Transport of sheet components through different stages of the production process
ABUS suspended rail systems in the Polish plant of a German engineering company
The family company Knoll Maschinenbau GmbH (www.knoll-mb.de) with headquarters in Bad Saulgau in the southern German area of Baden-Wuerttemberg is supplying machine tools with conveyor and filter systems and with pumps to manufacturers and users worldwide. Knoll has established daughter companies in Italy and in the US. It was in May 2017 when the first Polish plant of the company was put into operation in the largest city in western Poland, in Wrocław or Breslau as it is also known. This plant is going to be used to process sheet components. The total investment for the plant of 2,500 square metres amounted to over 7 million Euros. The site area has a surface of about 1.8 hectares thus offering great potential for further possible expansion of the factory. The ABUS suspended rail systems, HB systems for short, used in the production flow are also very well suited for possible further extensions thanks to their inbuilt modularity and flexibility.
Quality is a family matter for ABUS and Knoll
The company was founded in Bad Saulgau in 1970 by Walter Knoll. Among other things Knoll produces machinery to filter oils and lubricants that are used during drilling, milling, or threading for example. Knoll started as a one-man business but has been growing into an internationally active company with customers including such large corporations as BMW, Bosch, and Siemens. Common family values are cultivated and so the sons Matthias and Jürgen Knoll continue to operate the company as their founding father had intended. Their own demand for quality and reliability are mirrored in the selection of suppliers and the equipment. The machine tools in the new plant for example are characterised by 50 inch monitors and 3D measuring stations. For the transport within the factory and for lifting devices the choice fell on ABUS, also a family business with worldwide sales and service network. On-site consultation, the choice of the optimal solution, supply, and installation of the crane systems were all carried out by the Polish daughter company ABUS Crane Systems Polska (www.abuscranes.pl).
ABUS HB systems used during different assembly phases
The manifold processes and assembly phases required individual material flow planning. The material flow starts with the reception of all materials into stock (sheets, profiles, tubes). In the first half of the plant all elements are prepared for welding. In this section a laser welding machine, a bending press, a band saw and other processing machines are hard at work. The prepared material is then transported into the second part of the building where the welding process is finished. The shapes of the elements to be connected can be very irregular and up to 4 metres long. The welding station is tasked with the precise positioning of the elements to each other. These diverse transport tasks are taken on by 7 single girder crane systems EHB on a total track length of 28 metres. Each of these systems features 3 cranes which make 21 cranes in total that are used to serve the different working and transporting areas. All cranes have lifting capacities of 1,000 kg and are fitted with electric chain hoists of the ABUCompact series in order to lift all those different loads. Thanks to the simple configuration of the crane system with two tracks and one crane girder the whole system is very light and it is very easy for the user to move the crane manually without any problems. The trolley is moved manually too. Should the plant be extended in the future then the track can be extended too and fitted quite flexibly with further cranes.
Once the components in the Polish plant are completed they are transported to the headquarters in Germany where the final assembly and dispatch to end customers is taking place.