State-of-the-art laser fibre machine, automated warehouse, extreme automation and software management: here is how a “global solution” can enhance customers’ productivity and competitiveness.
Agardi S.r.l., headquartered at Crema is a craft reality relying on over 35 years of activity, specialized in the sheet metal working, in particular for the sectors of pressure washers, lift industry, zootechny, general engineering etc. The owner, Danilo Agardi, explains: «We implement medium-light steel structural works, prevailingly working sheet metals with thicknesses generally included between 0.5 and 4 mm, but we satisfy also demands for machining operations on thicknesses up to 15 mm. We offer a complete service, which goes beyond the simple cutting and bending operations, since we support customers also in the product design and industrialization phase, and we supply really finished pieces, that’s to say painted and packaged». This wide-ranging specialization has allowed the Crema company to be competitive and protagonist also in these troubled years in which the economic crisis has put to hard test several companies: «Our force has always been the willingness of satisfying customers’ needs with the highest professionalism and flexibility, offering an almost “customized” service”». This was made possible not only by the personnel’s professionalism and passion but also by the “Hi Tech turning point” that Agardi undertook about three years ago, when it decided to invest in the technology by Amada, the Japanese multinational always in the forefront in the fields of engineering, of drive systems and of the global technology in the sheet metal world. Danilo Agardi says: «To widen the range of our machining processes and to grant flexibility and rapidity in the fulfilment of job orders to our customers, we have “tested” the market, searching for a modern fibre laser cutting machine. Just at the last moment we were convinced to go to Germany, to the Hann headquarters of Amada, to examine the Laser FOL AJ with 2 kW source».
A “different” philosophy
The trip to Germany was “cunning fox”: Agardi managers literally “fell in love” with this machine, so fast and precise, but at the same time powerful and efficient. Prospects were attractive: with Laser FOL AJ it would have been possible to increase the productivity in the blanking phase, to reduce management and maintenance costs, to expand the applicative cutting range on a wider array of thicknesses and of materials. Besides, the innovative fibre source implemented by Amada itself promised an even three-time higher efficiency in comparison with standard machines, with very low consumptions. Simone Buscarini, Area Manager of Amada Italia S.r.l. confirms: «After the trip to Germany, in which the potential customer guessed what type of product it was dealing with, we tested the machine in our Pontenure site, which definitively convinced the technical managers of Agardi. Laser FOL AJ was the right machine». Danilo Agardi explains the reasons: «Besides the choice of the fibre source, we opted for Amada because their philosophy, their way of “seeing the workshop” automated and digitized perfectly met our requirements». Actually, Agardi chose to couple the automated laser warehouse Amada CS 300 II with 80 shelves, with a capacity of 3 tons each, which “dialogues” with the other machines in the workshop, in a sort of “continuous flow” of the unmanned production. Agardi: «The CS warehouse allows stocking sheet metals, semi-finished and finished products in a narrow space. It loads and unloads the material with great rapidity, precision and reliability, which grants the drastic reduction of idle times and unnecessary costs». It is a notable advantage, if we consider that the Lombard company works thin-thickness sheet metals and therefore the laser cutting cycle is often very short and needs continuous operations of material loading/unloading. «Laser FOL AJ – further explains Buscarini – is a very fast machine that, in the case of Agardi, operates 24 hours a day. It was therefore unavoidable to equip it with an automated warehouse to exploit its potentialities fully». But that’s not all: the Laser and the Warehouse, like the other machines installed by the Crema factory (including a press brake Amada HD 100-3), are managed and controlled by in-house management software that “supervises” the whole company production. Danilo Agardi goes into the details: «The internal software allows controlling the workflows inside the factory. Essentially, it makes plants and equipment “communicate” so that the whole work is coordinated and optimized. From this point of view, it is worth highlighting that Amada machines, clearly better prearranged than others to the automation and to the so called “digital factory management”, dialogue with the software in “reactive” manner and all that results in extreme efficiency, rapidity and flexibility».
What a satisfaction!
Laser FOL AJ and the Warehouse CS 300 II have been operating at Agardi since September 2012 and the owner expresses the greatest satisfaction with the achieved results: «The investment was huge, and it is clear that expectations were very high. Rather than a laser machine, in fact, we wanted a “technological solution” permitting us to produce “just in time” and to satisfy our customers, which are increasingly demanding in terms of execution speed, prompt answers and work quality. After just more than one year and half of use, we can say that we have hit all the targets». Not by chance, the fibre laser by Amada works continuously, 24 hours a day, in fully autonomous manner, also at night, and allows the “changeovers” depending on the emergencies, actually optimizing the whole corporate production without needing adjustments or human interventions, as on the contrary it happened in the past. «The high performances and the automated management of Laser FOL AJ – further explains Agardi – grant very fast “answers”: in general, we succeed in delivering the finished goods even just after 3-4 days from the order receipt. Besides, they have allowed us to widen the customer “fleet”, since it was possible to enlarge the type of workable materials. Today, for instance, we cut aluminium, copper, brass sheets and so on, and therefore we can achieve a bigger number of job orders. Moreover, turning to Amada as single reference partner for more technologies allows us to rely on an efficient and constantly available after sale service, which “preserves” us from possible mishaps or anomalies, and permits us to work with more safety and tranquillity. In short, we have made great strides and we are really very satisfied». Simone Buscarini ends: «The case of Agardi proves that Amada is not a simple supplier of machines, but instead a “global” partner. Its capability of mastering different technologies, such as laser cutting, punching, bending, automation etc., allows it to supply “concrete solutions” and wide-ranging proposals with which customers can really progress».