Availability and performance noticeably increased
by Hans Diederichs
KASTO modernises UNITOP overhead storage system at Heine + Beisswenger
The steel trading company Heine + Beisswenger has been using a KASTO UNITOP overhead storage system since 1995, Almost 25 years of constant operation had an impact on performance and availability – so KASTO updated the system with a comprehensive retrofit.
For this project, the steel trader turned to the manufacturer of the storage system, KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG. “In many cases, modernization is much more economical than a new purchase,” explains Gerd Jakob, Retrofit Project Manager at KASTO. “After all, large parts of our storage systems, such as the steel construction, are almost indestructible and we can continue to use these components with a clear conscience.” Nevertheless, KASTO consistently replaces any components that no longer meet current requirements – and at Heine + Beisswenger, the switch cabinets were no exception. The experts replaced the existing S5 control system with a modern S7 400 PLC. KASTO also updated the drive controllers as well as the measuring systems on the storage and retrieval machine. The hoisting gear got an efficient three-phase drive, and new energy chains were also installed for the SRM and the undercarriage to make the power supply more reliable.
New undercarriage saves time during retrieval
Another modernization task was the replacement of the undercarriage. The steel trading company now has a new model with two roller conveyors instead of one, and this allows dual cycles, namely the simultaneous handling of two cassettes. “This saves us up to 35 seconds per storage and retrieval process,” says Plant Manager Meincke. The longitudinal travel speed of the new undercarriage is now twice as fast at 120 meters per minute, considerably increasing the performance of the storage system.
KASTO also replaced the wired emergency operation of the storage and retrieval machine with a modern radio remote control. “This makes maintenance work and eliminating malfunctions much easier because the technician no longer has to stay by the SRM to control it,” explains Meincke. KASTO also renewed the control panels of the two storage and retrieval stations. The storage facility is now controlled and managed by KASTOlogic warehouse management software. A graphical user interface makes operation simple and intuitive.
Intuitive operation and maximum transparency
The entire storage control system is connected to the SAP ERP system used at Heine + Beisswenger. “This enables us to have uniform processes, from ordering to delivery to the customer, and it also helps us to ensure a high level of inventory transparency,” reports Meincke. The KASTO experts provided in-depth training for the operators to familiarize them with the new system. “The complete conversion was finished in just two weeks,” says Meincke. “KASTO even worked in the facility at the weekends and over the Easter holidays to avoid disrupting our daily business.” Since then, the storage system has been doing its job reliably – “and if we do have a question, the KASTO experts are always available via their service hotline and online remote maintenance.”
Source and photo: Kasto Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG