Patras – the modular materials logistics system from Koenig & Bauer – is one of the world’s most comprehensive pressroom workflow systems, whether for offset, flexographic or digital printing, or for the processing of corrugated board. “Koenig & Bauer has a suitable logistics system for every customer’s needs – and that has been the case for more than 40 years,” said the OEM. The Patras materials logistics system for a wide variety of reel sizes or pallets is in use at over 2,000 locations worldwide. It features end-to-end workflow automation and reel handling by automated guided vehicles. Substrate reels with a diameter up to 1,800 mm, in widths up to 2,800 mm and with a maximum reel weight of 6 tons are transported reliably and fully automatically. The modular concept permits flexible adaptation to specific production conditions and layout requirements.
Koenig & Bauer executive board member Christoph Müller added: “Our logistics solution enables considerable cost, time and waste savings. The particular press model chosen by the customer is not important. We have both manual and fully automated solutions in our product portfolio.” For almost 2,000 newspaper and commercial printers, materials logistics systems from Koenig & Bauer are permanent features of their press installations. At the same time, Koenig & Bauer systems are also being used ever more frequently in the packaging sector. This is a market segment characterized by high substrate variability and very specific production requirements. In this case too, Koenig & Bauer is able to offer variable and tailored solutions for a broad spectrum of packaging printers – whether for its CI flexo presses, the high-performance RotaJET digital web press, the CorruCUT or the HP PageWide T1190 and T1195 presses.
The integrated materials logistics solutions from Koenig & Bauer provide for full automation of the entire materials flow, from automatic unloading of the delivery vehicles to demand-driven preparation and staging at the reelstand, and through to reelstand loading, removal of the reel stubs and subsequent disposal. The operating personnel are able to concentrate on monitoring the process. Another benefit is the automated linking of individual production stations using defined interfaces. Everything is networked by way of a sophisticated materials management system.
Reel handling by automated guided vehicles (AGVs)
The use of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for reel handling at the unwinder and re-winder is an ideal solution for highly automated printing presses. Once the substrate reels have been unloaded from the delivery vehicle, the automated systems take care of targeted transport to the reel store. The materials management system is used for fully automatic control of the reel-clamp AGVs and ensures that the reels are brought to the correct store location. It’s also the materials management system that later commands retrieval from the store and delivery to the reel preparation zone. A tipping station tilts the reels into a horizontal position for loading onto the Patras trolley. The next stop is the stripping station. There, the operator removes the wrapping and prepares the reel for splicing to the press web, conveniently and with a minimum of waste. The stripped and splice-ready reel is loaded onto a trolley and a forklift AGV transports it automatically to a defined storage position or – if production requirements dictate – directly to the reelstand, where it’s automatically positioned and loaded onto the chucks. In a similar manner, partially used reels are automatically released from the chucks and transported back to the daily store by the forklift AGVs.