Haver & Boecker, headquartered in Oelde, Germany, is an internationally recognised manufacturer of machinery for the preparation, transportation, storage, mixing, filling, packaging, palletisation and loading of bulk goods and liquids, as well as producing mesh products for screening and filtration.
After more than 20 years, its German-built Kasto sawing centre had become outdated. Downtime was increasing and cutting results were no longer satisfactory, so the company approached Kasto for an extensive modernisation and expansion solution.
At Haver & Boecker, round and flat bar, tube, hollow section and extrusion in numerous sizes and materials are held on 1,037 shelves of a 6m high, automated, cantilever bar storage system, also supplied by Kasto.
Christian Hinse, work preparation manager explains: “We deal with an extremely wide variety of materials, but only in very small batch sizes. This requires a high degree of flexibility on both the organisational and technical sides.”
The original circular sawing centre and storage system were installed in 1998 and was no longer compatible with current technology.
Project manager Claudia Bürger recalls: “Sawn dimensions were no longer accurate and the declining quality resulted in a large amount of rework. Additionally, we had introduced an ERP system in the company, but the sawing centre was connected to its inventory management module via the internet, so there was a lack of transparency in the stock levels.”
In spring 2019, the decision was taken to purchase a new saw to meet current requirements. As the steel structure of the bar storage system was still functional a replacement was unnecessary. However, during the project a second, separate storage area was removed, so Kasto expanded the cantilever storage system by 60 cassette spaces to accommodate additional long stock.
It was also necessary to modernise the operating gantry crane (OGC) that stores and retrieves the material. Kasto replaced the outdated control cabinets, energy supply system and measuring and control technology, as well as the crane's hoisting and traversing motors.
Modernisation of the OGC doubled its speed from 30 to 60m/minute and a KASTOlogic system is now used for warehouse management, connected to the ERP system, greatly streamlining sawing orders.
The factory used the modernisation not only for renewal but also for optimisation. Formerly there were two manual saws, one for straight cutting and another for mitre cutting, connected to the former storage system, plus the old automatic circular saw connected to the bar storage system. Now there are just two sawing machines connected to the latter.
One is a KASTOflex A universal circular saw for straight and mitre cutting of materials up to 150mm diameter. Next to it a KASTOvariospeed SC 15 fully automatic, heavy-duty circular saw is capable of cutting solid materials, profiles and tubes in all grades, including difficult-to-process metals. The saw is connected to a KASTOsort robotic handling system for handling the cut pieces.
The robot removes workpieces from the working area of the KASTOvariospeed and deposits them in one of several containers that have been manually positioned on pallets next to the robot.
The upgrade took place in autumn 2020 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Hinse says: “I take my hat off to Kasto’s project management team. Despite the adverse circumstances, we were able to maintain a tight work schedule without any bottlenecks in production.”
The two saws are operated via a touchscreen control. If a malfunction should occur Kasto engineers are able to access the system remotely to provide a solution or with Kasto VisualAssistance it is possible to support employees on-site during repair and maintenance via smart glasses and livestream.
Ms Bürger concludes: “We now have a better overview of our inventory, can react more flexibly as well as experiencing less downtime. The option of automatic mitring, more precise cutting using carbide saw blades and reduced coolant consumption have all had a positive impact, helping us to achieve sustainable cost savings.”
In the UK and Ireland Kasto’s services are available through its subsidiary in Milton Keynes.