Saarstahl AG produces wire rod in Neunkirchen in various material versions, including full-hard, thermomechanically rolled, annealed and tempered. In order to keep the different types of wire, qualities and lengths available for on-call delivery, Vollert's heavy-duty experts from Weinsberg set up a fully automated high-bay warehouse between the production line and shipping. This replaces the existing open space warehouse and offers a length of 58 m and a height of 28 m on 12 levels, space for 665 wire coils with a total weight of about 3,000 t. Depending on the length and type, the bundles vary in diameter up to a maximum of 1.5 m.
Safe Storage Retrieval in 190 Seconds
In addition to consulting, planning and construction, Vollert's team also took care of the entire implementation, from steel construction to control and warehouse management. At the end of the production line the different bundles of wire are transported to a pallet truck by forklift, and from there, fully automated to the high-bay warehouse. A single-acting stacker crane with telescopic forks takes over the wire coils and stores them, whereby the low dimensional stability and the different diameters are a challenge. Therefore, before storage the coils are automatically measured and gently lifted up by the stacker crane. When required the material will later be made ready for dispatch by the high-bay warehouse. Despite the heavy weight of up to 4.5 t per wire bundle, the stacker crane achieves times of only 190 seconds for a storage and retrieval double cycle. The transfer takes place directly from the stacker crane on a common transfer point to the manual forklift for loading onto the truck. "This interface between automatic and manual transport is challenging since inaccuracies in the manual approach must be taken into account," explains Lars Strobel, project manager of Vollert, "but we have solved the problem by combining mechanical barriers with optical sensors and signal transmitters." As a result, the new high-bay warehouse is a significantly faster, weather-resistant and space-saving overall solution compared to the open space warehouse. Thanks to the very good preparation by Saarstahl and optimal coordination, the plant could go into operation after only ten months of project time.
425 Years of Tradition and State-of-the-art Production in Neunkirchen
The Neunkirchen plant, with around 900 employees, is one of the most traditional steel locations - with roots dating back to 1593. Today, it is one of the world's leading producers of long products and Saarstahl AG continues to invest in quality leadership. In 2016, Walzdrahtstraße 32 in Neunkirchen was completely modernized for around 30 million euros. It has an annual capacity of 600,000 tons of fully continuous rolled wire of highest precision from 7.0 - 27 mm.