The Unitower CNC tower storage system from Kasto Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG (Achern, Germany) improves productivity by continuously supplying CNC machining centers and milling machines with loaded pallets that employees prepare at separate workstations. The tower is loaded during machine operation and the entire system can run unmanned for long periods, such as at night.
Users can connect several machines, regardless of manufacturer, to the system. The tower can be connected fully automatically to several setup stations and transfer stations via shunting units and roller tracks. The storage and retrieval machine (SRM) transfers workpieces to a shuttle wagon that automatically takes them to locations assigned by the controller. Partially and fully processed pieces are returned to intermediate or final storage in the same way.
With heights up to 66 feet (20 meters), the tower offers maximum storage space on a minimum footprint. It accommodates pallets measuring 118 inches x 59 inches (3,000 mm x 1,500 mm). Loading height can be set anywhere up to 67 inches (1,700 mm) because of the tower uses a zero-point clamping system instead of machine tables.
Each storage compartment holds 3.3 tons (3 tonnes). Pallets are handled by an SRM with a crossbeam instead of, for example, a paternoster system that would require moving the entire stock instead of the relevant cassette. This design, along with highly efficient drives, ensures fast access and saves energy.
Kasto’s KASTOlogic software gives machines the workpieces required for each order, checks whether necessary NC programs and tools are available, monitors production processes, calculates completion dates and determines the optimum order-handling sequence.
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