For an internationally active automobile supplier H+H Herrmann + Hieber developed (and successfully installed) a system with which coils of different materials, with different dimensions and weighing up to 3.5 tonnes can be economically handled and transported in the goods reception area.
The coils, which have diameters between 500 mm and 1,400 mm and individual weights of up to 3.5 tonnes, are stored upright on pallets. The occupancy of every load carrier is in this case clearly defined: according to diameter and weight, one distinguishes between loading patterns of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 coils. From the takeover of the individual coils off a truck, through the processes of putting into or recovering from storage, and up to handing over to the production line, all the transport and handling operations should take place automatically.
During transport by truck the coils rest in a horizontal position from which they can be taken up by a fork-lift or a crane. For storage they must first be turned upright. For that purpose two coil rotators have been installed. During storage the coils rest on the prisms of the coil rotator. To prevent the stacker vehicles from damaging the rear face of the coil rotator, the prisms can move forward and backward.
The device tilts though 90 degrees and sets the coils down upright on their flat faces. The upright coils are transported by a coil gripper that can move along two levels, to the lower end of which is attached a spreading mandrel. For this to be able to move into the sleeve, The upright coil is first checked visually, the exact coil position on the load carrier is registered by the control system in accordance with the loading pattern of the load carrier. The load carrier is called up either from the store or from a magazine, and prepared.
At the lower end of the spreading mandrel are arranged two fold-out supports. These can extend under the coil so that the wound layers cannot slip down. In the case of coils with a large diameter the folded-out supports can be extended farther so as to increase the supporting area.
The coil gripper transports the coil to the specified position and deposits it there. The load carriers to be returned to the store are taken by a roller track to the transfer position and automatically stowed. When the coil required in each case is called for by the production line the procedure described is repeated in the converse direction.