Storage and Sawing – The holistic solution


KASTO, the manufacturer of automated warehouses for storing and retrieving raw material, both long stock and sheet, and which also produces sawing machines for cutting it to size, has been enhancing the connectivity and operational efficiency of its equipment.

Whether it is a stockholder or a manufacturing facility using the storage systems and/or sawing machines, they benefit not only from higher productivity but also lower running costs through more economical use of electrical power. As an added bonus, more data is available to drive end-to-end decision-making, from order to delivery.

Manually executed processes no longer meet today’s standards in the metal processing industry. Customers are offered sustainable concepts for automating and interconnecting operating sequences, from the raw material to picking the cut pieces. Processes include storage and retrieval, in-plant material handling, sawing, parts removal, marking, palletising and bundling.

Solutions from KASTO ensure continuously controlled, intelligent material flow. Machines, systems, goods and load carriers communicate autonomously, enabling flexible, resource efficient, economical storage and fabrication. In this way, users remain competitive despite the rising costs of energy and materials, while at the same time improving their ecological performance. Digitisation and resource conservation are key components in the portfolio of the Achern-based company, which has a subsidiary in Milton Keynes serving Britain and Ireland.

KASTOlogic is a modular warehouse management system (WMS) designed for bar and sheet metal storage requirements. The software enables users to manage and monitor not only the processes in the warehouse itself, but also upstream and downstream processes. Even manually operated storage areas can be integrated into the system using the mobile app.

All procedures such as storage and stock transfers, order picking, shipping and inventory data can be transferred to the WMS via a smartphone or tablet. The app can also be used to implement pick-by-crane systems, whereby the user commissions an integrated overhead crane that moves automatically to the storage location to source the required material.

KASTO can plan, simulate and commission storage systems by combining KASTOlogic with a 3D software platform. For instance, it enables the utilisation of a configurator to create live presentations and system simulations for customers. Furthermore, project planning is faster, more accurate and leads to lower costs and higher performance, especially with virtual commissioning of fully automated storage and sawing systems.

KASTOenergysave is an energy recovery concept developed for automated storage systems. It enables excess potential or kinetic energy to be converted into electrical power, which is stored in double-layer capacitors for later use. An intelligent control automatically saves and discharges the energy depending on the process that is running. In this way, users can reduce the power consumption of a gantry crane by more than 50 per cent. Energy storage can also reduce peak load, saving further costs.

During sawing operations, users face the challenge of making best use of stock and avoiding waste to lower material consumption and costs. The KASTOoptisaw software module optimises the assignment of long stock to every cutting order, taking into account the parameters of the various sawing machines. Bar, tube and profile of various lengths and with different mitre angles can be cut with minimum waste, reducing costs and saving space in the store, as remnants often no longer need to be returned to storage.

The KASTOapp provides a status overview of all sawing machines in the system. If a saw is operating in automatic mode, the software can extract information from the respective machine control. The user has access to precise data on parameters such as article description, cut piece length, target and actual quantity, as well as blade cutting speed and downfeed rate. If an error occurs, a message is transmitted to allow the user to react quickly and avoid downtime.

KASTO’s RemoteAssistance service delivers a high degree of availability. A direct connection enables fast, detailed, remote fault diagnosis by a KASTO engineer, even in the case of complex situations. Technicians quickly respond to questions about the operation of a piece of equipment or network, then check and change parameters, and implement software updates and upgrades. With its VisualAssistance system, KASTO takes it a step further by harnessing augmented reality to simplify the remote maintenance of machines and systems by customer personnel.

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