Coil transport to the foil processing area

Constantia Teich has extended its processing capacities and entrusted H+H Herrmann + Hieber with the automation of the foil transport system. As part of the new internal logistics the coil transport and coil handling are carried out fully automatically with the help of floor-level conveyors, an automatic crane (process crane) and driverless transport vehicles.


The Austrian company Constantia Flexibles has developed from a regional supplier in Europe to become a globally active group with a presence in the most attractive and fastest-growing markets for flexible packaging. Constantia Teich, located in Weinburg 60 km west of Vienna, employs around 800 people and is a leading company of the Constantia Flexibles group. For Constantia Teich aluminium is a particularly important packaging material.

When Constantia Teich recently extended its foil processing into a newly erected building, the coil transport was reorganised and automated. For this H+H Herrmann + Hieber, together with the customer, developed a tailor-made logistical solution.

The foil pre-material, which Constantia as a rule buys in from rolling plants in the form of large coils weighing up to 12 tonnes, passes through various finishing steps at the beginning of the process. During this, from one large coil four processing coils with individual weights up to three tonnes are produced, which – accommodated in racks that can take four coils at a time – are stored in a high-bay warehouse and from there are transported as necessary further processing.

In implementing that concept H+H was first confronted with the requirement that production should continue even during the reconstruction work, without being affected. To ensure this precautions were first taken, thanks to which on-going production could be maintained during the reconstruction, without restriction. In fact, production only had to be suspended for a single weekend.

After that, in the second stage the new coil manipulator, whose crane track with its integrated buffer store and the transfer means to the driverless transport system (DTS) were assembled in the new building. Since in that area not all the conveyor-technological objectives could be achieved satisfactorily using standard components, a number of special designs and specific measures were required:

  • To get from the warehouse to the new building a road through the plant has to be crossed. Since the sensitive foil surface had to be protected against weathering effects, a closed connecting bridge was installed for the transport equipment.
  • For coil transport a special coil conveyor system with protection means was developed. Thus, the coil manipulator can cross security zones in which work is in progress.
  • For the recovery of foil coils from or their deposition in the existing coil storage frames, unusually strict accuracy was demanded from the system. The required very precise centring of the storage frames at the transfer point is achieved by means of separate, stationary centring devices synchronized with the manipulator functions.
  • In view of the long transport path between the high-bay warehouse and the processing machines in the new building, foil coils have to be stored intermediately in advance, i.e. before they are actually needed. The system developed by H+H allows up to 16 coils to be deposited in an intermediate buffer store and transferred to the driverless transport system as necessary, “just in time”.
  • With its special gripper design, the manipulator can also transport special racks filled with transport tubes from the new building back into the rolling plant building. The jaw-type load-uptake system can be opened wide enough for the complete containers, filled with transport tubes, to be held.


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