Fully automated bar supply system

Thöni Industriebetriebe GmbH

For the extrusion plant of Thöni Industriebetriebe H+H Herrmann + Hieber developed and supplied a new type of fully automatic bar supply system. The innovative solution integrates this working step into the fully automatic work sequence of the plant.


The continuously-cast bars stored in the factory yard have to be taken up, stored intermediately and taken individually as necessary to the billet heating furnace. Since at Thöni the area concerned had to be redesigned, this gave the opportunity to look for a new and advantageous system. The objective: all the other working steps – transport into the workshop, storage ahead of the furnace, and recovery from the store and transfer to the furnace – had to take place fully automatically.

For reasons of space the bars now have to be brought in transversely to the working direction. The transfer station is installed outside the building. With a fork-lift, a complete bundle of four 10-inch billets is deposited on the (outside) massive steel slide-blocks of the support frame. When the strapping of the bundle has been removed and the bars can distribute themselves freely on the support, they roll down automatically into the recesses in the outer steel slide-blocks provided for the purpose.

A hoist, also provided with steel slide-blocks, lifts the bars and rolls them farther apart by gravity. In this position a mobile and rotating trolley can move under the raised billets. They are lowered onto it and are now ready, in a defined position and uniformly spaced, for the subsequent gripping process.

The mobile trolley with the exactly positioned billets moves through an opening into the building. The mobile trolley is equipped with a rotating device which turns the bars through 90° and lines them up in the working direction.

The store is designed as a stanchion store with a maximum capacity of 130 bars. In their rotated position the bars are deposited individually by a two-axis gripper/manipulator device in each case between two stanchions. As necessary, the gripper takes up a bar and transfers it onto the roller track leading into the furnace.