Technal - Alstef Group


Alstef Group at Technal

  • Location: Toulouse, France
  • Supply: IT and PLC retrofit
Technal Alstef Group Order Picking WCS

TECHNAL, an aluminum building systems specialist, entrusts Alstef Group with the modernization of its order picking workshop.

Founded in Toulouse in 1960, TECHNAL, a brand of the Hydro Group, is a French company offering aluminum construction systems designed to inspire contemporary architecture: facades and curtain walls, doors, windows, sliding bays, railings, pergolas, gates… As a market leader, its excellence, expertise, unique design and innovative vision make it a major reference in France and around the world. The Alstef Group teams are currently working at its Toulouse site, which has a storage and order-picking facility.

The project to modernize the Toulouse-based company’s material handling workshop will be carried out in two phases: the first phase is dedicated to installing the OPAL (Operating Plateform of Alstef Group) control system and modifying the communication protocols of five of the workshop’s main PLCs. The second phase will involve retrofitting two obsolete PLCs to migrate to a new generation.

Alstef Group proposes a new IT architecture, including the replacement of numerous existing applications by a single WCS, OPAL. This simplified, more efficient architecture communicates directly with TECHNAL’s ERP, WMS and site supervision on the one hand, and the PLCs on the other.

The OPAL management and control software orchestrates all the system’s movements, taking into account TECHNAL’s inherent rules and constraints. This includes the management of products, loads, storage locations and order picking. It also ensures communication with the customer’s level 3 and the PLCs in charge of equipment such as conveyors, stacker cranes, shuttles and bridges.

To support the IT migration, Alstef Group integrated the OPAL standard communication protocol into the workshop’s five PLCs. The solution adapts and integrates perfectly with the customer’s infrastructure to standardize exchanges between the system’s different equipment.

To model the installation and carry out the complete integration of the control system, Alstef Group creates advanced emulations which takes into account all the elements of the system: supervision, automation and WMS. Thanks to unit or flow tests, test scenarios are produced and reproduced in order to study and analyze any operational impact before implementation on site. The use of emulation guarantees fast, reliable start-up, while increasing software robustness.
The first phase of the project was successfully commissioned in early 2024, followed by the second phase in August 2024.

Technal Alstef Storage
Technal Alstef Storage