Tracing its roots back to the timber industry, Gibotech A/S is now a specialist in the development, implementation and maintenance of industrial solutions. The company manufactures bespoke, high technology machines and systems, CNC-machinery, automation with and without robots and panel sizing machinery, which are often part of complicated production lines or in single cells.
Today Gibotech A/S addresses all professional sectors of industry and has been focusing on transforming itself from a traditional company, dealing with single machines into a company that makes complete plant and automation solutions.
In a recent project, the company was involved in the design and development of the world’s first fully automated sterile warehouse at a large hospital in Copenhagen in Denmark. Designed to save millions of dollars, the warehouse automates large aspects of the handling and storage of sterile components ready for operations in the hospital’s theatres.
The requirement for a flexible, integrated solution that could liaise with other automation suppliers and the supervisory system, and that could be installed in sterile environments, lead it to call upon the skills, products and services of Rockwell Automation.
As this type of installation had never been attempted before, Gibotech was working from a clean slate and had to be confident that its choice of automation solution would be flexible enough to cope with regular and significant design changes. It also had to cope with limited space and the demanding requirements of a sterile environment.
In operation, the system has been designed to remove the significant burden placed on operators in their handling of heavy baskets full of operating theatre ‘tools’ as they are collected, cleaned, sterilised and then stored ready for subsequent use.
The warehouse provides 1,900 shelf spaces and 1,800 baskets, all of which are logged using RFID tags. The system was designed to handle over 100 transactions a day with each basket taking five to ten minutes to go through the system. The maximum capacity is based upon processing one cart or trolley (containing nine baskets) per minute.