Moving delicate, expensive robotic tech and equipment adds to the stress and risk of moving your business or home. Robotic technology shipping and high tech crating are specialized processes. Engaging professionals experienced in transporting robot equipment will both ensure the safety of your expensive technology and provide you peace of mind during the move.
What do we mean by robotic tech?
When many people think of a ‘robot’, they picture a metal human-like figure from a sci-fi novel. But the reality is robotic equipment is commonplace in our everyday lives.
In fact, there are almost 3 million industrial robots in use worldwide, and over ten times as many consumer ones. Any device that carries out activities by itself as set out by a pre-ordained program counts as a robot, from large automated manufacturing equipment to your AI lawn maintenance equipment.
The complicated nature of robotic transport
Industrial robotic equipment and your home’s automatic vacuum cleaner have one thing in common; they are both tricky to move. Whether you are moving a business or a residence, the process can be complicated.
Using a cardboard box, for example, is a recipe for disaster because your heavy items can easily fall through the bottom of the box or get damaged from being jostled about in transit. Then there are all the small parts, manuals, and cables to think about, which should be carefully packed to avoid spending a fortune on replacements.
So what’s the solution for transporting your items to their destination? You need high-tech crating.
The challenges of robotic tech shipping
Crating involves packaging your robotic equipment in wooden crates specially designed to transport objects of all shapes and sizes. These crates are made from the highest-quality timber and are great for shipping oversized, odd-shaped, valuable, or breakable items.
If you work with a crating company, you can order custom crates built to fit the dimensions of your particular item. That way, you won’t have to worry about scouring the shops for suitable packing materials.
Not sure where to find a suitable crating company for your needs? We’ve got you covered. Dive into our top tips for crating your robotic technology with the help of expert craters and couriers.
Things to consider when packaging robotics
Hazmat (hazardous materials) might evoke images of men in full protective gear and dangerous substances, but some of the most commonplace items in your home may count as hazmat without you knowing.
While most parts associated with robots are safe, some can be considered dangerous. Lithium batteries, for example, are a hazardous material.
If your robotic technology uses lithium batteries, you’ll have to follow the specific packaging rules to ensure legal compliance. If you’d rather take an easier route, opt to buy replacement lithium batteries when you arrive at your destination instead.
If in doubt about what does or doesn’t count as hazardous material, don’t panic. You can look online or discuss it with your crating company to find out more. If the goods you’re shipping are considered dangerous, let the crating company know, so they can package them accordingly and complete the necessary paperwork.
We’ve all been there. You’ve packed one of your favorite items in a cardboard box or suitcase only to arrive at your destination and find it smashed into pieces. When dealing with expensive equipment like robotic tech, the last thing you need is damage to your item. Breakage from an accident while moving can result in a serious hit to your bank account to replace your item.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering the materials you’ll use to pack your items to avoid potential breakages. One option is to shrink-wrap all your items in plastic to avoid damage from the external environment. Other options include a foil bag, vapor barrier, and foam.
As with all electronic equipment, robotic technology can be exceptionally vulnerable to dampness and moisture. Failing to protect your tech from humidity means it can arrive damaged, which is where foil bag and vapor barrier options come in.
These materials can be vacuum sealed around your items to avoid moisture entering the package—which is particularly useful for shipping via ocean. Foam is another packaging material with benefits for your robotic technology shipping.
Foam, inserted around your items, will act as a cushion for any sharp edges. The material also provides shock absorption to reduce the chance of damage from jostling during transit.
Robotic tech shipping method
There are three ways to transport your items; by land, air, or sea. Air transit tends to be more costly, and it’s the least planet-friendly option of the three, but it’s the quickest if you need your tech to arrive by a specific date.
If the arrival date is not critical, transport robot items by ocean freight. This option is cheaper and better for the environment but takes longer than flying.
If you send your products by sea, you’ll benefit from working with a crating company specializing in ocean container loading. That means the company knows how to properly block, brace, and load an ocean container, taking care of another crucial element of your package’s journey.
Sending your items by land is a better option when their destination is nearby. Professional high tech crating and moving companies are helpful and cost-effective, even when you are not moving a company or residence. Any time you are transporting delicate equipment from one space to another, engaging professionals is a wise choice.
Shipping from one state to another is simple enough, but if you’re shipping internationally, you’ll have to jump through a few extra hoops. A good starting point is to check that everything you’re sending to your destination country is legal to export from the US and import into the host country.
Once you’ve checked the rules and regulations, remember that there may be extra paperwork and costs involved. At South Shore Crate and Pack, we have connections with shipping companies and couriers to support your parcel from the start to the end of its journey.
Top tips for robotic tech shipping
Keep an inventory
When it’s time to ship robot equipment, make a list of all the parts and items included in your package before handing it over to your courier—especially if you’re shipping the tech as part of a home or business premises relocation. That way, you can keep track of which cable is in which box and double-check that everything has arrived safely on the other side.
It’s also worth taking a photo of your setup before transporting your items. This makes it easier to set up your items when they arrive at their destination.
Pack your robot strategically
If you’re shipping a traditional robot with arms and a teach pendant, pack them strategically for minimal chance of damage. For example, keep the robot arm in the squatted position; bubble wrap the teach pendant and keep it in a box secured within the crate.
As obvious as it sounds, if you’re packing any manuals or extra accessories for your robotic equipment, pack the additional pieces with the corresponding item. That way, you’ll have everything in the right place when it arrives, rather than scrambling through multiple crates to find the correct item.
Disconnect any cables from the robotic tech before packing them. If your robot has a controller, wrap the cable around the base.
It is a good practice to wrap each cable, place each wrapped cable in a separate bag, and pack all related cables in the crate with the related piece of equipment. If you’re worried about the plug damaging other items in the package, place a plastic cover on it to soften the sharp edges.
Decrease your robot’s size
Since larger packages tend to cost more, the smaller you can make your robot without damaging it, the less you’ll need to pay for shipping. If you’re packing a robot that extends, remember to retract it before packing it away.
Use instructional labels
Most electronic equipment fares best when packaged upright and kept upright for the remainder of its journey. Make the most of labels such as ‘this way up’ or ‘handle with care’ to help the couriers take better care of your item while it’s in transit and minimize manual handling risk. It can also be helpful to mark which side of the crate is the front of the robot if having it this way around is vital.
When you’re sending very niche products, there’s a chance the companies you’re working with won’t know the intricacies of the types of products you’re shipping. So, for example, if the lasers in your items require temperature control or imaging devices are sensitive to vibration, make that clear to your crating and shipping company so they factor it into the shipping process.
While the majority of shipments go by without a hitch, there can be problems beyond the courier’s control. If you’re shipping items that would be expensive to replace, or are crucial to the running of your business, opt for insurance. That way, you’ll be protected in the unlikely scenario that something goes wrong.
Robotic tech shipping by the experts
We understand that shipping expensive equipment can be time-consuming, so our mission is to take the admin (and stress) off your hands by providing a start-to-finish crating experience that protects your products.
At South Shore Crate and Pack, no product is too niche to ship with our wooden crates. Our specially designed custom crates can withstand heavy and oversized items while protecting your item from damage when paired with the right packaging materials.
Whether you’re relocating an office, moving your personal robot equipment to your new house, or taking your cutting-edge technology to a trade show, we’ve got experience packing almost every type of product available.
The best part? We have connections with shipping companies, so not only can we properly package your items to keep them safe, we can make sure they arrive at their destination intact.
If you need support with a shipment of robotics and want the work taken off your hands, don’t hesitate to get in touch.