Brains not brawn: cost-effective and flexible solution contributes to success of high-bay warehouses

The skills shortage problem is not confined to the aging industrialised societies in the West. China, too, is not immune from wage rises and is also faced with the increasing difficulty of recruiting well trained staff and retaining them in a rapidly changing environment. Then there are the calls for ever greater precision and product quality, and not only from firms in Europe and the USA. A system that boasts high productivity and precision without being labour-intensive is the solution to this problem - as in the case of the manufacturer of high-bay warehouses in the Shanghai area which makes uprights for pallet racks with a cost-effective and flexible Dreistern solution.

Short tool change times without high capital costs are essential for production processes geared to customer requirements. The machine comes with an uncoiler, 19 risers and two sling recesses, and the widths and heights can be adjusted with spacer rings in order to achieve a changeover time of three hours. Another important factor is the advice on profiles given by Dreistern. This helped to identify design compromises which would subsequently rationalise production and save investment costs. So, for example, there is just one tool for all the different profile variants. This allows the changeover to take place on the framework assembly on the machine. Nothing needs to be dismounted and remounted.

Another exciting feature of the system developed by the leader in roll forming machine technology is the user-programmable punch pattern, a facility which also allows the operator to input lengths of up to 16 metres which will then be incorporated by the program. A mechanical press is used for preliminary pressing. The previous system involved working with pre-pressed strips, which would generate leftovers when the machine was changed to a different hole pattern, but now the program knows when the punch pattern needs to be changed. This helps to avoid waste which, in turn, significantly improves profitability and production time.

But precision is the most important factor if the high-bay warehouse is to provide the stability in day-to-day duty and fulfil the promise of quality of the Dreistern roll forming machine. A better parting cut is achieved with a separating cutter instead of the usual shears. This brings substantial benefits at the finishing stage, when machining the base plates for example. Less material input is one advantage, as is the fact that rework on the finished profile is no longer necessary, as was the case with the previous system. The speed, too, is not entirely irrelevant. Depending on the punch pattern and profile lengths, speeds of 10 to 34 m per minute can be achieved instead of the usual 6 to 8 m per minute. Dreistern has met its objective - the customer is extremely satisfied with the system and is confident of a successful and sustainable future in the market.

Brains not brawn: cost-effective and flexible solution contributes to success of high-bay warehouses

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