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Fifty percent less assembly time for energy supply system

Storage and retrieval units: New system for vertical energy chains applications with large stroke lengths

The powerful "viapal" storage and retrieval unit from viastore systems, Stuttgart, can carry Euro pallets weighing up to 2,000 kg. As regards energy supply, expensive housings have recently become unnecessary. Instead of a continuous steel trough, trough segments are only needed every two metres. Plastic rockers keep the energy chains in place. This not only ensures operational safety but also reduces noise and saves material costs. If maintenance is needed, for example if a defective cable has to be replaced, the system can be accessed quickly and easily. In the case of vertical energy chain applications, the masts are becoming higher and higher, the travels longer and longer, and all this at high speeds and enormous rates of acceleration. It can quickly happen that – above all in the event of sudden lateral acceleration – the energy chain swings out to the side, for example in the direction of the shelf construction. If it then bangs against metal beams
or pallets as well, a chain break is destined to happen given the violence of the movement. The system "guidelok slimline (SL)" was developed in order to prevent this. In mast and tower heights of 40 metres or more, the chain always remains reliably on track

Turnkey intralogistics

In the early summer of last year, a three-aisle automatic pallet warehouse (APW) went into operation in a company in North Rhine-Westphalia, which operates in the medical sector. "Several basic materials are stored here," says Sven Wehrle, Head of Manufacturing and Assembly at viastore systems GmbH, Stuttgart. The company was founded in 1988 within the C. Haushahn group, but has been already active in the storage technology sector since 1970. With approximately 350 employees, viastore is one of the leading international providers of turnkey intralogistics systems for the industry and trade. These include picking systems, high-bay warehouse, automated small parts storage, as well as complex distribution and logistics centers. New plants are planned and implemented, and the existing warehouse is modernized and adapted to latest technologies and modified processes.

The three-aisle automatic pallet warehouse (APW) of viastore systems, Stuttgart

The three-aisle automatic pallet warehouse (APW) of viastore systems, Stuttgart, offers capacity for approximately 4.000 pallets and is serviced by SRUs of the "viapal" type. The key elements thereby are the intelligence and high integration of the entire system and its functionalities.


The three-aisle automatic pallet warehouse (APW) from viastore offers capacity for about 4.000 pallets. The company provides thereby the system solution, which among other things also consists of three standard storage and retrieval units (SRU) with the name "viapal". The core competence lies in the intelligence and high integration of the system and its functionalities. Essential for this is a consistent software architecture from the in-house warehouse management software "viad@t" through the material handling system up to process control. In addition, there is the company SAP special expertise partner supply chain execution. This means that viastore is not only connected to its in-house warehouse management system "viad@t" via a certified interface to SAP, but also implements the entire warehouse management and inventory control completely in SAP.

In all the SRUs, new plants as well as in retrofits, the new system

Energy and data supply: In all the SRUs, new plants as well as in retrofits, the new system "guidelok Slimline (SL)" is used. Thereby viastore saves about 50 percent installation time in energy supply besides trough costs.

Three-aisle automatic pallet warehouse

The investment in the APW provides the customer with many benefits, says viastore. It does more than making its own production processes more efficient and safer. It also particularly increases throughput, transparency and with it efficiency. A high level of transparency means that stocks are flexibly adapted to the actual needs of a company. The core of every APW consists of the SRUs that provide warehouse logistics quickly and flexibly. "This must operate with absolute reliability at all times, ensure a high availability and moreover be easy to use," says Sven Wehrle. For the supply of energy and data, rugged energy chain systems are used in all viastore SRUs since many years. "We have been working together in partnership for more than 15 years now," reports Wehrle. For instance, viastore has been for many years using complete preassembled energy supply systems, which are delivered on time at the site of the machine. They are then just mounted.

Rugged energy supply systems

In the SRUs of the warehouse specialists, there are several different types of equipment; at present energy supply systems of the Series "E2/000" prove their reliability. They are snap-open in the inner radius. "This has benefits especially for service," explains Wehrle. "The replacement of a defective cable takes place extremely fast. " A flexible interior separation, a long service life through high mechanical stability, quiet running, wide-ranging mounting options, as well as a light and versatile mounting are further advantages. Sven Wehrle: "The energy supply systems should withstand, according to the location, a wide temperature range, vibrations and high accelerations of our equipment."

The "viapal" storage and retrieval unit which stores pallets of all kinds for 90 per cent of the time, reaches a height of 43m, acceleration rates of up to 0.5 m/s2 and travelling speeds of up to 4 m/s. The lifting acceleration is up to 1.5 m/s2 and the lifting speed up to 1.33 m/s. These values can be increased even more. In the case of the highly dynamic small-parts device, the "viaspeed", the acceleration is more than 3.0 m/s2 and the travelling speeds are more than 6m/s. The lifting acceleration is 3.0 m/s2 at a lifting speed of up to 3 m/s.

Preassembled for ready installation

A medical industry customer of viastore, uses equipment with a height of around 15m. Here, single-shift operation is used. The "viapal" storage and retrieval unit stacks twice as deep into the shelf, the aim being to ensure efficient handling of two Euro pallets, the weight of each of which is up to 1,000 kg. All energy supply systems here are filled with"chainflex®" control, bus and encoder cables. There is also a voltage supply system for the telescopic fork as well as plugs for the connections. "We used to harness everything ourselves", says Sven Wehrle. "Today, we use the harnessed "readychain®" system from igus. We had worked out the solution years ago in conjunction with our contact partners. It has proved its worth in everyday operation from the very beginning. "Development of the product is, admittedly, a continual process. "The space available to us is decreasing continuously", says Wehrle, "and the aisles are becoming narrower and narrower. If the customer wants to operate a small-parts store with "viaspeed", smaller chains with smaller bend radii are used.

Economize the continuous trough

Last year, the storage specialist's attention was drawn to a newly developed product, namely the "guidelok slimline (SL)". Wehrle, the head of production and assembly: "We used to place the energy chain in an encapsulated trough system because of the vibrations: this involved a lot of installation work on site. " Today, viastore no longer uses such a housing. Now, a continuous metal trough is no longer necessary, as a result of which the trough costs are reduced considerably as well. This is possible due to a design innovation, whereby the energy chain locks itself into the energy supply system by means of plastic rocker components. Sven Wehrle: "We find this new system to be a convincing solution. It is used for all our storage and retrieval units today. We have calculated that, as a result, we save around 50 per cent installation time for the energy supply system. "For this reason,"guidelok slimline (SL)" will be considered not only for new systems but also for retrofits. "The harnessed energy supply systems have technical and economic advantages for us", says Wehrle, "and the new rocker-element system can be fitted quickly and cleanly. “

In pole and tower heights up to 40 meters or more, the energy chain® always remains secure in the track.

Safe aloft: In pole and tower heights up to 40 meters or more, the energy chain always remains secure in the track. Instead of a continuous steel trough, only trough segments are required every two meters. Complex enclosures are no longer needed like before.

Two automatically actuated compensators hold the chain in the trough segments.

Reliable and quiet: Two automatically actuated compensators hold the chain in the trough segments.

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