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KASTO: The Intuitive Way To The Right Storage Space

KASTO: The Intuitive Way To The Right Storage Space

KASTO Maschinenbau has equipped its UNITOWER storage system with a practical new feature. The automatic bar stock and sheet metal storage system is available with an integrated pick-by-light function. Using this solution, the operator is intuitively guided to the required item by means of a light beam. In this way, users can save a significant amount of time in the storage system and avoid mistakes.

The pick-by-light function is particularly helpful in storage systems in which the pallets or cassettes are subdivided into multiple storage compartments. It is integrated in the KASTO storage system’s controller, which tells it which article needs to be stored or retrieved for the relevant job. After the load carrier has been moved to the station, a light dot is projected onto the field of the pallet or cassette where the article can be found. The operator recognises the correct compartment at a glance and is able to store or retrieve the item without error. This saves time and prevents mistakes resulting from incorrect assignments.

The KASTO UNITOWER is available in two different variants: as a version for the storage of long workpieces or for sheet metal, flat products and containers. Cassettes, pallets or supporting frames are used as the load carriers. Depending on the design, each storage space can carry loads of up to five tonnes. The towers accept bar stock from 3,400 to 14,600 mm in length, thus allowing users to access different standard lengths as well as workpiece- or production-optimised special lengths.

The basic version of the UNITOWER has a usable width between 600 and 1,240 mm. This enables the storage system to be ideally matched to the available space. The UNITOWER B model for storing sheet metal and flat products enables lengths between 2,000 and 8,000 mm to be stored. The usable width is between 1,000 and 2,000 mm.

System heights of up to 20 metres can be easily achieved with both variants. With their variable loading height, tower storage systems provide a flexible solution which saves significantly more space and is therefore more economical compared with conventional floor and cantilever arm storage systems. The UNITOWER storage systems are also characterised by their high level of efficiency. The load carriers are handled by a storage and retrieval machine (SRM) with a central crossbeam. Compared with paternoster systems, for example, this has the advantage that it is not necessary to move the entire stock, but only the relevant cassette. Together with the superbly efficient drives, this ensures fast access times and saves energy. KASTO’s advanced conveyor systems and processing machines can also be used to connect storage and retrieval stations fully automatically, ensuring a highly efficient and smooth internal material flow.


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KASTO Celebrates 175th Anniversary

KASTO Celebrates 175th Anniversary

KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG celebrates its 175th birthday this year. The sawing and storage technology specialist has evolved from a one-man-business into a globally successful company.

The invention of the hacksaw in the year 1947 marked the significant step towards the modern tool machine manufacturer. In the 1960s, the circular saws complemented the portfolio; at the beginning of the 1970s, KASTO presented the first fully automatic bar storage and retrieval system. This system featured two integrated circular saws which were supplied automatically by the operating gantry crane – the precursor for the first combined storage and sawing centres that KASTO manufactured beginning in 1980 and till today.

Globally Successful And Future-Orientated

Today, KASTO has established itself as a global leader with over 140,000 saws sold and 2,200 installed storage systems for bars and sheet metal along with its numerous subsidiaries around the globe. KASTO develops its own software systems, provides solutions for networking, automation and robot connection and focusses on future technologies such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI). Therefore, the manufacturer sees itself as being well prepared for future challenges.


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Economical And Environmentally-Friendly On-Site-Production

Economical And Environmentally-Friendly On-Site-Production

KASTO Maschinenbau has expanded its new plant construction service portfoliothe company now offers mobile cassette production on site for its automatic UNICOMPACT long goods storage system. Robot-supported processes ensure a consistently-high and certified standard of quality. Warehouse operators benefit from significantly lower transport costsand production on the customer’s site also has significant advantages for the environment.

Automatic storage systems for long goods can often comprise several thousand cassettes. Delivering completely welded, voluminous load carriers by truck involves high freight costs and high CO2 emissions—so KASTO has now developed a solution which reduces this transport effort down to a minimum: when constructing new UNICOMPACT long goods storage systems, the specialist company can produce the required cassettes on the customer’s site, using a mobile, automated production system.

All KASTO needs to set up its mobile cassette production is a sufficiently large area in the customer’s warehouse, a 400-volt, three-phase power supply and an indoor crane. The plant is delivered by container and is usually ready for operation within about two weeks. It welds the finished cassettes from the raw material provided and coats them with an anti-corrosion oil. Both processes are supported by industrial robots, ensuring a consistently-high standard of production quality. All welding seams are also EXC 2-certified in accordance with DIN EN 1090-2.

Saving costs and protecting the environment

This type of production offers considerable cost advantages for the customer, because compared to large-volume, fully-welded cassettes delivery, far fewer truck journeys are needed to transport the raw material. The warehouse operator can also procure the necessary materials itself, saving even more costs. There are no personnel costs for the storage of delivered cassettes, since the load carriers manufactured on site are stored fully automatically and are immediately ready for use. This also means that the plant operator can even use the system while the cassettes are being produced.

The environment also benefits from this innovative solution, since fewer truck journeys also mean less climate-damaging CO2—and the amount of packaging material can also be significantly reduced in comparison to the delivery of complete cassettes. Yet another plus is the microfilm technique used to apply the anti-corrosion oil—this reduces oil consumption to a minimum, making possible contamination of the storage system through dripping oil a thing of the past.

Ergonomic and efficient at the same time

KASTO has also paid special attention to the topics of occupational safety and health protection. Professional extraction systems and closed robot cells ensure clean air in the production halls and the ergonomic system design reduces physical strain. Work is carried out in two or three shifts—and this means that the mobile on-site production is just as fast on average as the infeed of externally-produced cassettes. This variant is therefore an attractive, economical and transparent alternative, especially for medium- to large-capacity storage systems. The customer can be present during the cassette production and has an overview of how the project is progressing at all times.

One of the first companies to use the new concept was Vereinigte Baustoff- und Eisen GmbH (VBE), based in Heidelberg in Germany. The steel trader recently opted for a UNICOMPACT storage system from KASTO, with around 2,700 cassettes. The cassettes were welded on site thanks to the help of the mobile production plant. “We were thrilled when KASTO made this suggestion,” said Felix Kern, Assistant to the Management Board at VBE. “We saved significant freight costs and reduced the environmental impact by around 23 tonnes of CO2. We didn’t even have to manage the storage of the cassettes ourselves and were able to use the warehouse after only a short time.” VBE is also very satisfied with the way the project was managed: “The installation & dismantling of the plant and the production itself went quickly and smoothly—also thanks to solid and constructive communication with the KASTO experts.”


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Honeycomb Storage Systems Allow High Storage Density & Rapid Access Times

Honeycomb Storage Systems Allow High Storage Density & Rapid Access Times

How has adopting an automated storage system improved access and delivery times for an Australian steel producer? 

The steel producer and wholesaler OneSteel supplies a number of branch sites and numerous customers throughout the state from its distribution centre in Perth, Western Australia.

The company uses an automated storage system from Kasto for the handling and transparent management of its extensive range of cylindrical, rod and pipe materials. Called the Unicompact, the honeycomb storage system has high storage density, rapid access times and continuous traceability of the metal bar stock.

Transparent, Efficient Storage

With OneSteel being a specialist part of the Arrium Mining & Materials Group, it covers all the associated process steps in-house–from the mining of the iron ore through the metallurgical steps, casting and forming, and on to distribution and sales. OneSteel Metalcentre possesses 50 sites across the country, has a workforce of some 850 employees and achieves an annual turnover of more than AU$700 million (US$534.6 million).

The distribution centre in the Western Australian capital Perth is vital for the company. From here, OneSteel Metalcentre supplies not only numerous customers but also a number of branches throughout the state.

Here, approximately 8,000 tonnes of different types of steel products await delivery to construction companies, shipyards, or mechanical and plant engineering companies, or are earmarked for shipment to the company’s many branch sites.

“We do not just deliver differing quantities but also supply our products just-in-time if required. Transparent, efficient storage operations are therefore absolutely vital to us,” explains Andrew Cosgrove, national operations manager at OneSteel.

High Capacity In A Small Area

OneSteel Metalcentre obtains the steel from its own plants—much of it in the form of cylindrical, rod and pipe material, which is then stored in the honeycomb storage system. The bar stock is moved and stored on auxiliary load carriers, so-called system cassettes.

The warehouse at OneSteel has 2,272 cassette locations. Each cassette accommodates loads up to five tonnes and is suitable for material with a length of up to nine metres.

“In total, almost 4,000 tonnes of steel, subdivided into some 700 different item types, are stored in the honeycomb system,” said Mr Cosgrove. Despite this, the height and design of the honeycomb store mean that it covers a relatively small area.

“Compared to conventional storage methods, the Unicompact provides a very high storage density—which, for us, means shorter transport paths and more space for additional material or additional process steps,” said Mr Cosgrove.

The new storage system has also reduced access times. The material is loaded and unloaded from the store fully automatically using a storage and retrieval machine (SRM). The bar stock is sent to the picking area at the press of a button in accordance with the “goods-to-person” principle—a solution that is faster than in conventional floor and cantilever arm storage systems.

Mr Cosgrove also explained that working in the warehouse has become simpler and the process more reliable thanks to the automatic system. While the equipment carries out the laborious loading and unloading of the store virtually by itself, the employees have more time for other tasks.

Modern Warehouse Management

The storage system also utilises warehouse management software, called Kastolvr. The system controls all processes in the warehouse and gives the user an overview of orders and stock levels, as well as simplifying the task of combining the items required for each specific order.

If additional capacity should be necessary in the future, the modular storage system can be modified and extended to meet future requirements.

Approximately 8,000 tonnes of different types of steel products await delivery to construction companies, shipyards, or mechanical and plant engineering companies or are earmarked for shipment to the enterprise's many branches

Approximately 8,000 tonnes of different types of steel products await delivery to construction companies, shipyards, or mechanical and plant engineering companies or are earmarked for shipment to the enterprise’s many branches.

The bar stock is stored in a Unicompact honeycomb storage system with 2,272 cassette locations

The bar stock is stored in a Unicompact honeycomb storage system with 2,272 cassette locations.

Warehouse management software assists in efficient and transparent material flow.

Warehouse management software assists in efficient and transparent material flow.

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