WITRON Introduces Dynamic, Multifunctional, Energy-Efficient Cranes
WITRON's latest cranes are dynamic, multifunctional, and energy-efficient, and a result of the company’s extensive experience in the field.
The cost-efficiency of a high-performance AS/RS crane is not only demonstrated by its speed, payload or low power consumption.
The additional benefit for the user lies in the intelligent networking of all control, mechanical, and functional features, which are clearly determined in practical use and are ultimately decisive for availability and lifespan.
The entire design, implementation, service and system operator know-how of the general contractor WITRON has been incorporated into the development of mechanical and control technology for manufacturing the latest stacker cranes.
The standardised vehicle has convinced logistics experts worldwide in highly dynamic distribution centres for groceries, e-commerce, and other distribution channels.
It is suitable for normal ambient temperatures, as well as in the fresh and frozen food areas, and has been designed for continuous operation – 365 days a year, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
“We always have a holistic mindset concerning our technical developments,” said Martin Stich, technical CEO at WITRON.
“In terms of our conveyor element, this means that all features and components are seen as one single unit. The goal is to integrate this unit into the logistics ecosystem of a forward-looking supply chain with maximum efficiency,” Stich added.
High Dynamics And Flexibility
With a conveying speed of over six m/s, an acceleration of more than four m/s/s, and a lifting speed of three m/s, the WITRON cranes can transport totes and trays, as well as corrugated boxes with a payload of 200 kilograms per cycle.
Since there are two highly dynamic and innovative loading device units per vehicle, it is possible to move up to eight transport units at the same time during parallel storage and retrieval processes.
This results in maximised storage and retrieval performance. Within WITRON's already realised high-performance systems, each device moves up to 600 transport units per hour.
In practice, however, this performance density can only be achieved because intelligent and sophisticated software optimises the driving cycles accordingly, and the availability of involved devices is correspondingly high.
When implementing complete systems, WITRON always puts its customers – who always expect a reliable and highly available system – first.
That is why WITRON has always taken care to strike the optimised balance between new and proven technology, and incorporate innovative ideas and concepts in the evolutionary stage of new developments.
One example is the aluminium mast, which provides optimum driving and vibration behaviour in all temperature ranges. It is a lightweight, one-piece mast that provides maximum stability and 'flexibility'.
The working knowledge used for the aluminium mast lies in its static structure, which allows it to achieve the best-possible vibration characteristics with the lowest-possible weight.
Other concepts such as lattice masts or GRP materials involve risks, as they can be too stiff or too elastic. They do not have the same properties in different temperature zones and are only held together by screw and clamp connections.
Therefore, the one-piece aluminium mast still offers the optimum static characteristics in terms of lifespan, reliability and driving behaviour.
"When new concepts and materials offer only distinct advantages but are not yet convincing across the board, it makes no sense for us to implement them,” explains Stich.
For WITRON, the crane is primarily only one highly dynamic element in an overall logistics solution. The decisive factor for the concept, however, is to combine the elements in a reasonable way.
New innovative computer and control technologies in compliance with standard Smart Logistics 4.0 ensures efficiency in system operations, higher availability, and fast, transparent service in daily operations.
Low Energy Consumption
The WITRON devices are also innovative in terms of energy management. A minimum power consumption could be achieved by means of constant development of proven concepts with regenerative modules, which have successfully worked for many years without wear.
The WITRON control logic, developed over several years, links all drives, so that the respective units can operate energy optimised in direct relation to the other units without affecting the throughput performance.
Even the latest positioning control systems available in the market cannot meet this requirement, since all relevant information is available exclusively in the PLC.
"Real measured values prove, for example, that the average consumption of a tote crane at full load reaches minimum energy values,” according to Stich.
The surplus braking energy, which cannot be used directly on the crane, is returned directly to the grid via the regenerative modules and immediately reused by other elements within the logistics system.
As a result, no energy is wasted unnecessarily or additional effort must be taken for temporary storage.
In terms of power consumption and energy efficiency, WITRON considers energy recovery, which has been successfully implemented for many years and is constantly being developed, as a clear advantage.
Other systems, such as concepts of decentralised energy storage with PowerCaps, which are currently being discussed in the market, must first prove themselves in terms of technology, lifespan, availability, operating costs, weight, temperature, and independence in continuous operation compared to the wear-free regenerative module.
Outstanding Production Quality
The holistic development approach of WITRON is not a coincidence.
According to Stich, "Since WITRON designs, manufactures and implements the automated systems of its customers itself, and since its own OnSite service team guarantees permanently high system availability directly on site, these returns are reflected in the product quality of the conveyor system components.
"By doing so, we benefit from an invaluable increase in experience with each individual project," he added.
Proactive maintenance processes, based on production data acquisition and in connection with WITOOL – a self-developed web-based service management tool – would stand for a long lifespan, flexibility, and cost-efficiency of the WITRON systems.
"This ensures the success of our customers and makes WITRON a reliable partner," Stich said.
This customer focus and the permanent 'close ear to the market', especially, ensure a continuous improvement process, which ultimately results in developments that meet the highest demands.
To read more about WITRON, click here.
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