Aluminium Laufen with a new press and automated internal logistics system

automated material transport system

August 2014. The extrusion plant of Aluminium Laufen AG relies upon an automated material transport system. With the commissioning of a new 35 MN press line the internal logistics throughout the extrusion plant had to be adapted to the new situation. This important part of the investment project, for which H+H Herrmann + Hieber took responsibility, has now begun operating.

The new extrusion line has been integrated into the plant in such manner that even after the extension, the section production by all four presses moves fully automatically through the plant, all the way to the packing stations or the further processing stations. The three packing stations – which demand the most manpower anywhere in the plant – are designed so that packing performance by any worker is limited to a maximum.

At the new 35 MN press a newly developed combi-stacking machine was installed, which can stack sections in racks or round material in hexagonal bundles in any desired sequence. This is done by a mobile stacking gantry which combines section and round bar stacking in a single unit. This arrangement enables simple and time-saving conversion from one stack type to the other.

Farther along the production sequence the load carriers are transported to various destinations: to an intermediate store, to one of the furnace units, for further processing or, as so-termed ‘soft goods’, directly to the packing station. For H+H the logistical challenge was to plan all the goods flows in detail and implement them with the help of computer-controlled transport equipment. That was achieved by way of a complex long-goods conveyor system with a number of automatic cranes (process cranes), roller and chain conveyors, lifting platforms, vertical conveyors and section stacking machines.