The high-performance storage and retrieval machine "viapal" from viastore systems lifts up to 2.000-kilo euro pallets. Since lately complex enclosures could be discarded in energy supply systems. Instead of a continuous steel trough, only trough segments are required every 6.6 feet. Here plastic compensators fix the energy chain. This provides not only operational reliability, but also more noise reduction and reduces material costs. In the event of service, such as when a defective cable must be replaced, the system is also quickly and easily accessible. In vertical energy chains applications, the poles are always getting higher, the travel distances longer, and all at high speeds and rapid accelerations. Especially during fierce lateral accelerations, the energy chain can swing side-ward all of a sudden, for example, in the direction of the shelf structure. If it then strikes a metal carrier
or pallet with too much momentum, a chain breakage is inevitable. To prevent this, the system "guidelok Slimline (SL)" was developed. In pole and tower heights of 131feet or more, the chain always remains secure
in the track.
In the early summer of last year, a three-aisle automatic pallet warehouse (APW) went into operation in a company in North Rhine-Westphalia, which operates in the medical sector. "Several basic materials are stored here," says Sven Wehrle, Head of Manufacturing and Assembly at viastore systems GmbH, Stuttgart. The company was founded in 1988 within the C. Haushahn group, but has been already active in the storage technology sector since 1970. With approximately 350 employees, viastore is one of the leading international providers of turnkey intralogistics systems for the industry and trade. These include picking systems, high-bay warehouse, automated small parts storage, as well as complex distribution and logistics centers. New plants are planned and implemented, and the existing warehouse is modernized and adapted to latest technologies and modified processes.
The three-aisle automatic pallet warehouse (APW) from viastore offers capacity for about 4.000 pallets. The company provides thereby the system solution, which among other things also consists of three standard storage and retrieval units (SRU) with the name "viapal". The core competence lies in the intelligence and high integration of the system and its functionalities. Essential for this is a consistent software architecture from the in-house warehouse management software "viad@t" through the material handling system up to process control. In addition, there is the company SAP special expertise partner supply chain execution. This means that viastore is not only connected to its in-house warehouse management system "viad@t" via a certified interface to SAP, but also implements the entire warehouse management and inventory control completely in SAP.
The investment in the APW provides the customer with many benefits, says viastore. It does more than making its own production processes more efficient and safer. It also particularly increases throughput, transparency and with it efficiency. A high level of transparency means that stocks are flexibly adapted to the actual needs of a company. The core of every APW consists of the SRUs that provide warehouse logistics quickly and flexibly. "This must operate with absolute reliability at all times, ensure a high availability and moreover be easy to use," says Sven Wehrle. For the supply of energy and data, rugged energy chain systems are used in all viastore SRUs since many years. "We have been working together in partnership for more than 15 years now," reports Wehrle. For instance, viastore has been for many years using complete pre-assembled energy supply systems, which are delivered on time at the site of the machine. They are then just mounted.
In the SRUs of the warehouse specialists, there are several different types of equipment; at present energy supply systems of the Series "E2/000" prove their reliability. They are snap-open in the inner radius. "This has benefits especially for service," explains Wehrle. "The replacement of a defective cable takes place extremely fast. " A flexible interior separation, a long service life through high mechanical stability, quiet running, wide-ranging mounting options, as well as a light and versatile mounting are further advantages. Sven Wehrle: "The energy supply systems should withstand, according to the location, a wide temperature range, vibrations and high accelerations of our equipment."
The SRU "viapal" for example, which stores 90 percent of all types of pallets, comes to an equipment height of up to 141 ft, accelerations up to 0.5 m/s2 and travel speeds up to 4 m/s. The lift acceleration amounts to 1.5 m/s2 and the lifting speed up to 1.33 m/s. These values can still be increased. In the highly dynamic small-parts warehouse system "viaspeed", the acceleration is more than 3.0 m/s2 and travel speeds over 6 m/s. The lift acceleration amounts to 3.0 m/s2 with a lifting speed of up to 3 m/s.
In a company in the medical sector, a customer of viastore, the equipment height is approximately 49 ft. Work is done in one shift there. The SRU "viapal" stacks double the depth in the shelf for the purpose of efficient handling of two euro pallets, whose weight is at up to 1.000 kg each. All energy supply systems here are filled with "chainflex®" control, bus and encoder cables. In addition, there is power supply for the telescopic fork as well as plugs for the connections. "Earlier, we assembled everything ourselves ", says Sven Wehrle. "Today we use the pre-assembled "readychain®" system from igus. We had developed the solution jointly with our contact partners years ago. From the start it proved its worth in daily operation. " Product development however goes on always. "The space available to us is increasingly reduced," says Wehrle, "the aisles are always getting narrower. If the customer wants to operate, for example, a small parts warehouse with "viaspeed", then smaller chains with tighter bending radii are used.
Last year, the warehouse specialist came to know about the new development "guidelok Slimline (SL)" . Head of Manufacturing and Assembly Wehrle: "Earlier, due to the vibrations, we had routed the energy chain in an enclosed trough system, which was installed on site during the assembly with much effort and cost. " Today viastore dispenses with this enclosure. Now there is no need for a continuous metal trough, thereby reducing the trough costs substantially. This is possible due to a design innovation, in which the energy chain in the energy supply system is locked by means of plastic compensators. Sven Wehrle: "We are impressed by the new system. It is now used in all our SRUs. Our calculations show that we save installation time by around 50 percent in the energy supply system. " For this reason we consider "guidelok Slimline (SL)" not only in new plants but also for retrofit. "The preassembled energy supply systems give us technical and economic advantages," says Wehrle, "and the compensator system is fast and neat to install. “