News

10.08.21 - After 47 years, the first STOPA storage system has gone into retirement. STOPA says goodbye to a piece of history.

The STOPA shelving system for long-span goods No. 1, the first such system ever built by the company, has finished its working life. Built by STOPA founder Paul Stolzer in 1974, it was a milestone in STOPA history and laid the groundwork for STOPA as we know it today. Finally, after 47 years, the system has gone into retirement.

Forty seven years is an impressive lifetime for a system of this kind. When it came out, it was a prime example of the durability and quality of STOPA storage systems, and it is still admired for these attributes today. With its capacity of 2,000 kg, the system set high standards – standards which Paul Stolzer and STOPA were repeatedly able to exceed in later years.

However, there comes a time when an old system must surrender its place to a new one. The new and more modern LG-E shelving system has replaced its predecessor, setting the company’s course for the future.

Our original shelving system for long-span goods is not only unforgettable as our first such system, it is also an important part of our history. We associate it with many precious memories of STOPA’s early years and of our founder, Paul Stolzer.

We therefore mark this occasion with mixed feelings: sad to say goodbye, but also happy to look forward from such strong beginnings.

10.08.21 - Baden-Württemberg state parliament approves applications for subsidies: STOPA says thank-you!

The announcement came on 26 July: In a special session, the economic affairs committee of Baden-Württemberg’s state parliament approved applications for financial subsidies from 14 companies and two research institutes in the state. Five of the subsidies went to individual companies, and two were for joint projects.

The funding, 9.876 million euros, is supplied by Invest BW, a support programme for investment and innovation that was launched by the state government on 15 January 2021. The purpose of the programme is to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic by providing fast, unbureaucratic support to companies for investment in future technologies.

STOPA Anlagenbau GmbH will receive a subsidy as part of the joint project “X-Forge: Smart Factory as a Service”. The project will invest in the development of flexible outsourced production for enabling other manufacturers to combine their individual production steps in a modular fashion.

The pandemic has had a considerable impact on the economy. On 16 April 2021, the applications for support that had been submitted to the economic affairs committee totalled 159 million euros – all the more reason to say thank-you for this help.

05.07.21 - A VERY SPECIAL DONATION

The St. Anna nursery school in Kappelrodeck has been gifted two sandbox diggers – an act of generosity that doesn’t happen every day. The kind donation was met with many loud hoorays and cries of “thank you” from the nursery school children. According to two young enthusiasts, the new diggers are “really cool” and “amazing”. The diggers were donated last Thursday by STOPA Anlagenbau GmbH in Achern-Gamshurst.

According to the St. Anna nursery school’s website, smiles and laughter are the gateway to many good things in a person’s life. And indeed, the three STOPA employees who handed over the donation were welcomed with a great deal of smiles, laughter and joy. Even Edgar Börsig, STOPA’s Managing Director, and Stephan Hess, Training Manager and Personnel Developer, were blown away by the sheer amount of joy with which they were met at the nursery school. Above all, the apprentice construction mechanic behind the whole project, Leonard Jöst (currently in the second year of his apprenticeship), was particularly taken aback when, in the spur of the moment, nursery school director Agnes Hodapp called attention to him, announcing: “It is all thanks to this talented young man that our nursery school now has these two diggers, so what do we say?” She was met with several thunderous choruses of “thank you” from the children. Agnes Hodapp also personally thanked STOPA on behalf of the nursery school. The donation was particularly appropriate as St. Anna is certified by the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” (House of Little Researchers) foundation (a certification which must be renewed every two years). Thanks to the donation, the 89 nursery school children who attend St. Anna can learn about how the two sandbox diggers work through play. Stephan Hess explained that Leonard Jöst took two weeks (approximately 80 hours) to design and build one sandbox digger. The thank you certificate issued by the nursery school now hangs in pride of place at STOPA’s training academy. As many other nursery schools in the region are already hoping for similar donations, Managing Director Edgar Börsig was happy to report that their sandbox diggers will now be going into “mass production”. Frank Hogenmüller, Managing Director of St. Anna, was delighted with the donation, which is very much in line with the nursery school’s technical focus: “It is very appropriate and a wonderful gesture, thank you very much”. He also had a turn on one of the diggers, much to the amusement of the children.

The mayor of Kappelrodeck, Stefan Hattenbach. Nursery schools play a significant role in the development of our children. As they are the future, investing in our children at this stage is also key to promoting a successful, innovative local economy. As a partner of the “Haus der kleinen Forscher”, St. Anna is a nursery school which has a particular focus on science and technology. That’s why we’re particularly thrilled about this donation. Designed and constructed as part of a training project, STOPA’s high-quality diggers are a great addition to the nursery school and represent another way in which St. Anna can strengthen its technical focus. Mayor Stefan Hattenbach added that the diggers are a great way for the children not only to learn through play but also to generate interest in how things work. After the handover ceremony, the children were able to start putting the new acquisitions through their paces, and naturally there were a few struggles: “But tomorrow it’s my turn.”

Photo: R. Brunner

08.03.21 - An investment with many benefits

Pfanzelt, a manufacturer of forestry machines, has invested in a STOPA COMPACT system for storing sheet metal stacks as well as a variety of other materials in mesh boxes, on Euro pallets and in bulk. The advantages are clear organisation plus fast storage and retrieval.

According to Pfanzelt, the main advantage of the STOPA COMPACT storage system is its clear organisation, which puts an end to arduous searching. In order to see whether a particular item has to be reordered, employees only have to check the inventory by entering the article number. Another important advantage for the company is that it can store the many different parts it needs for production.

 

Here you can read the full report

09.02.21 - STOPA LG-E shelving system for long-span goods: designed with the future in mind

Lehnhoff Hartstahl, a supplier of hydraulic excavators and related equipment, has invested in an LG-E shelving system for long-span goods developed by STOPA. The benefits include efficient use of space, greater productivity and faster access to material.

Other advantages include reduced damage to material and simple handling. The system functions as a link between the material supply and the metalworking machinery. Supported by software, it enables rapid storage and stocktaking.

Cassettes are a more efficient solution than horizontal storage because they provide quicker access to the material and make it easier to keep track of inventories thanks to integrated material management. The storage system is also flexible when it comes to configuring the storage and retrieval stations.

Spengler sums up his assessment: “We’re highly satisfied with the solution we’ve chosen, which was based on a longstanding relationship with a partner in our vicinity. Our first order from STOPA was for a sheet metal storage system, and now we’ve invested in our first shelving system for long-span goods. We estimate that it will pay for itself in two years.”

Here you can read the full report

11.05.20 - Thank you for doing your part

Dear STOPA friends, at STOPA we’ve been working in coronavirus mode since mid-March. This has required flexibility and a willingness to compromise on everyone’s part.

Almost all of our office employees have been working from home. It has even been possible to do complicated CAD editing remotely.

In order to comply with the rules for physical distancing in production, we have been operating in several shifts. Customer service continues to be available.

To all those who have been working for the company under these difficult conditions and have “kept the ball rolling”, we say THANK YOU. This has enabled us to keep our customers supplied and stay in touch with them.

We’re enormously proud of how everyone has given their best and pulled together. Thank you for your great commitment during this difficult time.

May you and your families stay healthy. We’ll stick together!

 

The Management

10.05.20 - Fit for the future with in-house painting booths

Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cleaning and painting of storage systems

For the wet painting of storage systems, a plant engineering company has designed and installed a cleaning and painting plant that includes an overhead conveyor system optimised for ergonomics, efficiency and environmentally friendly consumables. 

The Stopa company from Achern was founded in 1963 and now has 230 employees who generate a turnover of around €70 million with the production of car park systems, machine components and storage systems. These storage systems are used, for example, to supply material from Trumpf's laser, punching and sheet metal processing centres. In-house surface treatment of the products has proven to be a good solution for Stopa because it makes the company independent and able to react fast to various requirements. Quality and reliability are also the company’s responsibility, and this is why it decided to invest in a new pretreatment and painting plant. During the planning phase, the decision-makers also examined the possibility of switching to powder coating of the workpieces. However, the practical advantages of wet painting outweighed the disadvantages involved in the coating of heavy workpieces and pre-assembled components. 

Wet painting – the first choice 

Using high-solid and water-dilutable 2K paint systems significantly reduces the burden on the environment and meets the company's quality standards – and it is still possible to paint finished assemblies and systems in the factory or to rework them at the customer's site after assembly if required. 

A works hall was available that offered 50% more space than the total area of the previous paint plant – and that was ideal for setting up the new pretreatment and painting plant at Stopa. Nevertheless, it was still a demanding task to accommodate the equipment in the hall, because the almost square floor plan and the positions of the hall gates necessitated custom arrangement of the plant components and the conveyor system. The complete installation and equipment package proposed by Noppel quickly met with the approval of the management and technicians of Stopa Anlagenbau GmbH. One key point was the optimal arrangement of the plant components around the centrally integrated conveyor system. 

In the loading and unloading area of the new plant, the workers first load the suspension trolleys, then transport the workpieces to the individual stations. Next the workpieces are cleaned in the preparation booth and made ready for painting. Painting then takes place in one of the two painting booths, after which the paint is dried in one of the two paint dryers. The painted workpieces are finally returned to the loading and unloading area by means of the suspended trolleys, unloaded and then transported for further processing, assembly or material storage. 

Cleaning, rinsing, misting 

The new Noppel plant is equipped with two cleaning systems. The workpieces are up to 7,500 mm long and 800 mm wide, and the majority can be automatically cleaned and rinsed in a cleaning chamber. Stopa cleans larger workpieces manually in an appropriately dimensioned booth. The process, whether automatic or manual, consists of the actual cleaning, the rinsing step and rinsing/misting with de-ionised water. The entire process within the cleaning and pretreatment systems is adapted to the Divinol Cleaner 1389 BH from Zeller & Gmelin. 

The two cleaning systems and the long-span workpiece multi-booth are supplied with cleaning and rinsing media from the same tanks. This makes the supply system much less complicated, and the same quality is guaranteed for all the cleaning systems. Wastewater from the cleaning process is collected in a wastewater tank and treated with a KMU vacuum distillation system, which enables up to 95% of the wastewater to be recovered as rinsing water. The concentrate to be disposed of amounts to only 5 to 10 percent of the volume that Stopa had to dispose of in the previous plant. 

Water losses caused by carry-over, evaporation and new bath preparation are replaced with de-ionised water from a softening and reverse osmosis plant. 

Two identical painting booths are provided for wet painting, which is done manually. The air supplied to the paint booths is double-filtered and led vertically down through the ceiling area. Stopa also uses a multi-stage filter system to extract overspray. 

Saving 60% of heating energy 

The two ventilation units of the paint booths are equipped with supply and exhaust air filter units, plus a highly efficient heat recovery system that uses a rotary heat exchanger. The rotating heat wheels recover heat and humidity from the booth's exhaust air. Installed gas surface burners only reheat the air preheated in this way. Up to 60% of the heating energy that would otherwise be necessary can be saved by this procedure, and this also avoids the corresponding CO2 emissions. 

The workplaces in the painting booths also have individual stations that lift & lower the workpieces into the optimal painting position. 

The low-solvent 2K high-solid or water-dilutable paints from Mankiewicz and the new 2K mixing and application technology from Oltrogge help to reduce the consumption of paint and solvents in line with the company's solvents reduction plan, making the drawing up of documents for the necessary official notification of the painting plant a mere formality for the Noppel employees. Thanks to the paints used and the modern plant technology, the company’s solvents statistics are well below the technical requirements of the Solvents Ordinance. 

Turbo drying thanks to two paint dryers 

Two independent, gas-heated circulating air dryers process the workpieces after cleaning and painting. Each dryer has enough capacity to accommodate up to three suspended trolleys at a time. After drying, the parts cool down in a suspension trolley buffer area until they are removed. 

All stations within the new Noppel cleaning and painting plant are reached by an overhead conveyor system. The two motor-driven, transverse-travel bridges of the plant are each equipped with two rails. They can simultaneously pick up and transport two trolleys with loads weighing up to 1,500 kg or one trolley with heavy workpieces weighing 3,000 kg to any destination within the plant. The alternating feeding of the individual plant components achieves an almost uninterrupted supply of workpieces to the workplaces – and an effective decoupling of the working and transport times. 

Motorised drives are available as an option for the longitudinal transport of the trolleys in and out of the booths, stations and buffer areas, so even suspension trolleys loaded with heavy parts can be effortlessly transported 

through the entire plant. 

Ergonomics is key 

Electric drives and lifting/lowering stations are available in all the working areas. The trolley can be ergonomically lowered to the height of each employee, so even heavy parts can be handled without physical exertion, making it easier for the employees to move the motorised, loaded trolleys longitudinally, transversely, up and down. The ergonomic adjustment of the working height to each individual's height and the work step represents comprehensive health protection for the employees. It also upgrades the workplaces and makes work processes more effective and economical. 

In addition to the loading and unloading station, a separate multi-booth was provided for long-span parts with a length of up to 12 metres and a width of three metres, and this enables the employees to carry out all the necessary cleaning, painting, misting and drying steps. The hall crane takes over the transport and handling of really heavy and oversized workpieces. A ceiling slot can be opened in the multi-booth, allowing the workpieces to be brought in. For manual cleaning using high-pressure cleaning and rinsing lances, the media supply is provided from the common supply tanks of the cleaning systems. An on-site mixing and application unit handles wet painting with 2K high-solid and water-dilutable paints. 

The multi-booth is also equipped with a supply and exhaust air system equipped with air filters and a heat recovery system, which uses a rotary heat exchanger/heat wheel. The ventilation system can be switched to circulating air operation for drying workpieces. 

Protection of the environment thanks to eco2tec 

The entire plant has already commenced operation. The planned targets have been achieved, both in terms of the desired level of increased capacity and the targeted throughput. Even in two-shift operation, values are being achieved that were previously only possible in three shifts. 

The cleaning and surface qualities are exceeding expectations following preliminary tests and sample taking. Thanks to Noppel's environmentally friendly eco2tec system technology, the results of environmental protection measures are also excellent: no wastewater is seeping into the cleaning process, paint and solvents are being used efficiently, and thermal energy is being recovered. Thanks to all these measures, the company can considerably reduce operating costs, energy requirements and CO2 emissions. The Stopa employees particularly benefit from eco2tec. The air and the climate in the hall have been improved, because there are no longer any open hall areas where cleaning agents and paints are used. The employees also benefit from the ergonomic working conditions now available throughout the entire plant. 

Quelle: www.noppel.de

06.04.20 - Our car parking system in the centre of Lisbon.

Torel Palace, situated on a hill in the centre of Lisbon, is a hotel in the upper price range. With its pleasant view of the historic old quarter it is the perfect place to relax, and recently it acquired a special convenience: a fully automatic car parking system from STOPA with 20 parking spaces.

The Auto-LP system was selected for Torel Palace. This system is particularly suitable for narrow or limited spaces. Vehicles are parked lengthwise, reducing the width requirement. Twenty-two spaces, each 5.25 metres long, 2.10 metres wide and 2.0 metres high, were created on three levels. 

From the outside, the new system is basically invisible. Vehicles enter through a normal garage door that is perfectly integrated into the building’s historic façade. Inside, in the transfer room, the atmosphere changes. The room is furnished with high-quality materials and equipped with sophisticated technology. After a vehicle is deposited on a pallet in the centre of the room, the fully automatic parking process can be started at the touch of a button. The vehicle descends into the floor, and the storage and retrieval unit safely transfers it to the allocated space. 

Retrieval is just as simple. In terms of design and reliability, the stolzer parking system is much more than a car park. It blends perfectly into its surroundings, enhances the hotel’s services and harmonises with the lifestyle of the guests. The STOPA team is very proud of how this project in Lisbon was realised. 

stolzer, a brand of STOPA

19.03.20 - STOPA presents fully automatic parking systems at DigitalBAU

At the DigitalBAU trade fair and Heinze Forum, which ran from 11 to 13 February in Cologne, STOPA presented examples of the flexible parking systems which it sells under the stolzer brand. These systems offer a solution for almost any ground plan and architectural situation.

STOPA has been implementing stolzer parking systems throughout the world, from Lisbon to New York to Istanbul, for more than 20 years. Visitors to STOPA’s trade fair stand had a chance to experience interactive demonstrations of its projects, including the construction phases.

In the future STOPA will offer its sales partners a digital configuration tool that enables them to visualise automatic parking systems during talks with customers.

Project developers and architects in many countries are taking an increasing interest in stolzer automatic parking systems. With the growing use of private cars, ever-increasing population density in city centres and rising property prices, finding a place to park is becoming increasingly difficult. Compared with conventional car parks, automatic parking systems from stolzer make it possible to create up to 50% more parking space in the same base area.

STOPA Anlagenbau GmbH offers a broad range of services, from consultation to planning and commissioning of its parking systems – and beyond. Its customers have the advantage of smooth processes in all construction phases. Stolzer parking systems are a product of STOPA Anlagenbau GmbH, which does all the planning, manufacturing and installation.

Sources: STOPA

16.03.20 - STOPA sorgt gegen Corona-Virus vor

Special times call for special measures. STOPA Anlagenbau GmbH has taken a number of steps in order to protect employees, customers and suppliers from infection by the coronavirus. They have been in place since 16 March, enabling us to continue our business operations, maintain production and make promised deliveries to customers.

1. Together with the works council we have formed a crisis team, and we review the situation daily.

2. All office workstations have switched over to working from home. This helps to avoid contacts between employees. As a result there may be delays with job applications.

3. Access to our premises by outside visitors and suppliers is restricted to very special cases.

4. We have introduced additional shift models in production in order to limit contacts.

5. Employees are responsible for protecting their health and that of their colleagues; our employees are complying with the hygiene directives.

6. The company restaurant has been closed for the time being.

7. Travel outside of Germany is possible only when it is absolutely necessary for business reasons. Business trips to risk areas listed by the Robert Koch Institute are prohibited.

8. Conferences involving people inside and outside the company are held via virtual channels.

9. Customer service has been entirely converted to telesupport and remote diagnostics. If necessary, and provided there are no restrictions by local authorities, we will visit customers to ensure machine availability. (+49(0) 7841 704149 / Service@stopa.com)

10. Our subsidiaries in China and the USA are available without restriction.

11. All business divisions remain fully available.
Nevertheless, we give top priority to protecting everyone’s health.

12. Our production facilities are still working to capacity. However, we intend to apply for short-time work for assembly and service personnel in order to protect their jobs. At the same time, we hope that we will soon be able to provide products and services to almost all European countries, in this way keeping short-time work to a minimum.

May you and your families stay healthy. We’ll stick together!

 

The Management