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2Cut is a company which processes about 1.7 thousand tonnes of sheet metal a year. It uses this material to produce components for many industries. Storing such a big quantity on the conventional racks limits the production space and, in many cases, limits the machines’ work time. It also requires a lot of staff. Therefore, the company has decided to invest in a fully automated warehouse centre.

2Cut has created a modern warehouse centre whose task is to supply two laser machines TruLaser 5030 and a multi-functional machine for laser cutting and punching TruMatic TC 7000.

We hire 24 persons. The work of the company is organized in three shifts. The night shift operates without humans. Without the investment in automation the company would have to employ at least three additional workers in the warehouse. However, the optimization of employment was not the only reason for the investment,” said Mario Heinzig, Managing Director of 2Cut.

The provider’s task was to increase the system efficiency, reduce the ‘path’ between the storage space and machining stations. That is why the physical and computer connection of the machine with the warehouse was necessary.

Sheet metal storage centre in smaller area

2Cut uses the new sheet metal storage system to optimize stocks of raw materials and semi-products. It has the capacity of 431 pallet spaces in the area of merely 390 square meters. This is undoubtedly one of the advantages of automated warehouses: the space required for storage is a few times smaller than in the case of traditional solutions.

The materials that will be stored in the warehouse are prepared by the workers of the production plant and transported with a stacker crane to the available pallet space.

The assignment of storage spaces is completely automated on the basis of the ‘chaotic storage’. It is controlled by the warehouse management system PRO WMS Enterprise. The system not only selects the storage space but also manages markings and numbers of items as well as the quantity of the materials. It enables the producer to carefully review the current resources and maximize the transparency of the warehouse.

Besides, the software ensures optimization of many processes, e.g. enabling individual machines.

60 percent time savings

The logistics software is closely integrated with three machine tools. With a special interface, they give the information to the warehouse about the current demand for the material. Thanks to the automated system of sheet metal storage, 2Cut has saved about 60 percent time connected with material processing. It is especially visible when processing a lot of small orders.

When using the previous solutions, we often performed unnecessary actions connected with transporting the material from the warehouse to the machine tools. Today, this process is optimized, which has allowed us to reduce the downtime of CNC machines by at least 40 percent,” said Heinzig.

The warehouse management system PRO WMS ensures ongoing management of the production plant’s resources and constant control over them. The solution providers from Remmert underline that it is essential that before the implementation of this type of system the company carefully analyse the processes and organization of production as well as the building conditions. All these steps were taken in 2Cut.

Not only the logistics and storage processes were thoroughly examined, but also the analysis covered the production processes. Only this way was it possible to create a model of optimal flow of materials and information. It enabled the company to develop the interfaces for ERP, PPS and other IT systems to ensure seamless communication among the systems and preparation for the effective implementation of the project.

Photo: Remmert

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