Building a custom machine requires close collaboration with the customer. The machine must be built to accomplish the end result the customer desires, of course. But sometimes the OEM engineer needs to consult with customer engineers on ways to modify the design of the end product or process in order to make the part more efficiently or economically. Sometimes companies will consult with favored OEM partners from the beginning of product design in order to speed the entire process.
Pietro Carnaghi S.p.A. (www.pietrocarnaghi.it) produces large vertical lathes. The machines feature tables of up to 8 meters in diameter and weigh as much as 100 metric tons. They machine parts that weigh as much as 500 pounds. The 230 employees of Pietro Carnaghi work on machines for some large manufacturers such as Rolls Royce (aircraft engines for the Boeing 787) and Boeing (for the Delta IV rocket). Giuliano Radice, area manager, says engineers worked with Boeing for five years on a project that is only now coming online.
Collaboration is key at Jobs S.p.A. (www.jobs.it), which manufactures high-speed, five-axis milling machines. It serves customers in aerospace and automotive markets with its largest customer being Boeing. The company’s principal innovation is its linear motor. It’s capable of 50 meters/minute. “In today’s globally competitive market,” says Paolo Bosi, “Jobs competes best when it tries not just to sell a machine but when it works with its customers to help them figure out the optimum way to machine their part.”
President and co-founder Aris Ballestrazzi of Sitma Machinery S.p.A. (www.sitma.it) says Sitma’s engineers work collaboratively with supplier engineers to develop newer parts that may reduce manufacturing cost. The company designs and manufactures machines that work at the end of a printing operation performing such operations as film and paper wrapping, envelope insertion, bundle wrappers, inserting lines, addressing and labeling systems, feeders and stackers. Sitma engineers also look at ways to reduce complexity or otherwise take cost out of the machine.
Filling bottles with liquid might seem like something that is old hat. But how about when bottle designers get over-the-top creative with shapes and sizes? And what if the customer wants to fill a bottle with something highly viscous—for example, something like a salve or petroleum jelly? That’s when machine designers and customer packaging engineers need to huddle like the witches in MacBeth to devise a new potion—that is, machine.
Ronchi Mario S.p.A. (www.ronchi.it) builds machines to fill and cap bottles with cosmetics or chemicals. During a typical process, bottles are dumped in a feeder that assures they are upright and aligned correctly for presentation to the filling and capping stations. The problem comes when your target market is cosmetics and the bottle is an intimate part of branding and point-of-sale selling. That’s what Ronchi’s engineers design. So they work with bottle designers to assure that all of the various shapes and sizes can be fed into the system. They also work on the product end with customers in a small lab setup to find the best and fastest way to fill the bottles.
Pietro Carnaghi S.p.A.
Sitma Machinery S.p.A.
Ronchi Mario S.p.A.