Integrated production flow with handling and storage systems

Just-in-time production of individual components, a high level of automation, and minimization of warehouse stocks – these are just some of the advantages that the combination of carpentry machine and feed, storage, and destacking systems has to offer. The handling and storage systems ensure that the correct material is always in the right place at the right time. Waiting times are eliminated, the utilization factor of the machine is increased, and the ergonomics are improved. And as a result, productivity increases throughout the entire production process.

An article from the WEINMANN customer magazine performance, Version 17/ 2018.
Here you can read the customer magazine performance online.

Fully automated material handling.

Raw materials are supplied to the BEAMTEQ carpentry machine in a fully automated process, via the CNC-controlled STORETEQ feeding portal. Screw or vacuum grippers pick up the unprocessed parts and place them on the separator on the carpentry machine. The vacuum grippers ensure that the timber is protected while being transported, meaning that timber for visible areas can also be moved without any problems. The feeding portal picks up the unprocessed parts from different stack positions, allowing different beam dimensions and components to be transported.

The Dutch company Groothuisbouw works with just such a system. The feeding portal accesses four different unprocessed wood packages. The system is also equipped with an automatic pushing unit for removing the stacking strips. At Groothuisbouw, there is also an integrated STORETEQ destacking portal. This portal is used to collect the processed timber and destack it according to element type. The timber is then transported to the two production lines for wall elements and roof and ceiling elements via a buffer line. This stacking technology, which is unique in the industry, is actuated with the production control system of the carpentry machine. Two job lists with the data records are generated for each line. These ensure that the lines are supplied with the correct components in the correct order. The buffer function is independently monitored and regulated by the BEAMTEQ B-560. The destacking portal which operates the buffer is fitted with a vacuum suction system that can also pick up small parts up to 300 mm in length.

Feeding portal with integrated storage

If a number of different beam cross-sections are required, the combination of a STORETEQ feeding portal and a STOCKTEQ upright store offers a flexible solution. The portal automatically removes the raw material from the unprocessed part stack and stores it in the individual racks. From there, the respective beams are picked up and placed on the separator of the carpentry machine. The number of racks can be selected to meet any requirements, meaning that the size of the store can be defined to suit individual needs. The storage of different cross-sections is simplified significantly and the space requirements are reduced due to the reduced storage area. The work processes are also optimized, as the unprocessed parts are stored and the carpentry machine supplied with timber in parallel during beam processing. There are no waiting times caused by interruptions and the work process runs continuously. The feeding portal is operated via the WEINMANN software wupWorks 4. This special storage software displays the stocks and checks them automatically. Incoming and outgoing timber is counted; the current stock level in the racks can be read off on the storage terminal. Minimum stock levels can be defined. When these levels are reached, an optical warning signal to the operator is triggered, ensuring that the missing material can be added to the storage slots.

Feeding of the carpentry machine in just 45 seconds.

The company Bien-Zenker has integrated this system in its production line and connected it directly to the frame work station. The feeding portal can access ten different dimensions. The timber is supplied to the carpentry machine with the NC-controlled gripper system. To ensure that the timber is protected when it is handled, the gripper system is fitted with vacuum suction units. After beam processing, chain conveyors supply the processed beams and plates to the frame work station or the storage system as required, fully automatically. The outfeed of the carpentry machine transports pieces out on both sides so that both the frame work station and the separate work tables for special elements can be fed fully automatically by the carpentry machine. The company Wolf Systembau in Austria has also combined its carpentry machine with a feeding portal with integrated storage. This means that the solid construction timber storage unit can be very compact. While the carpentry machine cuts the components to length and performs all necessary trimming and drilling for the components, the portal system automatically feeds the 60 m³ storage unit with raw materials. Depending on requirements, the portal can automatically access up to 20 different solid wood construction dimensions. Due to the given room height, this portal is equipped with a special scissor lifting system. The lower room height also had to be taken into account at another German manufacturer of prefabricated houses. Here, timber is stored in a side hall and must be fed through an opening. To combine the system with the storage system while working around this low ceiling height, a special scissor lifting mechanism was developed for the upright store, demonstrating that this system is also suitable for facilities with low ceilings. Another innovation in this production line is that the feeding portal supplies two carpentry machines simultaneously. Once the timber has been removed from storage, the portal places it on two automatic roller conveyors with a separator that feeds the timber into the respective carpentry machine. The parallel feed to two machines not only accelerates the material flow significantly - it also increases the utilization factor of the carpentry machines and the portal, because two machines are supplied with material in parallel with just one portal.

These automated handling and storage systems make the processes faster and easier, and also significantly more ergonomic. The continuous supply of material and the automatic stack creation enable the highest possible performance. On average, the feed to the carpentry machine takes approximately only 45 seconds. The systems make the workplace more attractive and increase both the throughflow in the work process and productivity.

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