KASTO: Green Process Chains

Above: With the KASTOweld mobile cassette production system, KASTO manufactures large load carriers on site using robots, ensuring high and certified quality. 

Sustainability involves achieving a balance between environmental, social, and economic development, meeting society's needs without compromising opportunities for future generations. KASTO utilises technology to conserve resources, which, through sustainable production, reduces and eliminates negative environmental impacts. The specialist in sawing, storage, and material handling also promotes a green process chain on the product front. 

For example, the recertification of the energy management system as per ISO 50001 was on the agenda to ensure efficient energy use within the company. "Over the past few years, we have made a seven-figure investment in efficient technology, heat recovery and solvent-free painting processes" explains Sönke Krebber, executive board member at KASTO. "Our successful recertification confirms that this was the correct course of action." 

Two of the components were the replacement of the oil heating with efficient infrared heaters and the conversion of the light sources to LED. KASTO also replaced heat pumps and compressors with more energy-efficient models. In intralogistics, the outdated chargers for industrial trucks needed to be replaced with advanced, high-efficiency units. KASTO also converted its telecommunications system and computer centre to an eco-friendly operating system. The company now utilises the residual heat from its compressors to warm the communal rooms. Between 2016 and 2022, these measures resulted in a total savings of 2.3 million kilowatt hours of energy. This equates to a reduction of 22 per cent. KASTO has also consistently lowered its CO emissions over the last ten years by minimising business trips in favour of virtual meetings.

Eco-friendly processes

KASTO not only aims to improve efficiency but also prioritises the implementation of environmentally friendly processes. One example is the transition of the paint spraying system from using liquid paint to powder coating. This new process allows the specialist for sawing and storage to eliminate the use of solvents completely. 

Resource conservation is further achieved through the use of digital twins. Virtual commissioning (VIBN) is implemented, enabling the company to simulate machines and systems before they go into real-life operation. The basis for this is the 3D design data, which also includes actuators and sensors. This technology allows potential issues to be resolved early, resulting in seamless implementation without requiring time-consuming rework at the customer's premises. Another benefit: users can provide training to their operators on the new machine before it is commissioned. Not only does this save energy, it also saves valuable time.

Reparability and retrofitting

Another important factor in achieving greater sustainability is the long service life of the machines. When users utilise saws, storage systems, and handling technologies over an extended period of time, it conserves resources for production and disposal. A reduction in material and energy consumption reduces environmental impact, CO2 emissions, and waste volumes. In its in-house repair centre, KASTO also refurbishes saws that have been in use for over 20 years, making them fit for the future. An impressive example is the continued operation of one of the oldest bandsaws from the 1980s. It ran every working day for over 40 years at a metal distributor. The experts updated the bearings by retrofitting the saw directly at the customer's premises. Following such repairs, the machines are returned to a state-of-the-art condition and will continue to function for the next ten to 20 years.

KASTO also offers an eco-friendly solution for new installations of UNICOMPACT automatic bar storage systems. With the KASTOweld mobile cassette production system, the company manufactures large load carriers on site using robots, ensuring high and certified quality. This eliminates the need for many truck transports that would otherwise be necessary due to the overhanging cassettes Generally, the production system is ready for operation within two weeks. It welds the cassettes from the raw material provided and applies anti-corrosion oil. "We were thrilled when KASTO presented this solution to us. It saved us considerable freight costs and reduced our environmental impact by around 23 tonnes of CO2. In addition, we no longer needed to handle the storage of the cassettes ourselves and were able to use the storage system within a short amount of time," reports Felix Kern, executive assistant at VBE. As a partner for steel trading in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area, Vereinigte Baustoff- und Eisen-GmbH (VBE) offers an extensive range of bar stock and sheet metal, sectional steel, pipes, structural elements and concrete reinforcing bars.

Energy reduction and recovery 

KASTOenergysave is another tool offered by KASTO to assist users in their journey towards sustainability. This system enables users to achieve up to 40% energy savings and reduce the connected load of operating gantry cranes (OGCs) by up to 50% without compromising performance. The system converts surplus kinetic energy into electricity and then stores it. The drives in the storage system can then be supplied efficiently whenever energy is required. Companies can lower their operating and investment costs while reducing their CO2 emissions.

Metalworkers can also attain environmentally friendly results by using KASTOoptisaw. The optimised straight and mitre cuts ensure efficient use of bar stock, reducing waste and the amount of material that needs to be moved. The optimisation tool is fully integrated into the Warehouse Management System (WMS) KASTOlogic. 

KASTOlogic enables fully automated storage, sawing and material handling. The focus is not only on ensuring process reliability and speed but also on low energy consumption. Algorithms calculate the energy requirement and decrease it by regulating the storage system components based on demand. For instance, the software optimises the paths of the operating gantry crane (OGC) and the route strategy. 

The sawing technology from KASTO is optimized for energy performance, with drives meeting energy efficiency class IE3 standards. Motor speed is controlled by frequency regulators, enabling variable speed adaptation to different applications and resulting in savings.

Advantages over the competition through cost savings

With its sustainable solutions, focusing on energy recovery, reparability, and resource efficiency, KASTO demonstrates how both ecological and economic benefits can be achieved. Efficient systems enable users to lower their operating costs and reduce their CO2 footprint. The optimum use of raw materials minimises waste while reducing the environmental impact. KASTO is also a pioneer in its own company by constantly reviewing its processes and actively promoting greater sustainability.

KASTOenergysave converts surplus kinetic energy from operating gantry cranes into electricity and then stores it.

 KASTO creates a digital twin based on the 3D design data, which can be used to virtually commission new systems.