The optimum storage of materials is very important in the metal construction and trading industries and in processing centres. A storage system should use as little valuable space as possible, provide all products quickly, efficiently and without errors, be simple and intuitive to operate, and connect seamlessly to other logistics or machining processes. With the UNITOWER tower storage system, KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, a leading manufacturer of saws and storage systems for sheet metal and bar stock, offers a solution which fulfils all these requirements as well as offering many other advantages.
The system is available in three different designs: as UNITOWER for the storage of bar materials, UNITOWER B for sheet metal, flat products and containers, and as a compact universal store UNITOWER C for bars and sheets. The tower storage systems are designed as modular systems with individual modules. As a result, individual solutions can also be implemented with ease. UNITOWER is available as a single or double tower, optionally freestanding in a workshop or as a separate storage building outside with ceiling and wall elements. Any number of input and output stations can be positioned at the front or on the long side of the storage tower and at different levels, depending on the customer's requirements.
Cassettes, pallets or supporting frames are used as the load carriers. Depending on the design, each storage space can carry loads of up to five tonnes. The towers effortlessly accept bar stock from 3,400 to 14,600 mm in length, thus giving users recourse to different standard lengths as well as workpiece or production-optimised special lengths. The basic version of the UNITOWER has a usable width between 600 and 1,240 mm. This enables the storage system to be ideally matched to the available space. The UNITOWER B model for storing sheet metal and flat products enables lengths between 2,000 and 8,000 mm to be stored. The usable width is between 1,000 and 2,000 mm. The loading height and therefore the number of storage spaces can be determined at will, thus also enabling pallets, boxes or containers to be accommodated.
System heights up to 25 m can be easily achieved with the UNITOWER and UNITOWER B designs. With their variable loading height, tower storage systems provide a flexible solution which saves significantly more space and is therefore more economical compared with conventional floor and cantilever arm storage systems. The KASTO range also includes a cost-effective, standardised compact storage system for different bar and sheet formats in the form of the UNITOWER C. With a maximum height of 7,200 mm and flexible compartment distribution, it is ideal for small businesses, workshops, maintenance shops and as a buffer store between production areas. Two versions are available: as a storage system for flat goods with a usable width and length of 1,524 x 3,048 mm and loads between one and three tonnes, or as a storage system for bar stock accommodating cassettes with dimensions 840 x 6,500 mm and loads between 0.8 and 2.5 tonnes.
Along with the low space requirement, UNITOWER storage systems are distinguished by their high efficiency. A storage and retrieval machine (SRM) with spreader beam handles the load carriers. Compared with paternoster systems, for example, this has the advantage that it is not necessary to move the entire stock, but only the relevant cassette. This ensures rapid access times and - thanks to efficient drives - saves energy. Input and output stations can also be connected to other conveyor equipment or processing machines to optimise the internal material flow.
Depending on the model, the tower storage system is controlled by KASTO's own semi-automatic or fully automatic EasyControl and BasicControl controllers. These can be operated easily and intuitively by means of a graphical interface. The user can call up and control various functions such as storage compartment and cassette management, order expediting and system diagnostics using the touch screen. High availability is ensured by KASTO's sophisticated service concept. This not only includes round-the-clock telephone advice, a rapid supply of spare parts and competent on-site support, but also remote monitoring via the Internet. This enables KASTO experts to find and rectify faults at an early stage before they lead to costly system failures.
KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, based in Achern-Gamshurst, Germany, specialises in sawing and storage technology for bar stock. The company is a global leader in the manufacture and sale of metal-cutting saws and semi-automatic and automatic storage systems for bar stock and sheet metal. It is also a leading manufacturer of automatic handling systems for metal bars, sheet metal and pre-cut parts. One of Europe's oldest family-owned companies, KASTO celebrated its 170th anniversary in 2014. In the course of its successful history it has registered 160 patents, delivered more than 140,000 sawing machines to all parts of the world and installed more than 1,700 automatic storage facilities. In addition to a branch in Schalkau, Thuringia, KASTO has subsidiaries in England, France, Singapore and the USA. In 2014 the company's roughly 700 employees achieved revenues of about 120 million euros.