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Smart and sustainable: prefabrication of metal with KASTO
Manually or separately executed processes no longer meet today's standards in the metal processing industry. These processes include, e.g., storage and retrieval, in-plant material transport, sawing, removal, marking, palletizing and bundling.
However, the smart concepts from KASTO, the storage and sawing specialist, utilize cutting-edge technology to ensure a continuously controlled, intelligent material flow. With these concepts, machines, systems, goods and load carriers communicate autonomously, enabling top-performing, flexible, resource and cost-efficient storage and prefabrication processes. "Our customers must remain competitive despite the rising costs of energy and materials while improving their ecological balance," explains Armin Stolzer, General Manager of KASTO: "To achieve this, we provide energy-efficient technology and sustainable storage systems, sawing machines, and handling solutions with the option to fit them to downstream processes."
Digitization and resource conservation are key components in the portfolio of the Achern-based company - from the warehouse management system offering mobile operation via an energy recovery concept and efficient sawing processes to apps and options for remote maintenance and simulation.
Manage material flow
KASTOlogic is a modular Warehouse Management System (WMS) specifically designed to meet the storage requirements of bar stock and sheet metal. KASTOlogic enables users to consistently manage and monitor not only the processes in the warehouse itself; they can also manage and monitor upstream and downstream logistic and processing steps. Even manually operated storage areas can be integrated into the system using the KASTOlogic mobile app. All procedures such as storage and stock transfers, picking orders, shipping and inventory data can be transferred to the WMS via smartphone or tablet. The app can also be used to easily implement so-called pick-by-crane systems: To do this, the user commissions an integrated overhead crane that moves automatically to the storage location based on the selected material.
KASTOenergysave is the innovative energy recovery concept developed for automatic storage systems. It enables excess potential or kinetic energy to be converted into electricity and its intermediate storage in electric double-layer capacitors for later use. An intelligent automatic control charges and discharges the energy storage depending on the process currently running. The energy remains in the system until it is reused. Due to a virtually constant current consumption from the power grid, the grid peripherals can operate in rated-load operation. As a result, users can further reduce the connected wattage of the operating gantry crane by more than 50 per cent. For new constructions, this can generate savings with the power supply design. The energy storage also avoids peak loads, saving further costs.
In the sawing process, users face the challenge of making optimum use of material by avoiding waste to keep resource consumption low and with that costs at a minimum. The software module KASTOoptisaw ensures an optimum assignment of the stored bar stock to the respective cutting orders with regard to the various machine parameters, such as kerf width and minimum kerf length. Bars, tubes and profiles with various lengths and miter angles can be used with minimum waste, reducing costs and saving space in the storage system since unusable remnants no longer must be returned to storage.
Keep machines in sight
The KASTOapp provides a complete status overview of all existing KASTO sawing machines in the network. If a saw is operating in automatic mode, the KASTOapp can also access the information stored in the respective machine control system. The user has access to precise information on all relevant parameters, such as article, cut-piece length, target and actual quantity, and feed and cutting speed. If an error occurs in the operating sequence, the app visualizes the pending error message, and the user can react quickly. Downtimes can thus be reduced to a minimum.
Increase system availability
KASTO's RemoteAssistance service concept ensures a high degree of availability. A direct remote connection enables fast, detailed fault diagnosis by a KASTO employee, even in the case of complex requirements. The technicians can also quickly respond to questions about operation, check, change or optimize parameters, and implement direct software updates and upgrades. With its VisualAssistance system, KASTO takes it one step further: This system utilizes the concept of augmented reality to simplify the remote maintenance of machines and systems. The core component is an interactive app for tablets, smartphones or smart glasses.
Accelerate project planning
KASTO can plan, simulate and commission storage systems by combining KASTOlogic with a 3D simulation platform. For instance, the new platform enables the Sales Department to utilize a configurator to create live presentations of initial system simulations and subsequent effects for the customers. Furthermore, project planning is faster, more accurate, and leads to higher cost and performance efficiency.
KASTO's dedication to providing sustainable services is demonstrated, for example, through virtual commissioning of fully automated storage systems. As a result, commissioning technicians can avoid unnecessary test runs and rework, and early detection and rectification of faults are possible. In addition, fewer trips to the site are required, saving time and reducing CO2 emissions. As part of its endeavors to conserve resources, the storage and sawing technology specialist offers KASTOweld, which is a mobile cassette production. Automatic storage systems for bar stock often include several thousand cassettes. Delivering the bulky ready-welded load carriers by truck is associated with high freight charges and significant CO2 emissions. No longer the case: When building new bar storage systems, KASTO can, with the help of a mobile and automated robot production system, manufacture the required cassettes using efficiently delivered raw materials directly at the customer's site and automatically store the cassettes directly after production. Last but by no means least, the durability of KASTO's products enhance the sustainable metal processing of its customers.
With its retrofit service, KASTO extends the total service life of existing storage and sawing machines. This upgrading measure offers a cost-effective alternative to buying a new system. The service experts update the control technology, adapt functions or expand the existing systems. Downtimes are kept to a minimum, and the resumption of production can be firmly scheduled. "Here at KASTO, service and particularly retrofit measures are very close to our hearts," explains Armin Stolzer: "We already have complete sawing machines regularly in the factory for general overhaul - we make virtually anything possible to ensure long-term availability of our products to customers."