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High storage density

12 June 2017

Metal sawing and storage equipment manufacturer, KASTO, has introduced a new tower to provide a compact, standardised solution for automated storage and retrieval of pallets and flat material.

Advantages of the system, called KASTOecostore, are its low space requirement, high storage density, short material access times and value for money. 

The store accommodates material up to 1,500 mm deep by either three or four metres wide. Both types are available with a load capacity per station of either 1.2 or three tonnes. System height can be specified by the customer from 3.1 metres to 8.0 metres. The same applies to the level at which loading and unloading takes place, as users can select different heights up to 950 mm. 

Besides being suitable for storing sheet metal in a wide range of sizes, KASTOecostore can also hold euro-pallets and stillages. This makes it ideal for applications involving different materials in small businesses, workshops and maintenance shops. It can also be used as a buffer store between production areas in factories, close to machinery if necessary.

The lifting gear drive is equipped with leading-edge frequency converters from Siemens and the motor is stationary to allow precise, dynamic loading and unloading. Robust roller chains ensure long service life and low maintenance. The steel frame consists of standardised rolled sections and can be dimensioned in accordance with the relevant standards for earthquake resistance. Comprehensive safety control measures prevent malfunction and costly downtime.

KASTOecostore comes as standard with the manufacturer’s own SmartControl, which has an intuitive, touchscreen user interface for rapid, error-free data input by all operators. Loads can be on pallets or special cassettes, which are stored and retrieved automatically and brought to an ergonomic height for ease of handling. Additional lifting equipment such as a forklift is not necessary, keeping access times short.

KASTO offers an extensive range of accessories for adapting the store to special requirements. They include a movable carriage for loading and unloading material from the back of the tower; and insert bolts for subdividing pallets and cassettes. A storage aid with lift-off bolts is available to assist in the handling of sheet metal and other materials using a stacker or crane.

Energy recovery

Rising electricity costs are creating a demand for energy-efficient solutions in every industry, logistics and distribution being no exception. So KASTO has developed an innovative energy recovery and storage system for its German-built industrial warehouses, used globally for automated storage and retrieval of bar, tube, sheet, plate and other materials.

The technology enables surplus kinetic energy to be converted into electricity and stored temporarily for later use as needed. Operating and investment costs are reduced and so also are CO2 emissions. Energy recovery is available as an option on all KASTO storage products and it can also be retrofitted to systems already in use. 

The electric circuits for the drives of the operating gantry crane are connected through a DC link. Surplus kinetic energy, such as that produced during braking of the crane or lowering of the lifting gear is converted into electricity and fed back into the grid. The energy can then be used for other purposes, either within the storage facility or by other users. Consumption of electric power can be reduced by as much as 40 percent compared to conventional drive systems.

To achieve even greater efficiency, KASTO optionally equips its storage systems with an integrated energy storage unit. It temporarily holds surplus energy in double-layer capacitors for use as needed. An intelligent controller charges and discharges the energy storage unit, depending on the process currently running. 

Power is drawn from the grid at a nearly constant level, allowing peripheral equipment to operate at the rated load. In this way, users can reduce the connected load of the gantry crane by more than 50 percent. Energy storage allows additional cost savings by avoiding load peaks.

Besides significant reductions in power consumption and CO2 emissions, KASTO’s new technology has the advantage that operators of storage facilities can often use smaller transformers, which are less costly to buy.