KASTO, a German manufacturer of automated storage systems and sawing machines, uses a lot of electrical cable and hydraulic hose at its Achern factory in the Black Forest. The company was keen to find a way of storing the drums and reels neatly and also wanted to record accurately how much stock was being used, in order to facilitate prompt reordering.
So the company developed a system, based on one of its own computer-controlled storage towers, that does just that. It has proved so effective that KASTO has decided to market the system worldwide as a specific solution to reel storage, cable and hose picking and stock replenishment. Availability in the UK is through the manufacturer’s Milton Keynes subsidiary.
The store is based on a UNITOWER 3.0 containing 15 cassettes to hold the reels. When an order comes in for cable or hose to be picked, it is routed to the inventory control and warehouse management computer, KASTOlvr, supplied with the system. The control automatically calls up the appropriate cassette(s) to the output station.
An operator uses a multifunctional unwinding, measurement and rewinding device to pay out the required length(s) of stock, cut it and return the remainder to the reel. The amount of stock used is automatically recorded to assist inventory management and cost accounting.
Crane capacity is three tonnes, which is the maximum weight of product that can be held in each 1,240 x 1,000 x 6,200 mm (W x H x L) storage cassette. Roller bearings mounted on modular fixtures bolted to the base support different sizes of reel and facilitate their rotation within the cassettes.
Advantages of using the new KASTO system, apart from improved stock control, include compact storage in a small footprint, reduced staffing costs, accurate cut lengths to prevent wastage and scrap, and prompt delivery of materials to raise production efficiency. There are no longer reels of cable and hose lying around on the factory floor, which can be unsafe for operators, and the often expensive materials are held securely to minimise the chance of theft.
The system is equally applicable to storing rope and similar flexible products wound around a central core.