OEM Introduces Alternative Storage and Retrieval System for Urban Areas

OEM Creates First-of-its-Kind Flexible Storage

Challenge

  • Tight spaces make storage and retrieval of parts difficult.

Solutions

Results

  • Improved Performance and Lead Time
  • Optimized retrieval time and organization
  • Compressed occupied space
  • Password protection

With Rockwell Automation solution, tight spaces are no longer a problem

Solutions For Tight Spaces

When space is limited, manufacturers will look for alternative storage systems. This OEM, based in India, specializes in Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) and stationary racking for production and warehousing.

Customers in many diverse industries, including automotive and tire, textile and consumer packaged goods, heavily rely on these types of systems. To meet growing needs, the OEM has the state-of-the-art design, manufacturing and inspection facilities across locations in India.

The OEM has developed a vertical storage system with tray extractor arrangements operated by a console. With the space constraints in urban areas and facilities, the vertical storage system improves storage ratios and has substantial applications across various industries.

With this application:

  • Trays are stacked in racks which can move up to two floors (24 meters).
  • An operator keys in the tray number to be retrieved. The retrieval system moves to the respective rack number and retrieves the tray.
  • Once retrieved the tray is brought down and moved on to the table for operator to pick the parts from bins.
  • When the operator wants to pick another tray, the retrieval system put the first tray back in its designated spot, and retrieves the next tray.

Whenever items have to be stored with effective usage of space and retrieved quickly, the vertical storage system provides the optimal, efficient solution:

  • Up to 80% faster retrieval times than normal shelving.
  • Smooth movement of trays for sorting fragile products.
  • Adjustable tray positioning in access opening for ergonomic loading and unloading.
  • Reduce personnel costs by reducing picking time.

Reduce Total Cost To Design, Develop and Deliver

In this highly competitive machine builder market, this OEM intends to expand as well. First, though, they needed to address issues with the current design of the vertical storage system.  

The solution they had was basic; it did the job. But they were missing customization and the ability to reduce storage and retrieval time, and also technology to improve the machine efficiency.

Storage and retrieval happened from a fixed location so product trays were stored in the same location from where they were retrieved. Since the system was not flexible, users were not optimizing storage space. In addition, the inflexible system resulted in longer storage and retrieval time. There was no opportunity to incorporate advanced features like auto re-arranging mode, empty gap removal between trays, and password protection.

The OEM  must reduce the Total Cost to Design, Develop and Deliver® machinery to meet customer requirements globally, as well as improve machine efficiency. They also wanted to rely on one partner for all automation requirements and warranty replacements across the world.   

Complete Solution For Global Customers

Competition for this machine was fierce, as many companies had an element or two that would work in the machine – several at a relatively low price.

Instead of competing on price alone, Rockwell Automation® chose to provide an entire package for the solution, which includes  serving as a partner rather than a technology supplier. Deep domain knowledge and industry expertise, global support and a unique understanding of specific end-user requirements and customer needs, made this total solution the best option for this OEM.

The solution includes the 1769 CompactLogix™ L3x controllers, designed for small to mid-size control applications that don’t require motion or safety functionality. These controllers offer integrated serial, EtherNet/IP™, or ControlNet™ channels; and modular DeviceNet™ communications.

The 1734 POINT I/O™ is ideal for applications requiring flexibility and low cost of ownership. Granularity of one to eight points allowed this OEM to buy only the I/O needed. The compact design allows easier installation in limited panel space.

PowerFlex® 525 AC drives feature an innovative, modular design to support fast and easy installation and configuration. This next generation of compact drives offers embedded EtherNet/IP™ communications, USB programming, and standard safety features. PowerFlex® 525 AC, which offer a power rating of 0.4...22 kW (0.5...30 Hp) with global voltage classes of 100...600V, provide various motor control and flexible mounting options.

PanelView™ Plus 7 graphic terminals offer a wide variety of display sizes and performance versions to simplify configuration.

Safety relays check and monitor a safety system and either allow the machine to start or execute commands to stop the machine. Single-function safety relays are the most economical solution for smaller machines where a dedicated logic device is required to complete the safety function. Modular and configurable monitoring safety relays are preferred where a large and diverse number of safeguarding devices and minimal zone control are required.

Photoelectric laser sensors accurately detect small targets such as weld nuts and mounting clips. They have a much longer sensing range than sensors that use standard visible red or infrared light. The solution offered enterprise resource planning (EP) connectivity to SAP and other business systems.

Improved Performance And Lead Time

The solution provided:

  • Light curtain safety for operators placing or retrieving products from the access area.
  • Password protection for access to trays and barcode scanning of product for easier retrieval.

The solution also:

  • Optimized retrieval time by removing delays between trays.
  • Compressed occupied space with the automatic removal of gaps for better occupancy.
  • Provided multiple access areas in different levels for dual tray parking.
  • Improved machine performance.
  • Reduced development, delivery and commissioning time. This includes testing, installation, troubleshooting, and start-up time.

For this OEM’s end users, once equipment is installed, Rockwell Automation offers the right level of global service and support to reduce warranty costs and improve customer satisfaction through lifecycle support.

The results mentioned above are specific to this OEM’s use of Rockwell Automation products and services in conjunction with other products. Specific results may vary for other customers.

Trademark Information:   

ControlLogix®, PanelView™, POINT I/O™, PowerFlex® 525 AC, Rockwell Automation and Total Cost to Design, Develop and Deliver are trademarks of Rockwell Automation Inc. Trademarks not belonging to Rockwell Automation are property of their respective companies.

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