A beam of light: the intuitive way to the right storage space

by Hans Diederichs

Kasto Maschinenbau has equipped its proven UNITOWER amongst other storage systems with a practical new feature. With immediate effect, 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 recognizes 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. The tower storage systems are designed as modular systems, so customised solutions can be realised with ease. The UNITOWER is available as a single or double tower, optionally freestanding in a workshop or as a separate storage building outside with ceiling and wall elements. Any number of input and output stations can be positioned at the front or on the long side of the storage tower and at different levels – depending on the customer’s requirements.

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 effortlessly 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. The loading height and therefore the number of storage spaces can be determined at will, thus also enabling pallets, boxes or containers to be accommodated.

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.

Source and photo: Kasto GmbH & Co. KG

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