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Rack system central in automated HVL sheet metal work center

How do I ensure automatic supply and removal of sheet metal in my innovative laser cutting installation?

Many companies like to outsource a question of this complexity, but HVL Metaalbewerking from Liessel chose to solve this themselves. It resulted in the development of a fully automatic, vertical warehouse that is controlled directly from their ERP system. Apex Dynamics contributed its expertise and products to this unique solution.

Challenge: Increase storage while automating transport and processing

A few years ago, HVL felt the need to create more storage for its sheet metal and wanted to automate the transport and processing of metal sheets. This saves time and prevents repetitive work. Instead of outsourcing this project, the project was realized internally, by its own people. The result: a fully self-developed, automated and combined sheet metal center, called Optistore, as an important addition to their innovative laser cutting machines.

The Optistore is a fully automated vertical warehouse, in which the Optipick moves and automatically transports the right plates to the right cutting machine. New sheets, semi-finished products or finished products can be stored together. The management takes place centrally from the ERP system.

Optistore possibilties

The Optistore has a size of 48 x 6 x 8 m and has 700 drawers, each position is suitable for 2,000 kg plates (3000 x 1500 x 25 mm). The Optistore supplies and takes out fully automated material to two state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutting machines. The Optistore reduces the lead time of orders because the number of human handling is reduced. Thanks to a sophisticated logistics system, steel, stainless steel and aluminum can be stored in one system without contamination.

Laser cutting machine with articulated robot

For the most recent laser cutting machine, a vertical warehouse has also been engineered and constructed with an input and output table which is fitted with a articulated arm robot. The Apex Dynamics components have been chosen for linear the drive: the indestructible AF140 gearbox, the racks in quality 6 and the pinion in quality 5. The articulated arm robot is fixed to the input and output table but can also be used to manipulate the plates released from this table and in this way the same drive can be used.

Smart Industry

With this solution, HVL can take products from a cut sheet, collect them at a designated pallet/position, count and feed back to the ERP system. The machine, developed and produced by HVL, is entirely modulair.

As a result of longer development and optimization, a stable process has been created, making it a front-runner in smart industry 4.0. HVL is also investigating the possibilities to bring similar customized configurations to the market as a HVL brand.

Thanks to this automation, HVL is able to load and unload plates fully automatically, with complete registration of all parts. The customer can order items via the website and the laser table is fully automated in the allocated time slot.

Contribution of Apex Dynamics

Apex Dynamics made the calculations for the system, selected the components and sent the selection with all data including the 3D STP drawings. And as it was calculated, that’s how it works now. There will be some minor adjustments and optimizations later on, but then the system is ready to be built for third parties.

About HVL Metaalbewerking (Metalworking)

HVL Metaalbewerking is an innovative and modern medium-sized company with approximately 85 employees and is located in Liessel, Noord Brabant. The company celebrates its 25th anniversary on the 5th of May 2019. With passion and enthusiasm they continuously work on improvements at engineering level, product level, relational level (internal and external) and profitability. By cooperating with clients, they avoid to the take a wrong turn in projects and relations. There is strong believe in intuition and quality and the thinking that people and innovation form a combined unity.

HVL Metaalbewerking is strong in machine and equipment construction and mainly focuses on the sectors transport, logistics, food, agriculture, horticulture, automotive and the packaging industry. Both parts and complete machines are produced. Projects can also be provided from the development up to and including the plug-ready delivery. HVL develops (cost) efficient solutions and guarantees fast manufacturing thanks to a very complete and advanced machine park.Team Rembradts logo

Note: like Apex Dynamics BV, HVL Metaalbewerking is sponsor of Team Rembrandts.