Space miracle: smart material flow – rethought 

Automating sawing and storage processes with a hall that is already full? For metalworking companies, this has been a pipe dream. KASTO took on the problem. The solution: a space-saving, fully automated system for processing, including sorting that works 24/7. 

Sawing, storage – and now a whole lot more: KASTO tops its own motto with the idea of enabling its customers to automate in the tightest of spaces. “This concept is a world first for unstaffed processing,” says Sönke Krebber, board member at the sawing and storage specialists from Achern. “Up until now, the saw storage system has just fed the bar stock for processing. Now, the saw can feed the storage system,” explains Krebber. The sawn parts are then stocked on the other side of the process in the new system.

The new KASTOsort tower will appeal to, for instance, metalworking companies who already use a high-performance saw such as the KASTOvariospeed oder KASTOtec with or without KASTOsort robots. For an efficient process, the parts must be sorted by order after KASTOsawing and handling and placed in appropriate boxes. One of the solutions used to date has been a container carousel with eight pallet spaces on which the robot can independently place and fill the respective boxes. This is a simple and cost-effective solution for buffering manageable quantities of material. “The recirculating sorter has its strengths, but it was clear to us that we wanted to offer customers an alternative for confined spaces,” says Krebber, describing the background to the new development.

Smart combination, increased area, space saved

With the integrated KASTOsort tower sorting solution, there is now significantly more storage space available in a smaller area. The space requirement is only a little more than eleven square metres for a KASTOecostore storage system in medium format. To realise KASTOthe idea, the developers combined proven KASTO technologies into a highly productive concept, which in the exhibit consists of a chain magazine at the infeed side, a KASTOvariospeed circular saw, a KASTOsort robot and a KASTOecostore storage system. However, you can also connect other KASTO saws. The tower storage system impresses thanks to its optimal use of space upwards, high storage density, flexibility in material intake and short access times.

The KASTOsort tower provides more benefits to the user: the saw works regardless of whether the operator has time to fetch the filled boxes and send the empty ones. So the machine can saw much more material without a pallet having to be fetched in the meantime. The lifting beam is also highly flexible. For example, it brings a pallet support with three Euro pallets, which are sorted by the robots. Only then is the tower storage system moved again to store or retrieve a load carrier. The pallets are removed from storage via the drive-through station at the back of the storage system. This plays a key role in the whole concept: from there, the collection vehicle – usually a forklift – picks up the pallets as needed.

Quick processes, smooth interaction

KASTOThe KASTOsort tower does not just save space, but it is also smart – like every KASTO technology: the ProControl control system ensures fast, error-free work processes and smooth interaction of the components. The KASTOlogic mobile app can be used to manage storage. The user can record the goods seamlessly and see where the material is at any time.

Of course, KASTO also adapts the new concept to the customers’ specific needs. Sönke Krebber explains. We are currently working on the integration of the KASTOtec automatic bandsaw machines and transport with an automated guided vehicle (AGV). Our aim is for as many metalworkers as possible to benefit from the new, fully automatic all-round solution and use the space they have available in the best and most productive way possible”.

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