The Sturm group develops and produces feeding systems and machines for material handling, automation and cleaning technology. They are also involved in sheet metal processing. To improve working processes for storage and the connected production, the company integrated fully automated long goods storage systems for high volume aluminium material and steel pipes at their lower Bavarian head office in Salchingein. Before the implementation of Remmert solutions, the materials were stocked on steel shelves and on the floor, meaning lots of space was lost and material preparation was very time intensive. To increase efficiency, the existing storage concept was to be revised. Originally the company was leaning towards integrating a new high-bay warehouse in their production hall. However, this would not have created enough room for added value production. The system builder thus looked for an experienced partner for individual solutions - and they found this partner in Friedrich Remmert GmbH. After the initial intensive discussion and some viewings of the relevant storage solutions, Remmert developed a new storage concept in connection with their customer, which was optimally coordinated to them and their goals. And it was a succes. “In comparison to the previous system, the processes for storage and production are now much more efficient. Over strenuous searches for working materials and reloadings are gone and the machine operators no longer have to wait for materials,” explains Josef Heitzer, Head of Production for the Sturm group.
New space developed through silo construction
A goal for Sturm: to create more space for production, the relevant halls should be used exclusively for manufacture in future. Remmert proposed the development of new storage spaces using an automated bridge storage system in silo construction. Thus the storage system was constructed outside of the hall and fitted with wall and roof covering. Four input and output stations are connected to storage and production at Sturm. The silo construction due to the company location in the connected slope was constructed - with the consequence that a part of the storage system was below the production level on one side. A win for Sturm: The company now has additional storage spaces available to them. To guarantee a seamless flow of material, Remmert integrated the input and output stations, connected on a level with the manufacturing hall. The storage specialist also developed an individual drive and power supply concept for the lower storage level. “Remmert made the new storage system exactly according to the construction conditions and specific project requirements. We now have almost 100 percent more load capacity available to us. We can also now concentrate completely on manufacture thanks to fully automated storage,” reports Heitzer.
With its very compact structural shape, the bridge storage system has space for around 550 cartridges with a loading capacity of up to 3,000 kg. To use the capacity as well as possible, the load capacity has two different loading heights. Cartridges for the stocking of steel have a useable loading height of 240 mm, while those for aluminium measure 500 mm in height due to the lower material weight. In addition, all of the cartridges can be classified in length and width. This enables the separate stocking of different materials in one cartridge.
Economical handling guaranteed
To ease material handling and gain time for production, a storage and retrieval machine (SRM) carries out the input and output loading in the bridge storage system completely automatically. With optimal drive and lifting speedy, the SRM reaches around 25 double cycles per hour. “A particular requirement was expressed by the Sturm group in relation to the ergonomic removal of the materials from the storage goods,” reports Frank Baudach, the responsible project leader at Remmert. “For unloading the deep aluminium cartridges, we thus fitted two output stations with an electromechanical lever. “Thus, for each lifting function, several lifting beams integrated in the station drive through the gap to the cartridge floor and lift the material to a defined height. The light metal is then extracted by hand. Bar steel is unloaded by the employees using indoor cranes. To shorten the route, three saw machines are grouped together - one for aluminium and two for steel - as well as a processing centre for the new system. The automated storage and the improved material handling enables an increase in productivity for the connected machines of almost 80 percent.
The storage management and control is completed by the Warehouse Management System PRO WMS Enterprise from Remmert. It is connected to the ERP system of the lower Bavarian company using a standard interface and guarantees a continuous flow of material, a prompt stock management and a permanent stock inventory through a continual data synchronisation.