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External tube store feeds production efficiently

Storage of tube and other long stock has been consolidated in a KASTO cassette-type storage tower at the Blandford Forum factory of Hospital Metalcraft
(Bristol Maid), the UK's largest manufacturer of hospital equipment such as bedside cabinets, drip stands, drug cabinets and wheelchairs.
The result is faster delivery of material to production machinery, 24 hours a day, and as the weatherproof tower was erected in the yard outside, adjacent to the building, no factory space was lost. Previously, over 100 different types of stainless steel and mild steel tubing was delivered daily to a sister unit 200 metres along the road, where it was placed in designated positions within conventional racking. When required for production, material was taken to a sawing, deburring and cleaning centre. Cut lengths were then carried in bins by forklift truck to welders in the unit where the KASTO Unitower 3.0 is now located. In addition, full lengths of stock would be transported two or three times a day to be machined on a tube laser cutter. Now all of this activity is centred on the Unitower, which has 42 cassettes capable of holding three tonnes of material each. According to Hospital Metalcraft's production engineer, Chris Atkinson, round tube from 10 to 114 mm diameter and from 1.2 to 2.0 mm wall thickness is stored, together with square,rectangular and flat sided oval (FSO) tube, plus a small amount of solid bar.

Some cassettes are sub-divided into up to six compartments for holding smaller quantities of slow-moving stock. Only full 6.25 metre lengths are held in the store – no pre-cut lengths or work in progress (although they could be) – and approximately one tonne of tube is processed through the system daily. Stock is handled into the cassettes in the yard with the help of an overhead crane supplied with the Unitower. Calling up material is simply a matter of identifying the appropriate cassette and punching its location number into the Unitower control, whereupon the material is delivered automatically. Even if one of the cassettes in the highest location is chosen, it takes less than a minute to retrieve the stock. Additional advantages of the new material store, apart from a leaner manufacturing environment, include less risk of transportation damage to the tube and reduced manual handling of heavy stock.

KASTO Ltd, Unit 3
Flanders Industrial Park,
Flanders Road, Hedge End, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2FZ.
Tel: 01489 772882.
Fax: 01489 772888.
E-mail: _sales@kasto.uk.com_ (mailto:sales@kasto.uk.com)
Web site: _www.kasto.uk.com_ (http://www.kasto.uk.com/)

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