10. May 2021
Everyone knows the practical vending machines that can be found at train stations, for example, and from which you can easily draw drinks or sweets. The same principle can be applied in the professional sector. The company KROMI Logistik AG in Hamburg is a pioneer in optimizing tool availability. KROMI consistently sets new trends and stands for Industry 4.0. Using IT-networked tool management and controlling systems, the company enables efficient digitalization of the tool management for optimum processes.
Typical for häwa: Our cabinets are not an off-the-shelf product
One of the top products is the fully automated tool cabinet, which is used all over the world by companies in a variety of fields to provide 24/7 tool availability. In practice, the technical employee simply has to walk to the cabinet, uses an RFID chip via a touch display to request items such as drills, countersinks, milling cutters, reamers or indexable inserts, and immediately receives the required tool. Various processes such as statistics data collection and transmission, consumption control, reordering and filling of the vending machines are carried out in parallel. KROMI has been working with häwa GmbH since 1998. The key of success is also a continuous improvement and optimization of the cabinets, which häwa plays a leading role in. The cooperation with KROMI is typical for häwa. The leading control cabinet and enclosure specialist is renowned worldwide for its customized solutions. And also in this case, KROM did not require an off-the-shelf cabinet. After KROMI had contacted the specialist in Wain, providing rough ideas about appearance and functionality, häwa started with developing a concept and design. All wishes and requirements were mapped out by the sales department followed by a detailed CAD design with the help of häwa’s mechanical engineers. Thus, possible problems could be identified at an early stage and alternative solutions were discussed with the customer.
häwa applied long-term know-how in customized machine construction
häwa's specialists used their long-term know-how in customized machine construction for the following steps. First, they purchased the required parts and materials and programmed machines for cutting and bending. The metal sheets were processed in a state-of-the-art, fully automated bending center, then the individual parts were welded together and painted in the required color. The customer's logo was lasered into the sheet metal, and threaded bolts were fitted to attach the translucent, colored Makrolon window, which is illuminated with four sequentially controlled LED segments. After final assembly and inspection, the finished cabinet is either shipped directly to the customer or, if desired, temporarily warehoused at häwa to allow just-in-time production. The materials used for the construction were chosen to minimize the environmental impact and the costs. Furthermore, for the output flap a scratch-resistant, transparent plastic was used to ensure a permanent view of the ordered tools.
Solutions for requirements imposed on series production
One of the difficulties to be solved was to ensure a noiseless and undamaged cushioning of the tools when falling into the output flap. For this purpose, we used a special soft foam with knobs. Furthermore, we fitted the individual shelves with telescopic rails to allow for easy filling of the cabinet. The operator simply pulls out one of the shelves and can then easily fill the cabinet. Additional filter fans provide optimum ventilation.
For easy mounting of the fans, we equipped the cabinet, with a pre-lasered cut-out with small bars that can be easily removed if required. Once the cutout is completely removed, it is possible to mount a häwa FixCool filter fan. Another special feature of the cabinet is a compartment for the return of tools to be sharpened or repaired which can be reused after maintenance or repair.
About 700 KROMI cabinets made by häwa are in use worldwide. Andreas Klinke, Head of KROMI Tool Center: "The success of our products is based on the excellent cooperation with häwa. Together, we have continuously refined the automatic tooling machine for many years and made it what it is today."