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New intelligent stacking solution from IMA Schelling - Better plant utilisation through smart stacking


The IMA Schelling Group has developed new software that plans the depositing of machined panels in stable stacks at runtime. This not only increases safety at the workplace, it also enables high line utilisation.

Even with a large variance in formats, stable stacks can be formed with the intelligent stacking solution from IMA Schelling. Image: IMA Schelling Group

Layer by layer, the intelligent stacking solution from IMA Schelling plans the stacking of the panels. Image: IMA Schelling Group

The intelligent stacking solution from IMA Schelling calculates the stacking in advance for the entire order. Image: IMA Schelling Group

For efficient production in the woodworking industry, the best possible utilisation of plant capacity is a decisive prerequisite. For this, however, it must also be ensured that the boards can be stacked quickly after processing.

To achieve this, IMA Schelling has now introduced a new software module that plans this stacking in advance. In the intelligent stacking solution, the algorithm calculates in advance for a cutting plan or order how the workpieces can be stacked to form a unit, and a physics engine, familiar from computer games or simulation programs, checks the stability of the stacks. They should be as high as possible, stable and with a high component density.

Numerous advantages

The intelligent stacking solution not only improves system utilisation by reducing stack change times, it also increases the findability of individual workpieces and creates consistency in the data throughout the entire machining process. It enables the customer-specific compilation of commissions and reduces the space required in the factory hall. "We hear again and again from our customers how decisive the efficient use of hall space is," emphasises Stefan Rische, Head of Software Development and Systems Control at IMA Schelling.

Calculation during runtime

What also distinguishes IMA Schelling's stack algorithm from many other similar solutions: It not only calculates in advance, but also during the term. This offers decisive advantages for the customer. If, for example, a plate is accidentally damaged during processing and has to be ejected, the algorithm regenerates the stack during the current processing cycle.

Suitable for batch size 1 production

Stack formation is comparatively simple for series stacks, but it becomes more challenging for smaller batches with changing workpiece sizes. "Our intelligent stacking solution enables customers to form stable stacks even for batch size 1 production, which can then also be safely transported on to the next processing station or for storage," explains Rische. In the case of a very large variance in part sizes, it may be advisable to use filler parts. The software also calculates these.

The intelligent stacking solution can be positioned downstream of a cutting or edging system or after a sorting system in order to combine commissions. It controls handling devices such as robots or gantries.

IMA Schelling has extensively tested the intelligent stacking solution and has already used it in initial pilot applications. Customers can now add the module to the proven IPC.NET machine control system.