The turning point to increase competitiveness
The sheet metal processing department was (re)introduced into Giletta last spring, after being outsourced for about thirty years.
«The seasonal character of the market which we have always catered for – Enzo Giletta noted – urged us just before the 80s to reassess the resources available to us at that time, so as to redistribute them as best as possible and ensure more substantial growth for our facility.»
An operational choice that proved to be absolutely successful, thanks to a qualified group of reliable subcontractors. At least until the years after 2009, when subcontracting began to be reduced following the disposal of some activities or some supplier partners’ decreasing production capacity, precisely to face the difficulties of the period.
«Essentially – Giletta summarized – the delivery times of sheet metal products began to be extended, creating critical issues, and further weighing down the already great variability of the market in which we operate. Unfortunately, ours is not make-to-stock production. Or better, the components or part of them can be manufactured as make-to-stock, but not the final machinery or equipment. Our strength has always been flexibility and on-time delivery, but at a certain point these became too hard to manage with a view to sustainability and competitiveness.»
This is why, last year, thanks also to the National Industry 4.0 Plan, the company recreated the steelwork department in-house, choosing Prima Power systems to process steels (also stainless and high-strength ones) and wear-resistant sheets.
«We decided to turn to Prima Power –- Giletta confirms – for various reasons. First and foremost, the high level of quality and innovation of the technologies offered and, last but not least, geographical proximity, an essential factor to ensure sound support service in a very short time. We needed a solid, reliable partner, capable of supporting us very quickly in this production start-up. Also because in the new department, with only one system available, we can’t afford production downtimes at this stage, especially in view of the winter period which is peak work time for us.»
High productivity cutting and as much flexibility
A highly productive and precise fiber laser machine thanks to linear motors, innovative materials and smart process sensors, the Laser Genius 2040 chosen by Giletta for sheet metal cutting was developed by Prima Power to meet the most demanding requirements, and combines flexibility and dynamic performance with high levels of efficiency and accuracy. With a work area of 4,000 x 2,000 mm and a 6 kW source (also available with power ratings of 3, 4 and 10 kW), it ensures an even higher cutting quality thanks to the new head with adaptive optics for automatic management of the focal position and beam diameter and a quick, reactive and precise stand-off measurement. More generally, the system can be supplied with a series of option packages targeting diverse production needs: Smart Cut, for fast processing of thin sheets (max. 5 mm), allows cycle times to be reduced by up to 30%; Max Cut, for fast piercing of medium to high thickness sheets, makes it possible to reduce processing times by up to 40%; Night Cut, for intensive production, ensures greater safety in piercing and cutting processes.
«A system – Emiliano Francione, head of Giletta’s sheet metal working and steelwork department said – which we use to process up to 20 mm thick iron and up to 15 mm thick stainless steels with no trouble at all. Despite some early concerns, we can now cut even wear-resistant and high-strength steels without a hitch and with a very high quality.»
As already mentioned, the system is flanked by two Compact Towers intended for the automation of the raw and machined sheet metal flow.
«Storage towers with loading and unloading function for handling raw materials and machined sheets – Francione went on – ensuring a non-stop cycle. As a rule of thumb, the most numerous and standard batches are loaded on night shifts, leaving single pieces, urgent items and prototype pieces for the day shift when necessary, so as to make the flow as lean as possible. A significant advantage in terms of timing under the current market conditions, if compared to the previous management.»