Yorkshire-based MBA Engineering Systems Ltd
, the exclusive UK distributor of Remmert storage and automation systems, Kimla fibre laser and waterjet machines, as well as Noblegen N2 Nitrogen generation systems, is now making the latest Remmert LaserFLEX automation solution available to customers in the UK.
is a leading manufacturer of storage and automation solutions and its systems are designed with laser users in mind, helping to boost efficiency and streamline production. More laser cuts, less scrap and the ability to re-use metal sheet oddments efficiently and sustainably are all addressed with the introduction of this new system. Users are provided with a comprehensive, investment-safe and future-proof solution for the entire flow of materials to and from their lasers.Automatic loading and unloading
High-speed fibre lasers have revolutionised the sheet metal processing market and they are able to operate even more efficiently with the addition of automatic handling systems that can take over the manual loading and unloading operations.
However, up until now the handling of metal oddments has been an issue. With the addition of LaserFLEX, oddments can be returned to the laser cutting process automatically.
Ideally, as many cuts as possible are required from a metal sheet in a single laser cutting process, so that as little scrap as possible is produced with the remaining sheets. However, scrap metal is still produced and there is sometimes still enough use in the oddment for further use.
In practice, oddments are usually stored temporarily by hand or even scrapped if the labour costs do not justify the high level of effort.
Stephan Remmert, owner and managing director of Remmert GmbH (pictured left), said: “In today’s world, this makes neither ecological nor economic sense.”
Remmert specialises in storage systems and handling systems that serve laser cutting machines from various manufacturers that are processing metal sheets at high speed. Until now, the focus of both customers and Remmert systems has been on the automated logistics of sheet metal blanks.
He added: “Shortage of skilled workers, unreliable supply chains, excessive material inventories, waste of resources, the trend towards more variance with smaller quantities — these are all problems our customers face and ones we wanted to overcome with new solutions.”
Remmert's fully automatic LaserFLEX robot application is equipped with two automation units, a vacuum unit for loading and a fork unit for unloading after the cutting process. This division of work pefectly supports the high speed of the fibre laser.
The new option of re-using oddments is taken over by the loading unit. This picks up the remaining sheet after the cutting process and stores it back in the connected storage system, ready to be used again. In order to optimally use storage space, the oddments are simply placed on blanks of the same thickness and if the blanks underneath have to be accessed, the oddment is parked on a buffer rack.
SMART Control (pictured right) — the central control system of the Remmert system — takes care of the management and logistics element. The integrated Warehouse Management System (WMS) manages the total stock including both blanks and oddments, while the Control module visualises the stock levels as well as all processes and system statuses in an intuitive dashboard.
In this way, Remmert offers its customers not only a highly efficient form of sheet metal processing and re-use, but an efficient control unit to boot.
Mr Remmert added: “Many material flow systems offer users a limited global overview of all processes. Our WMS with SMART Control also solves this problem and optimally complements the LaserFLEX system.
“Our goal is always not simply to develop ‘just’ technical solutions, but above all to keep usability in mind — with SMART Control we have succeeded in this. At the same time, the WMS supports the sustainable use of resources and for companies in an increasingly competitive environment, this is an advantage that should not be underestimated.”