Case Study Venture Industries - CNC Automation with ES Tower
Venture Industries Sp. z o.o. offers its services in the ventilation industry. This specialization stems from the business of its parent company - Ventur Tekniska AB, existing in Sweden for almost fifty years. The range of manufactured equipment is constantly being expanded. Apart from devices intended for room ventilation (duct, wall and roof fans), these are also devices for industrial applications.
The company has a branch in Grudziądz, where a modern Production Plant is located with a headcount of over 260. It is here that both standard and tailor-made products, prototypes and new, innovative solutions are created.
“Our competitive edge on the market is the guarantee that the products of Venture Industries Sp. z o.o. are reliable and of the highest quality,” explains Piotr Pakowski. “The Grudziądz branch has its own laboratories and excellent technical staff - we invest both in improving the qualifications of our employees and in modern machinery and equipment.”
The manufacturer's challenges
Along with expanding the over-the-counter range and shortening lead times, the manufacturer faced the challenge of increasing the production capacity while maintaining the highest quality of the offered equipment. Works connected with optimization of technological processes, implementation of a new ERP system and changes in production organization were launched. One of the key areas has become a new sheet metal cutting cell.
"We resigned from cooperation and made a decision to buy a fast laser from a Polish producer Kimla - recalls the director of the Venture Industries branch. We needed an equally fast metal sheet storage - a system for loading, unloading and buffering metal sheets. Since we have been working with Europa Systems since 2011, when the first two metal sheet storages were installed, which are 100% used for other lasers to this day - we reported the need for a new generation of storage system. Today, CNC automation is a must, and in order to fully utilize the performance of a high-speed fiber optic laser, you need to have a super-fast storage in the combo," Pakowski adds.
The solution applied - ES Tower
Europa Systems is a leading supplier of complete intralogistics automation solutions. One of the products offered by the company is an automated sheet metal storage system - ES Tower. The company has a Production Plant in Western Poland and its own Research and Development Centre.
The R&D works in the ES Tower project have been underway by the team of engineers and constructors of the Europa Systems Research and Development Department since 2017. The aim was doubling the new generation storage’s efficiency and speed. The team also worked at increasing the number of shelves.
“ES Tower is a new generation of automated warehouses, which have been offered by Europa Systems for nearly 10 years. Following the spirit of Industry 4.0 and the new needs in the area of production warehouse - explains Jarosław Szulgo, Director of Research and Development Department at Europa Systems - we took up the challenge to make the new solution not only meet the expectations of Venture Industries, but also be a fully-automated CNC modular structure which the customer can expand with additional elements in the future. Therefore, the basic module is ES Tower Single. The product development concept is to extend the prefabricated standard parts with new functionalities that we can easily adapt to the needs of new customers,” Jarosław Szulgo adds.
CNC automation - maximum use of space while maintaining full safety.
In order to use the existing space as efficiently as possible, Europa Systems engineers designed the ES Tower Single Metal Sheet Storage, which reached almost to the very ceiling of the production hall. At the same time, a thorough risk analysis was carried out for the safety of the operator's work on the manipulator - storage line. Experts from Europa Systems used Virtual Safety Curtains to analyze the whole process. In the ES Tower workspace, a scanner was installed on the side of the manipulator, which creates a virtual barrier to secure the system, leaving full freedom of work to the operator.
The specificity of the device installation required a precise loop time and installation in a production space which could not be disrupted (other lasers and our storages, ventilation systems, etc.). The efficient Europa Systems Service installed and commissioned the structure weighing several tons in just 7 days.
Full integration. Automation of sheet metal storage process in ES Tower was fully integrated with the laser’s IT systems, providing full information and data collection on the efficiency and effectiveness of all machines. The software allows indexing and thus storing 20 times more assortments with the same number of shelves. It also ensures the issuing of individual assortments according to the FIFO rule.
The new generation ES Tower Single consists of a single rack with 42 shelves. The total space occupied by the warehouse is 30 square metres. The variety of stored sheets is 42 indexes. The total capacity of the warehouse is 126 tons.
Efficiency - full shelf replacement cycle with a specific sheet type takes about 150 seconds - average shelf issuing cycle with 3 tons of sheet metal is about 60 seconds
Venture Industries has made changes to its production organization, with one area of process optimization being the implementation of a sheet metal machining cell with the speed doubling that of the other cells. A dedicated team of production process engineers from Venture Industries worked with Europa Systems engineers on every stage of the development of the next generation metal sheet storage.
This cooperation translated into measurable benefits and the success of the client.
“We gained success; thanks to the improvements made we have reduced the production process from seven days of three shifts to five days of two shifts,” concludes Piotr Pakowski, Venture Industries Division Director.
ES Tower, combined with laser and portal, operates automatically, eliminating the need for people to load sheets and unload cut pieces. During laser operation, the operator can control the system quickly and conveniently. The modular design of the ES Tower allows for its expansion with another storage racks in the future. "ES Tower is the result of successful cooperation with our long-term client; we are particularly pleased that the product development and work of the Research and Development Department of Europa Systems, influenced the success of implementation and improvement of production efficiency in Venture Industries,” Jarosław Szulgo concludes.