Opportunity for development
To cope with the growing number of orders Termet had to face the problem of optimalaizing the processing, material flow and storing of steel sheets of a maximum dimension of 3 m x 1,5 m that was used in manufacturing processes. Termet decided to implement a automated laser cutting machine handling system that processed 3 laser cutting machines simultaneously. The assumption made for the manufacturer was to deliver an automated steel sheet storage system, as well as a loading-unloading system for the laser cutting machine and a controlling software for order execution and manufacturing management. In the past the loading was executed with a jib crane and the steel sheets were kept on static racks and transported with forklifts, which led to big problems by handling bigger quantities of materials and that effected the manufacturing efficiency. The development and implementation of the process has been entrusted to Baumalog, a company that specializes in automatization of storage and manufacturing processes that contain steel sheets and long goods. Due to the nonstandard project assumptions it was important that the supplier adjusts the system to the clients needs- Baumalog does complex designing, launching, manufacturing, automatization and software, which made it possible to execute the project.
Baumalog SmartFlow System implemented in Termet company consists from a few elements. The first element is TransferTower automated storage system that has the capacity of 108 moveable trays and the system capacity of 324 tones. Next we have the guiderails which are placed above the laser cutting machines tables. The guiderails enable the loading-unloading modules to move along the system. The loading modul enables the transport of the steel sheets from the automated rack onto the laser cutting machines tables. The Unloading module enables the unloading of the cut pieces from the laser cutting machine table. The moduls work independly from eachother and are able to load and unload material from 3 laser cutting machines. Some of the stored materials like aluminium steel sheets are covered from both sides with paper, to prevent scratching of the surface. Before the loading of the steel sheet through the vacuum suctions cups a dedicated system removes the paper and loads it in to the dedicated pallet. Additionally the loading module is equipped in a seperation system and a thickness measurement system.
The unloading module consists of two element moveable forks, which load the material from the laser cutting machine table and take it to the transport system of cut pieces, which drives to the operators workspace, or to the trays inside the system.
The loading of new sheets into the automated storage system is executed by the loading-unloading station, that is equipped in a weighing device that allows to check if the supplies of materials are ok or not and a hydraulic lifting device that enables the storing of steel sheets only without pallets. The station works independend from the rest of the system what enables the delivery of new supplies of material without interrupting the laser cutting and transport process.
The steel sheet storing and processing system from Baumalog cooperates with 3 laser cutting machines from Durma. The Baumalog controlling software is integrated with a ERP system, 3 laser cutting machine systems and a CAD/CAM software Metalix. The system enables easy planing and optimalization of the manufacturing process. The orders are made by the production planists and together with a certain priority connected to one of the laser cutting machines. The operator working on a certain laser cutting machine has no chance of picking materials that are not inside the order, what allows to reduce the number of mistakes to minimum.
The system supplied by Baumalog together with the control software allowed to automate the material flow of the steel sheets and significantly optimalize the manufacturing process- more than 8,000 loading and unloading cycles of laser cutting machines are carried out per month.