A robotic handling system aimed at manufacturers and stockholders producing batches of sawn bar, tube or profile in large quantities has been introduced by KASTO. The idea behind the system is too automate the sorting of material that has been cut to length.

“While it is possible for bandsaws to be served by such a system, high productivity circular saws, such as the KASTOvariospeed C15, are more likely to be integrated,” claims the company.

Stock is supplied via driven roller conveyors from tower stores or from buffer magazines, which are manufactured in Germany. To avoid ‘process idle times’ material is continually fed to the cutting area.

According to KASTO, this level of efficiency needs to be matched by similarly effective management of trim cuts, cut pieces and remnants on the output side, otherwise bottlenecks occur and productivity cannot be maintained. With this in mind, a modular system called KASTOsort has been introduced to pick up cut pieces from the saw table and present the material to any user-specified combination of stations for deburring, facing and centring, cleaning and marking.

The KASTO saw/KASTOsort combination works autonomously, claims KASTO. “Only when raw material needs to be replenished at the input side, or filled containers of cut pieces have to be removed, is operator intervention necessary,” the company explained.

The KASTOsort system consists of an industrial robot with an automatic gripper changing system, a pallet rotating system, and the control software. The robot selects its own mechanically actuated or vacuum gripper from a magazine, according to the program, to suit shaft-type material or flat cut pieces.

The robot allows the system to handle cut pieces in diameters ranging from 25mm to 150 mm and in lengths of up to two metres. The saw control calculates the time per cut so that the robot knows when the cut piece requires removal.

Intelligent sorting, processing and palletising via KASTOsort is claimed to be just as cost effective with relatively small batches as with series production quantities, because there is no need for operator attendance when a new order is instigated. A single robot can service more than one sawing machine, leading to greater efficiency and a faster return on investment, KASTO claims.