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Manual Warehouses Quickly Reach Limits – Metal Flow

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Contributed by the experts at KASTO

All metal distribution centers face the same operational challenge: To provide a wide range of products, which can be shipped in small or large batches, as quickly as possible, with no errors, at a low cost, and done reliably. Processes in a manual warehouse can be optimized to a point, but quickly reach the limitations of output, safety and capability for additional growth. For efficient, transparent and economic distribution of sheet metal and bar stock an automatic storage and retrieval system with a Warehouse Management Software System is ideal for intralogistic warehouse material flow.

KASTO offers various product lines of automatic storage and retrieval systems for sheet and bar stock. The increased density of the products allows for an automatic gantry crane to access locations quickly and bring material in and out of the system based on the demand of the operation. Storage systems can range in various sizes based on the application and are modular. For example, a KASTO UNICOMPACT or “Honeycomb” system can be used for bar and sheet stock or a combination of both, exploit ceiling heights of up to 85 feet and use multiple gantry cranes to employ from a few hundred to tens of thousands of locations. KASTO systems can also be accompanied by semi-automatic or automatic outfeed commissioning stations that allow for material to be fully prepared for shipment quickly and efficiently.

The ever-growing customer demands of different material types, grades and batch sizes are extremely challenging to manage efficiently. The KASTO systems can help master the growing and dynamic traffic flow in the warehouse, while reducing the amount of resources needed to dedicate to filling orders. Once material is brought into the system the automatic gantry crane then transports materials via cassettes in and out of the system to dedicated stations. For example, the gantry crane on the UNICOMPACT has the ability to carry two cassettes at all times, so there are no wasted movements when transporting material. The dynamics of the gantry crane allow for compressed order times to be achieved and minimize the frequency the material is handled to avoid risk of damage. Safety is also enhanced dramatically, material is securely transported to outfeed stations where material handling devices or crane operation removes the needed material for shipment.

The principles of Industry 4.0 have been part of KASTO’s software portfolio for a number of years. The KASTOlogic warehouse management software maximizes the efficiency of the storage system based on the conditions of the operation. This is done by a comprehensive statistic and analyzing tools. These tools are monitoring the capacity of the entire system as well as single components. The intralogistics of the systems can be optimized to avoid unnecessary empty runs and wait times. You can also connect the WMS fully and without any problems to an ERP System such as SAP R/3 or Microsoft Navision. This enables a consistent and transparent material flow control not only in the warehouse but also through the whole supply chain. The user has the possibility to integrate conveyor technology, processing machines and material handling machines, for an integrated production management. The KASTOlogic software is a proprietary software that is developed and maintained by KASTO in-house developers and has additional modules that can be added based on specific needs of the customer.

KASTO has installed more than 1,900 storage applications worldwide, with more than 100 operational systems in North America. Current systems in the field have an average uptime of greater than 98 percent and KASTO has a 24/7 customer service line which can support our customers should any problems arise. Retrofits of the systems after many years of use are also available to replace outdated portions of the system, ensuring the operation can be used for many years to come.

Kasto, Export, Pa., builds saws and storage systems for the metal distribution industry. For more information, call 724-325-5600 or visit www.kasto.com.