For the intralogistics specialists at Vollert, this is already the fourth time it has been implemented in the press shop in Bremen since the 1990s. At that time Vollert had delivered the first high rack system. Gradually, a high-bay warehouse for coils and other intralogistics systems for fully automated material supply to the presses followed. The current project includes a high-bay warehouse for sheet blanks storage. As general contractor, Vollert supplied and installed the system technology before and after the press for the fully automated storage and delivery and servicing of the sheet metal blank load carriers weighing several tons and the pressed parts racks. Load transfer units, lift trucks and an automated guided vehicle (AGV) ensure smooth interlinking right through to acceptance of the finished components at the end of the press line.
Automated material flow in the press shop
The Vollert intralogistics system provides empty load carriers on a cutting press for stacking the blanks. The blanks can be stacked in different sizes and thicknesses up to a weight of 20 tons. There are load carriers in two sizes in circulation, which are transported either individually or in pairs to the warehouse via a transfer trolley and a pair of lift trucks. Centering stations and position controls ensure the correct alignment of the load carriers in circulation. A stacker crane stores the stacks fully automatically in the high-bay warehouse and, in the next step, prepares them for delivery to the new press line on request. Four inputs and outputs are available for this purpose. As an intermediate buffer, the warehouse has 135 rack spaces or 270 rack spaces for smaller pallets with a total capacity of 2,700 tons. The transport is carried out by an automated guided vehicle (AGV). A load transfer unit with gripper unloads the AGV, supplies the press and picks up empty load carriers for return transport to the high-bay warehouse.
Analogous to the existing press line, Vollert also takes care of the fully automated acceptance of the finished sheet metal parts at the end of production. For this purpose, the logistics system transports empty transport containers from below to robot-controlled stacking stations. The transport takes place via longitudinal and transverse roller conveyors as well as corner transfer units. A total of eight lifters work in parallel.
High speed in process and production
In the course of the new installation, Vollert also adapted the performance of the existing systems. Over the Christmas holidays, the specialists upgraded the stacker crane from 2012, thereby increasing its performance, lifting and travel speed. "We are very fast with this project as a whole, not only in terms of cycle times. Only six months after the contract was awarded, we completed the initial preparations for connecting the new systems to the existing intralogistics system - because a press line can only be tested and put into operation with functioning intralogistics," reports Patrick Schulz, Project Manager at Vollert. All four high-bay warehouses are also connected to each other underground.