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Plinth systems are the main product and Paul Henke produces around 55 million of these alone annually. The company needed an efficient, space-saving solution for the fast retrieval of its growing inventory of tools.
The tools were previously stored on static shelving and employees had to travel long distances to fetch the right tool from the warehouse during production changeover times. Accordingly, a storage system was required which could be installed on a small footprint while also allowing tools to be retrieved quickly.
By using a storage system developed by Kardex Remstar and its industry partner Intertex, more than 3,000 tools and other materials used in injection molding will be on hand in next to no time in future. Since around 100 new tools are added to the existing stock every year, the unit is designed to accommodate the growing number.
To make this possible, three TowerMat storage lifts from Intertex, each 23.80 meters high, were integrated into one storage tower on a footprint measuring just 55 square meters. Around 3,000 tools used in injection molding are stored in these units. One particular challenge associated with the design was the big weight difference between the individual tools, ranging from 50 kg to 1.5 metric tons. One TowerMat carrier unit can hold up to five metric tons to successfully manage these loads. As such, all three storage towers have a total capacity of 915 metric tons between them. A centrally operated stacker crane in the TowerMat fetches the heavy parts from their storage space and automatically conveys them to the bottom in line with the goods-to-person principle. The tools are retrieved from there with the help of a crane and transported to the injection molding production area.
Besides the TowerMat storage lifts, Paul Henke uses a further five Shuttle XP 250 systems from Kardex Remstar to store samples and 7,000 different paint colors.
Internal processes run much more efficiently through the new storage system thanks to the newly acquired flexibility and the fast retrieval times. “We used to have to travel long distances to fetch the right tools from the warehouse for a job. Nowadays we get the right tool at the touch of a button. From then on, it only takes around an hour to make the finished product,” says Thomas Wittenbreder, technical operations manager at Paul Henke GmbH, explaining the advantages of the new solution.