“Orange your future” was the motto of the KASTO FutureDays18. The traditional exhibition of the Achern-based sawing and storage technology specialist was opened on Wednesday, 13 June 2018, by the CEO Armin Stolzer. Under his direction KASTO has grown to become the global market leader for metal sawing machines, semi-automatic and fully automatic storage systems, as well as automated handling equipment for metal bar stock, sheet metal and parts cut to size. This success is based on some 170 patents and is impressively underlined by more than 140,000 sawing machines shipped and more than 1,900 automatic storage systems installed worldwide.
In his opening speech Armin Stolzer drew a promising picture of the company’s future. Last year, its sales rose to more than 112 million euros, and a further increase is expected for 2018. The order books are well filled, and KASTO is continuing to expand. Only a few weeks ago, the company opened a subsidiary in Taicang, China.
In regard to storage systems, a highlight was the new distribution centre for Kicherer, one of the most important mid-sized steel merchants in Germany. The facility, which holds more than 10,000 cassettes, delivers unprecedented performance, with fast order picking and radically shortened truck loading times. As for sawing systems, the roughly 600 industry professionals at the event got to see six new products, as well as enhancements of the micut, miwin and tec series.
Innovations in sawing
The KASTOmicut range of swing-frame bandsaws has been extended by three advanced machines, two of which have a larger cutting range. The KASTOmicut E 4.6 is specially designed for single-sided mitre angles up to 60 degrees. It can saw round stock up to 335 mm diameter and flat stock with dimensions up to 460 x 335 mm. With the KASTOmicut U 4.6, users can even process flat stock up to 520 mm wide, and mitre cuts from -45 to +60 degrees are possible. In this system the material is clamped by means of a horizontal hydraulic vice. This simplifies handling and increases the output in the case of small batches. For users who mainly saw smaller workpieces, KASTO has extended the range with the addition of the compact KASTOmicut P 1.8. The machine has a cutting range of up to 180 mm and is likewise suitable for straight and mitre cuts from 0 to +45 degrees.
Another new member of the KASTO product range is the KASTOmiwin series. These are double mitre bandsaws for cut-to-length and mitre cuts between -45 and +60 degrees. Available as the semiautomatic KASTOmiwin U 4.6 and the automatic A 4.6 version, they are designed particularly for cut-to-size pieces in the steel industry, the iron and steel trade, plant construction and special machine building.
KASTO has also revamped its tec automatic bandsaws. The designers focused on optimum use of carbide saw blades. Improvements were also made in the saw feed and the main drive. Thanks to KASTOrespond, the new tec versions also detect the forces on the tool and adjust the feed accordingly.
A new service innovation also drew the attention of industry visitors. VisualAssistance, an innovative remote maintenance solution, considerably speeds up troubleshooting and maintenance work via tablet, smartphone or smart glasses. Users can connect by video and audio stream to KASTO’s service experts, who can see the machine in real time and provide visual assistance in the app – for example through markings superimposed on the live video.
Another focus of interest was the mobile version of the KASTOlogic warehouse management system. KASTOmobile covers all the steps in the material flow, from storage and picking to dispatch, and is available now. Storage, retrieval and inventories are distinctively managed via a QR code that users can easily read with handheld devices.
Other activities at the event included interesting talks on Industry 4.0 and security automation in integrated industrial plants. Visitors also had a chance to learn about development cooperation between KASTO and Premium Aerotec, a supplier of aircraft structures. In addition, there were numerous tours of the plant.