Karvinský JÄKL is collaborating with VŠB-TUO on an innovative warehouse automation project

ArcelorMittal Tubular Products Karviná, a traditional Czech manufacturer of profiles under the JÄKL brand, is collaborating with the VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava (VŠB-TUO) on a project for more efficient storage and material handling in storage halls.

The subject of the project is the issue of locating marked bundles of longitudinally welded thin-walled steel profiles, tubes, and thin-walled open profiles in the storage areas of the Karviná plant. “Our intention is to use the existing functional system and supplement it with active elements for monitoring and connection with peripherals, including the MES system and crane control,” says René Fabik, CEO of ArcelorMittal Tubular Products Karviná, and adds: “The result of the collaboration should be faster shipping, time savings in loading preparation, and increased workplace safety.”

The main element of the proposed solution is detailed tracking of the 3D position of the crane hook or crane trolley during crane manipulation. The crane will be equipped with a load detection system, which will allow automatic confirmation of load relocation and reduce the risk of operator errors. “We are currently working with several variants of tied load detection. We are considering, for example, the implementation of an optical system using a laser scanner or the implementation of a weight sensor. Testing and optimization are planned for 2024, with a sharp start expected in 2025,” says René Fabik.

Experts from the Department of Automation Technology and Control at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at VŠB-TUO are involved in solving the problem as part of the REFRESH research project, which aims to support cooperation between students, scientists, top experts, companies, and public sector representatives. “The connection of academic and industrial partners contributes to the transformation of the Moravian-Silesian region into a smart and green region and is an important prerequisite for successful innovation development. A number of small and medium-sized companies as well as large industrial players have promised to participate in the project and here we see a specific example where cooperation has specific contours,” adds the main solver of the REFRESH project and vice-rector for strategy and cooperation at VŠB-TUO Igor Ivan.

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