Wolf Systembau automates packaging of nailplates
VAP-WINTERSTEIGER provided missing piece for fully automated production process
Every year, Wolf Systembau turns 2,000 tons of steel into nailplates and exports them from Scharnstein, Upper Austria, to the whole of Europe. In summer 2021, the palletizing system – also a VAP-WINTERSTEIGER solution – was expanded to include fully automated nailplate packaging. This completed automation of the entire production process, from feeding the punch machine with raw material right through to the completely wrapped pallet.
The nailplates made from galvanized sheet steel or stainless steel are used to connect single roof trusses or truss structures. They reduce assembly time and thereby speed up construction processes.
Fully automated packaging system from VAP-WINTERSTEIGER.
In the new packaging system, a guided conveyor belt system transports the nailplates from the punch machine to the turnover station, where robots pair up the plates. Two packaging robots then stack the pairs of plates in cardboard boxes. Likewise, the supply of cardboard boxes, erection of collapsible boxes, and sealing complete with labeling are all fully automatic. For packaging bulk material, there is a separate transport route from the punch machine to the bulk material packaging station. The system visualization is integrated into the clearly arranged operating panel and the overall system can be controlled from a central operator's station.
What makes the automation solution unique is the high number of different article sizes that it transports; 29 different nailplates – six widths from 60 to 144 mm in as many as six different lengths – are packaged by the VAP-WINTERSTEIGER system. The cycle time for small nailplates is 1.5 seconds, making the packaging system a totally unique solution. Other challenges include the fact that the products are very light and the nail points face upward.
For CEO Thomas Stadler, packaging automation represents an important investment in the modernization of production: "It has always been difficult to find staff to do strenuous work. Stadler is very pleased with the cooperation with VAP-WINTERSTEIGER and its project management: "We had already worked with VAP-WINTERSTEIGER on the automation of the palletizing system and we were keen to collaborate with the company again. Some great solutions were found to initial problems. The team worked very hard and put every single one of our ideas into action."
The packaging system at a glance:
- Supply of empty boxes
- Fully automatic cardboard box erector with bottom sealer
- Conveyor units for the cardboard boxes
- Guided nailplate transport from the punch machine
- 1 turning robot for forming pairs, 2 packaging robots and magnet gripper
- 2 packaging tables
- Transport route and packaging for bulk material
- Cardboard box closing function
- Labeling station
Founded by Johann Wolf in Scharnstein in 1966, the company has grown into a Group with 25 subsidiaries across 19 countries. The subsidiaries across Europe are split between two parent companies, Wolf Systembau GmbH in Austria and Wolf System GmbH in Germany.
Wolf Systembau became one of Europe's leading tank construction companies with the construction of 5,000 reinforced steel circular tanks. Additional business fields include building and house construction. Wolf Haus manufactures prefabricated houses and offers walling made from particularly ecological construction materials – without polystyrene or plastic. The family-run Group, now in its third generation, employs around 3,000 people.
The turning robot creates pairs of plates and, in the background, the two packaging robots with magnet gripper
Palletizing robot (also VAP-WINTERSTEIGER)
Automatic folding and erection of cardboard boxes