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16.December 2021

Insulation Technology Manufacturer invests in SYSTRAPLAN-Area Storage System

Melle (Germany) is only about half  an hour away from the Herford-based special machine builder SYSTRAPLAN, and this is exactly where the East Westphalians recently realized an area warehouse for a manufacturer of insulation technology. However, this project did not come about at short notice or by chance.
For a good twelve years now, the company has been pursuing this one original idea: a more or less fully automated production line for the production of insulating elements with simultaneous batch size 1, starting with the sheet metal coil and ending with the picking of the finished components.

Now a level of production had been reached that fully justified the investment in SYSTRAPLAN's automated picking warehouse.

Supplier selection did not fall by chance on SYSTRAPLAN

Already at an early stage, when the basic ideas for the long-term automation strategy had been consolidated, one had looked around for suitable partners. Right at the beginning, SYSTRAPLAN was considered as a potential supplier after a reference object of the Herford company could be viewed at the office furniture manufacturer Assmann due to the well-connected Melle industry. The contact with Herford quickly solidified and the project was worked out in increasing detail according to the specific customer requirements.

This is how the order for the area warehouse for picking the insulating elements could be placed with SYSTRAPALN. When it comes to machine suppliers, people like to rely on regional providers and not necessarily look at the last cent.

Savings in space requirements and picking times

The main task of the customer-specific storage area is to temporarily store the insulation elements coming from the production on an area of more than 400 m² with a total of 64 storage locations. Then they are stacked on wooden pallets to form fully automatic customer orders. 60% of the storage area is available for free use, 40% has been defined for standard goods. The stacks in the warehouse can grow up to 3.5 m high and can consist either of single-or mixed-grade elements.

The order in which the commissions are formed also plays an important role: This must be designed in such a way that components that are needed first during installation on the construction site are always on top.

The main advantages compared to the previous handling lie above all the savings in picking times as well as in smaller space required by the system. Previously, larger gaps were needed between the stacks and they could not be stored as high on top of each other and the picking had to be formed manually.

Technical data of the area storage system

Length: approx. 36 m
Width: approx. 12 m
Height: approx. 4,75 m
Payload: max. 250 kg per insulating element
Number of storage places: 64 pieces
Travel speed of the gantry: 110 m/min.
Cycle time: approx. 45-60 sec.
Gripper: vacuum gripper with rotary unit

Realisation always requires close cooperation

As is so often the case with novel requirements for an individual storage system and the often uncertain and unpredictable behaviour of the stored goods, this project again required close cooperation between the customer and the supplier. "Our systems are not standard machines and, as a result, there are always unforeseeable situations or challenges that need to be solved for us as a special machine manufacturer," notes Rudolf Epp, who has been involved in the project on SYSTRAN's side since the project enquiry began in 2018.

At the beginning of the project, solutions had to be found for the safe suction of the insulating elements as well as the laying down without blurring. This repeatedly required an exchange between all participants involved.

However, in the meantime all "teething troubles" have been solved. The system fulfils its task with a high degree of accuracy and process reliability and is just the right thing. And one is also satisfied with the mechanics and implementation.

Increasing automation continues to be an issue

The degree of automation within the production of the insulating elements must also be increased in the future, so both companies want to remain in close contact. There are already ideas that require individual solutions.

However, one thing is clear for the company from Melle: they will in any case stick to the automation strategy in the future, and possibly again with SYSTRAPLAN as partner for individual material flow and storage technology at their side.