Speedy production buffer for 3,000 tons of steel wire coils

Vollert has erected for Saarstahl Neunkirchen a fully automatic high-bay warehouse for up to 665 steel wire coils. The time is 190s per double cycle. The coils weighing up to 4.5 tons are transferred directly from the stacker crane to the lift truck and on to the truck loading.


© Vollert


© Vollert

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Saarstahl AG produces wire rod in Neunkirchen in various material versions, including full-hard, thermomechanically rolled, annealed and tempered. In order to keep the different types of wire, qualities and lengths available for on-call delivery, Vollert’s heavy-duty experts from Weinsberg set up a fully automated high-bay warehouse between the production line and shipping. This replaces the existing open space warehouse and offers a length of 58m and a height of 28m on 12 levels, space for 665 wire coils with a total weight of about 3,000t. Depending on the length and type, the bundles vary in diameter up to a maximum of 1.5m.

In addition to consulting, planning and construction, Vollert’s team also took care of the entire implementation, from steel construction to control and warehouse management. At the end of the production line the different bundles of wire are transported to a pallet truck by forklift, and from there, fully automated to the high-bay warehouse. A single-acting stacker crane with telescopic forks takes over the wire coils and stores them, whereby the low dimensional stability and the different diameters are a challenge. Therefore, before storage the coils are automatically measured and gently lifted up by the stacker crane. When required the material will later be made ready for dispatch by the high-bay warehouse. Despite the heavy weight of up to 4.5t per wire bundle, the stacker crane achieves times of only 190s for a storage and retrieval double cycle.

Safe storage retrieval in 190 seconds

The transfer takes place directly from the stacker crane on a common transfer point to the manual forklift for loading onto the truck. “This interface between automatic and manual transport is challenging since inaccuracies in the manual approach must be taken into account,” explains Lars Strobel, project manager of Vollert, “but we have solved the problem by combining mechanical barriers with optical sensors and signal transmitters.” As a result, the new high-bay warehouse is a significantly faster, weather-resistant and space-saving overall solution compared to the open space warehouse. Thanks to the very good preparation by Saarstahl and optimal coordination, the plant could go into operation after only ten months of project time.

The Neunkirchen plant, with around 900 employees, is one of the most traditional steel locations – with roots dating back to 1593. Today, it is one of the world’s leading producers of long products and Saarstahl AG continues to invest in quality leadership. In 2016, Walzdrahtstraße 32 in Neunkirchen was completely modernised for around 30 mio. Euros. It has an annual capacity of 600,000t of fully continuous rolled wire of highest precision from 7mm to 27mm.

As specialists for heavy loads and large parts, Vollert Anlagenbau develops turnkey intralogistic concepts for the aluminium and metal industry. As a general contractor and full-service provider, the service range encompasses state-of-the-art material flow, storage and packaging technology as a stand-alone solution or integrated into a larger logistics environment. Vollert’s plant and machine solutions are used in more than 80 countries worldwide. Its subsidiaries in Asia and South America also strengthen the sales activities. Vollert employs 250 people at its company headquarters.

Saarstahl AG

 Werk Neunkirchen

 Zum Eisenwerk 1

 66538 Neunkirchen

 Tel.: +49 6821 168415



Vollert Anlagenbau GmbH

 Stadtseestraße 12

 74189 Weinsberg

 Ansprechpartner ist Lars Strobel

 Tel.: +49 7134 52228



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