A storage system for large remnants decoupled from the raw panel storage system and located above the saw makes practical use of this otherwise dead area, simultaneously increasing both capacity and flexibility by reducing remnant storage access times.
“The idea of installing a storage system above the panel cutting cell came to us for the first time some years ago for a Belgium customer”, says IMA Schelling product manager David Schelling. The customer, who utilizes a saw of the fh4 type, wanted to keep production as close as possible together, and hence the area storage system – which usually is at ground level – was simply moved to the first level above ground level, directly above the saw.
Since it's a long way down to the ground floor with the fh4, a long scissor lift became necessary. Hence, the development of a patented scissor lift device with 4700 mm stroke extension became part of the workcell concept. In order to be able to feed the material from the storage system in the upper storey of the workcell to the panel cutting saw and to carry the large remnants from the saw upwards to the storage system, the workcell has floor openings above the applicable saw positions. Through these openings, the scissor lift moves in a vertical direction to and back from the panel saw.
This concept of an area storage system above the panel cutting saw has proved very successful since its first installation and has since then been put into practice in conjunction with an ls1 panel saw by multiple manufacturers seeking a way to combine a remnant storage system and a panel cutting saw in a batch-size-1 workcell that has to cope with a great variety of materials. Specifically kitchen furniture manufacturers seem to appreciate the concept of a storage system in the upper storey of the workcell. As the ls1 uses a circular workcell concept instead of gantry or robot technology, there is much open space left for a storage system between the saw and the hall roof. A steel structure with an intermediate floor allows this otherwise unused space to be converted to a material storage system”, David Schelling explains.
Raw panel storage systems and remnant storage systems differ in the way they store the materials. In a raw panel storage system, the material is piled up in stacks up to 2500 mm high and can be accessed from above. In contrast large remnants are typically stored in a chaotic storage system. Here the individual stacks are made up of miscellaneous materials arranged in any order. Each time a certain material is to be picked, the layers of the stack need to be relocated in order to enable retrieval of the relevant material – only very rarely does the system find a remnant directly at the top. Stack rearrangement operations not only require empty storage positions but also take time. Hence furniture manufacturers use remnant storage solutions with stacks only 700 to 1000 mm high, which is ideal for placing the material storage system below the hall roof.
If raw panels and remnants are stored in the same storage system then floor space requirements will increase and efficiency will decrease, because the storage system can either carry raw panels or remnants to the saw. A solution to this problem is to operate two storage systems, which decouples the material intake and outtake of raw panels and large remnants. Moreover, with the remnant storage system moved to a higher level, manufacturers create more space for production. And last but not least, the purchase cost of a remnant storage system above the panel cutting cell is substantially lower than that of other vertical solutions.
A remnant storage system above the panel cutting cell is worth considering wherever the height of the hall is at least 5000 mm and where many different materials with a large number of remnants need to be managed. Moreover a material storage system above the saw creates space for short paths to downstream processing steps.