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Higher performance and energy saving in storage and retrieval system

Higher performance and energy saving in storage and retrieval system
German based viastore systems are a global mechanical handling specialist in automated storage and retrieval systems (SRU's). Big brand customers include IKEA, Lufthansa and Continental. Development of their new viaspeed mini-load system was a project with the objectives of achieving higher product throughput and availability, less storage space and particularly lower energy usage. Drive technology from Lenze played a central role in reaching the performance targets and viastore began a partnership with Lenze at the start of the project. The resulting viaspeed design for high bay storage of boxes, containers and trays has met targets for speed and energy saving.

The viaspeed project team set about the creation of a new design. A significant step was the use wherever possible of composites instead of steel so reducing the weight and inertia. This enabled the use of smaller drives and an increase in dynamic performance. The result was improved acceleration to 3 m/s_ and travel speeds with a 2x50 kg load up to 3m/s vertically and 6 m/s horizontally. Customers see the benefits of improved productivity and lower energy use resulting from the reduced mass and inertia. 

Core elements of the Lenze drive technology are servo geared motors and intelligent servo drives. Synchronous servo motors that are dynamic and also meet the IE3 efficiency class are combined with helical bevel gearboxes that are also energy saving with efficiency around 96%. The series 9400 servo drives feature an integrated PLC that gives decentralised local control of the motion tasks. The drive profiles for each move are calculated individually by the 9400. As the intelligence is in a plug-in module, drives can readily be replaced in the field by simply swopping the module from the old drive to the new. Furthermore only a single basic variant of drive needs to be held in stock as plugging in the memory module turns it into an axis-specific version.

The drive technology adds a further layer of benefits to viastore customers. Travel profiles are adjusted by the drives, for example lifting movements are delayed during long horizontal movements to help with stability and allow greater speeds. Where simultaneous starts on storage/retrieval units are requested, automatic offsets are applied to limit warehouse peak currents. Another energy saving feature is automatic switch-off of the drives when they are not needed. Data researched by viastore indicates that typical installations have their SRU's inactive and in standby mode for as much as 53% of a working week. Confidence in a fast and synchronised restart allows viastore to de-energise the drives when inactive, a cost cutting feature known as intelligent on/off.

With highly dynamic responsiveness for travelling and lifting as well as modern energy-efficient technology, viaspeed has set new standards for lightweight storage and retrieval units in the international market.

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