• Gantry Robot Manufacturer & Articulated Arm Integrator


Simulation to Reality - Gantry Robot Concept to Completion

SIMULATED Multi-Line Palletizing Gantry Robot

ACTUAL Operational Multi-Line Palletizing Gantry Robot


A common task needing automation is Multi-Line Palletizing, sometimes referred to as built-to-order palletizing or order-building palletizing.

Fundamentally, these types of systems allow a distributor to build final pallet orders to ship directly to the end user by way of pulling from multiple lines of same type product pallets. The robot is told what quantities of each type of product should be used to build a final complete pallet for shipping. It then automatically builds that pallet using available product from a variety of other source pallets inside the reach of the work cell. When one of those pallets runs out of product, a new pallet of that product type is delivered to an empty location where the robot can continue to pull items from it.

Gantry robots are one of the best solutions for multi-line palletizing situations due to the virtually unlimited length of pallets that could be placed in the envelope to pull from. In contrast, an articulated arm’s limited reach can generally only build extremely limited quantities of build-to-order pallets unless placed on a rail. In that case, the articulated arm has effectively just become the end-of-arm tool of a gantry robot.

Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) Gantry Robots

Sage Automation manufactures and integrates Gantry Robot Systems in a wide variety of industrial automation applications.

Gantry robots are one of the best overall solutions for pick and place situations for general material handling. While articulated arms are limited in payload and range of manipulation, gantry systems can carry exceptionally heavy product over far greater distances. Though heavy payloads are more typical, gantry robots are also used in smaller applications where weight and footprint are not the driving factor.

WHAT ARE GANTRY ROBOTS?When should you use them?

A Gantry Robot is an automated industrial system that can also be referred to as a Cartesian Robot or a Linear Robot.

Gantry robots typically move in linear paths creating a three dimensional cubic envelope of space it can work within. For this reason, the term Cartesian robot is ideal since the overall top-down working space is bound by two linear paths that intersect at right angles to create the working plane (typically referred to as X and Y.) When you add a third axis (typically referred to as Z), this creates the depth at which the manipulation equipment can operate inside the cubical envelope. While these three axes are the principle forms of movement, gantry robots can contain many other axes of manipulation.

In rarer cases, gantry robots are referred to as Smart Cranes since they resemble industrial overhead cranes. While gantry robots are not defined as cranes, they do share visual similarities and core concepts. Overhead cranes are manually operated so the term “smart” applies to gantry robots being fully autonomous without the need for operator input.

In being autonomous, the biggest difference is gantry robots operate independently of human beings in their workcell while overheard cranes can exist in areas populated with workers.

Gantry Robots are used mostly in pick and place applications but have been implemented in a variety of tasks. Sage Automation typically uses them in palletizing and depalletizing jobs but is constantly finding new applications where the gantry style approach is suitable.

Sage Gantry Robots are designed in a wide range of sizes, strength, and lengths. A small Sage Gantry Robot would be similar in size to that of a small room whereas a large robot might be as long as a football field and as wide as fifty feet or more depending on building columns.

Payloads can vary from just a few pounds to several tons.

Sage Automation manufactures a wide array of gantry robot designs.

Sage Automation makes two types of Gantry Robots, Open and Closed.
Sage Gantry Robots are made in small to large sizes. A small Sage Gantry Robot would be similar in size to that of a small room whereas a large robot might be as long as a football field and as wide as fifty feet. Payloads can vary from fifty pounds to several thousand pounds. The most popular style is the closed Gantry Robot.

Tire Handling ASRS Gantry Robot System

Shown here is an example of a small gantry (in footprint) but one that is still able to lift and manipulate heavy product.

Shown here is an example of an open gantry system performing the task of loose lift product palletizing.

A popular option is to add a fourth rotational axis, “U”, to the bottom of the Z beam. This axis most commonly rotates the end of arm tool such that the tool stays parallel with the floor. Options exist to rotate the tool in a vertical fashion rather than horizontal. It is even possible to add a fifth rotational axis, “W”, whose axis of rotation is perpendicular to the “U” axis. Sage also makes simple two axis robots with one horizontal axis and one vertical axis. Sage robots utilize various types of ways and mechanical drives. Drive methods include belt, wire rope, tractor, chain, and closed loop friction. Way systems include wheel & track, profile rail, and wheel & beam.

Gantry robots can be used in a wide variety of material handling applications. Sage robots are servo controlled closed loop designs. Automation can help maximize your production capabilities while allowing you to minimize your production facility size and keep overhead operating cost stable. Industrial robots are automated manipulators used in; material handling, equipment loading & unloading, and moving large/heavy loads. Why should you consider an industrial robot? Industrial automation can optimize production, reduce injuries, and allow for employees to focus on other tasks such as quality control. Gantry robots are perfectly suited to be ASRS solutions (Automated Storage and Retrieval System) particularly for the tire industry.

Gantry Robots for Less Than 200lb Payloads

The Sage Automation Light Payload Gantry is applicable for entry level automation tasks such as case palletizing and material handling with lower payloads. This Light Payload Gantry can be built in a series alongside other gantries to function as an assembly line doing various task or built inline doing the same task with a shared infeed trunkline. Depending on product infeed rate this Sage Gantry Robot typically will have 2 to 3 product build locations and can also function as its own pallet and slip sheet dispenser.

These can be built as part of a larger warehouse distribution system that can work with Sage Automation Railcars, conveyor lifts, and stretch wrapping systems. Sage Automation can integrate multiple machines into one networked system, regardless of the manufacturer as long as Sage’s equipment can establish I/O communication with the other OEM’s equipment. Sage can streamline your production needs.

Light Payload Gantry End Effector:

Multifunction Clamp with Pallet Picking Option

Light Payload Palletizing Gantry Robot Layout

Light Payload Gantry Case Study:Overall Design:

Sage Automation, Inc. built a system that featured three mini-gantry robots that had sorting conveyors and pallet handling equipment.

Major components:

    • Light Payload Gantry (x3)
    • End Effector (x3): Fork & Clamp w/ vacuum cup option
    • Robot Servo Control Cabinet (x3): Allen-Bradley CompactLogix PLC
    • Servo Drive Systems
    • Safety Fencing
    • Sorting Belt Conveyor with fourteen (14) spurs
    • Pallet Dispenser (x3)
    • Slip Sheet Hoppers (x2), Robots #1 & #2
    • Pallet Handling Conveyors

Gantry Robots for More Than 200lb Payloads

Roll Handling System

The Sage Automation Heavy Payload Gantry Robot is applicable for mid-range automation that requires faster speeds and accelerations with more rigidity while carrying heavier payloads. This Heavy Payload Gantry Robot was built as part of a larger factory automation system built to work with existing equipment or with other O.E.M. machinery. Our Heavy Payload Gantry has been used in Pipe Handling, Forge Loading & Unloading, Paper & Tissue, and Synthetic Board Manufacturing Industries. Sage Automation can custom engineer a Heavy Payload Gantry to fit your specific industrial automated material handling and warehouse distribution needs.

Heavy Payload Gantry End Of Arm Tool:

 J-Hook with Top Clamp

Heavy Payload Pipe Handling Gantry Robot Layout:

Heavy Payload Gantry Case Study:

This Heavy Payload Gantry system was built to process heavy pipe in a manufacturing process. Sage automation systems that have been built in the past have handle loads from 50-60lbs all the way up to 8,000lbs.

Sage Automation System Goals:

    • Increase safety by reducing operator handling of pipe
    • Eliminates use of fork trucks and overhead cranes
    • Allows operator to focus on other tasks
    • Increase throughput rates
    • Streamline process between stations
    • Allows for 24 hr. operation with minimal staff

Summary of Heavy Payload Pipe Gantry System:

The pipe entered the system on chain conveyors which was staged into a pick position thru a series of photo eyes. Once it was in position the gantry robot moved to the designated pick position and began the automated handling process. This system utilized two gantry robots that shared a common frame. The gantry robots were synchronized thru the software to operate in tandem. This pipe handling gantry system used a pair of J-hook as its End Of Arm Tools.

This Sage Automation Gantry system met all customer requirements and goals. The system increased throughput, increased safety, and has resulted in reduced labor cost allowing for around the clock production.

Large Area Gantry Robots

ASRS Tire Gantry Robot System

Applicable for large span projects such as Automated Storage and Retrieval systems or other distribution applications.

Large Area Gantry End Effector:

ASRS Tire Gantry Robot Case Study:

This Tire Warehousing Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems or ASRS consists of two gantry robots that share a common frame, the “X” axis. The main function of this Tire ASRS is to stack and store “raw” tires as well as tire/wheel assemblies until they are requested by the production line. Each Gantry Robot will normally be assigned to its own stack storage block, Robot 1 will serve the tire/wheel assembly stacks and Robot 2 will serve the incoming raw tire stacks. Each stack storage block has a conveyor running thru the stack which is named according to the stack it services. Additionally each robot has its own end effector which picks and places the tires. The end effector picks up the tires and tire / wheel assemblies with telescoping clamp arms which allow for various tire sizes. The end effector can pick and place one (1) to five (5) tires or tire / wheel assemblies at a time. The ASRS tracks and archives tire size, quantity, T.W.A. combination and date the tire enters the system. The perimeter and internal barrier fences are also part of the ASRS. The perimeter fencing prevents workers from entering the robot operational envelope and the internal barrier fence helps divide the tire stacks and creates maintenance zones. The two robots are in constant communication with each other to prevent collisions.

Overall Design:

Sage Automation, Inc. proposes an ASRS Large Area Gantry Robot with dual which includes two infeed conveyors and an integrated perimeter fencing system.

Major Components:

    • Large Area Gantry (x2): Gantry Robot 1 and Gantry Robot 2
    • Common Shared Gantry Frame
    • End Effector (x2): Outer Pick Tire Clamp designed for picking up raw tires or tire and wheel assemblies
    • HMI Cabinet centrally located
    • Tire Infeed Conveyors (x2): One conveyor for raw tire side and one conveyor for tire and wheel assembly side
    • Safety Fencing