes, we have made it possible for you to connect to Pally remotely.
Q: Does Pally have a sorting algorithm?
A: Yes! It is not quicksort, but Pally automatically aligns queues of boxes and layers based on the input file from the Pattern Generator.
Q: Which port is the daemon running at?
A: The daemon is by default running at port 40405. If there are any other daemons running at this port, there will be two resources fighting over the same port. Make sure to change one of the ports, such that only one URCap is using each port.
Q: “Cannot find inverse kinematics solution”, what is wrong?
A: This usually means the robot is trying to get outside of its reach. Verify that the gripper is mounted correctly and that the robot is not trying to go out of its own reach. By using as many “don’t care” placements of the boxes, the robot can choose the best trajectory and you might resolve the “Cannot find inverse kinematics solution” error message.
Q: When pressing “Move here” in the Pallet Tab in the setup wizard, the robot goes to a wrong position.
A: Make sure the robot is mounted properly on the base. Is the power connector facing the correct direction, ie. facing away from the pickup position?
Q: The robot stops in the “Before Pallet” callback node. What is wrong?
This usually means the robot is waiting for a “Go!” signal from either the pallet present sensors, or the box present sensors. Make sure you have the correct input from the sensors, and make sure you have configured them correctly in the “Installation->I/O” tab.
Q: I would like to use a Normally Open valve for switching the vacuum. How do you support this?
A: In the “Installations->Gripper” tab, you can choose “Other/Proprietary” gripper. You can then use the callbacks nodes in the program to control the gripper however you like.
Q: Can I use pallets of different heights?
A: Not for now, all pallets must be of the same height unless you want to redo the setup wizard. This might change in the future, such that Pally can handle different heights of pallets without having to be reconfigured.
Q: Why does the tool of the robot does a lot of unnecessary rotations?
A: Please verify that all of your hard coded positions does not have any joints close to their limit positions, especially “check pickup position” and “default waiting position”. Another point may be that the boxes are not placed in a “don’t care” position, ie, it does not matter if the boxes are rotated 180 degrees or not.
Q: I need to keep track of the things I am palletizing, how do I do this?
A: This is easy, just add your own routine in the beforePallet, afterRelease and afterPallet callbacks. In these callbacks you can use the global variables ProductName and ProductCount to get information about the current progress. The afterRelease callback is executed after the vacuum has been turned off. Here you can monitor the ProductCount global variable, which is incremented by the number of boxes successfully placed on the pallet. If vacuum is lost, the ProductCount is not incremented, and the robot will retry the same position again. If you have an OPC UA server/client running in your factory, we recommend using OPC UA to keep track of your counters. As an example, you can use the URCap for OPC UA that we made which is available on UR+.
Q: My gripper is mounted on an offset plate. Can I still use Pally?
A: Yes, but in this case you can’t choose gripper type “UniGripper CoLight” as it is defined with standard mounting. You should select “other vacuumgripper” or “other/proprietary”, then the TCP is not set by Pally, and you should define your TCP manually under Installation/TCP. Both position and rotation offset can be defined, depending on your physical setup. You can test whether your TCP setting is correct or not, by selecting the Move tab on the robot, choose feature “Tool” from the drop-down list, and move the robot with the arrow icons. If your TCP is correct, the robot should move parallel with the gripper edges, and rotate around the gripper foam center point and not around the tool flange.
Q: My robot is mounted on a column so that the power connector is not pointing backward as recommended. Can I still use Pally?
A: Yes, but in this case the default pallet positions on the Pally program node will not be correct, and you should should double check that the robot can reach all corners of both pallet, without giving the error “Joint position close to limits: Base” when calibrating the pallet positions.
Q: I get the error message "Pallet Manager is not enabled".
A: Go to Installation/Pally/Daemon and make sure the daemon is enabled and running. You should also check that there is no other URCap configured on port 40405.
Q: My lifting column does not have any end-switches, can I still use Pally?
A: You can use Pally at your own risk, as the correct position of the lifting column cannot be verified and unexpected malfunction can occur. You can stop lifting column with “Max. duration”
Q: My robot is mounted upside down, can I still use Pally?
Q: If my customer ask for a UR10 robot mounted in the ceiling, wall or at an angle, can I still use Pally?
Q: I have calibrated the pickup position, but the robot is not point exactly above the center of the box.
- Make sure you have selected “fixed side guide position” properly.
- Make sure your TCP settings are correct.
Q: I have calibrated the pickup position, but the double picking position is incorrect.
A: Check that your calibration is done according to the User Manual. Make sure the conveyor is parallel with the Y-axis in the Tool coordinate system. This is done by selecting the Move tab on the robot, choose feature “Tool” from the drop-down list, and move the robot with the arrow icons.
Q: I have 3 pallet positions, can I still use Pally?
Q: Can I continue a pallet after a power failure?
A: Not yet, but we are working on this. (2019)
Q: I get the error message "Joint position close to limits: Wrist 3".
A: Try to change the default waiting position by rotating wrist 3 by 360 degrees, so that the robot starts from another default joint position and has enough margin to perform the requested movement. If this does not help, consider mounting your gripper 180 degrees rotated AND change your TCP settings accordingly.
Q: The robot stops too often with protective stop while moving the boxes. There are no mechanical issues or collisions. The product weight is also defined properly in the pallet pattern.
A: The robot safety settings might be too restrictive for the task. Check maximum speed, acceleration, force, momentum. You might have to increase some of these values, but always follow your risk assessment.
Q: The robot stops too often with protective stop, exactly before releasing the box on the target position.
A: Check that your pallet position is properly calibrated, and the calibration box height is properly entered. Check that your product height is correct in the pallet pattern.
Q: Can I enforce double picking?
A: You can enforce double picking by modifying your sensor hardware. Change your sensor logic so that product sensor 1 should never be high without sensor 2 being high. This will enforce that Pally always gets the trigger when 2 boxes are available on the pickup position.
Q: The lower arm hits the boxes on the pallet when palletizing the topmost layer.
A: You can divide the pallet into blocks, and perform these blocks in a given order. See “zones” for further details.
Q: I have calibrated my system, and all the positions seems good, but when I am starting to palletize, the gripper has an offset when gripping.
A: Please verify that you did not swap the width and length parameters on the gripper. Wrong offsets are typically related to swapped width and length parameters when the gripper is close to the size of the boxes you are picking up.
Q: Can I mount the robot in another way than the normal, on top of column way?
A: Not yet. Please let us know if you have a specific request for this feature, and we could discuss it for our future development tasks.
Q: I get a fault when trying to run saying that Get_Liftkit_is_moving() is not initialized
A: Please check the SKF LiftKit settings under Installation/URCaps/SKF LiftKit. You should be able to initialize the lifting column here.In case you see a fault message, try to select an XmlRpc port other than 40405, save all, and restart the robot.