With the introduction of its new BasicControl CNC system, KASTO offers a choice of three different controls for the sawing machines and storage systems that it manufactures. As its name implies, BasicControl is an entry-level CNC positioned below EasyControl, which comes with database functionality and the top-end TechnoControl, suitable for the most demanding customer requirements.
All controls come with an Ethernet interface to enable remote diagnostics and allow interfacing with a customer's host computer or a KASTO inventory control computer, KASTOlvr. Operation of the controls is via a colour touch screen.
When designing the interfaces and developing the software, KASTO paid particular attention to standardised sequences. For the first time, the company has been able to implement a uniform look and feel between all its saw controls and those used for the storage systems. The advantage for the customer is quicker training across the different controls and equipment types.
The previous combination of hardware, PLC and operating terminal has given way to decentralised I/O, interfaced via fieldbus for real-time distributed control. The PLC has been programmed and configured using the Siemens STEP 7 development software tool. One base program is used for controls fitted to each machine group, eg horizontal bandsaws, leading to a reduction in errors at the time of software development and assisting with service support.
BasicControl contains many functions that makes work easier for saw operators and ensures maximum machine uptime. The built-in sawing parameters, based on KASTO's long experience, optimise productivity and blade life.
The user can choose between standard and high-performance bi-metal bandsaw blades or between uncoated and coated carbide tools. Data has even been included for new blades that are not yet available on the market, but expected soon. Via process visualisation, the operator has at any given time all relevant data and operating parameters available on screen.
EasyControl, with integral database for materials and orders, offers customers extensive possibilities to adapt the cutting process to their specific requirements. Functions for automated material infeed and cut piece sorting are included.
Highlight of the control is its self-learning capability, whereby material-specific technology data can be stored against a particular job for reuse, yet still allowing easy adaptation when better blades become available. Management of inventory, tools, raw material and remnants is possible, as is order entry via bar code reader.
With TechnoControl, additional functionality is included, such as inclusion of cut piece marking, cut piece removal via robot and integration of an automated material supply system to form a sawing cell.
Storage system controls
The entry-level and mid range controls can be used not only with saws but also with small and medium size KASTO storage systems. BasicControl covers the requirements of a simple tower store without material management. The operator enters the desired cassette or pallet number at the display, whereupon the pallet/cassette is delivered automatically.
EasyControl is the standard for KASTO's sheet metal and bar storage systems from the UNITOWER tower store up to the block system, UNITOP, and the in-line storage system, UNILINE. The control contains all functions necessary for commissioning and production. Options such as an interface for connecting the storage system to an inventory management computer, data entry via USB stick or bar code reader, and different data export functions allow the customer to put together an optimum system configuration according to requirements.
The KASTO control concept with three different systems enables an ideal solution to be found for every type of user, from the job shop through medium and large production environments to material distribution centres.