Operating in the public lighting sector for over 60 years, Aec Illuminazione has always represented a significant example of “made in Italy” industrial excellence. Technology and quality without compromise, made possible also by an optimized product development process, using Trumpf machines for the sheet metal working.
Operating in the electromechanics field, Aec Illuminazione produces appliances and supports for public lighting such as: road and tunnel luminaires, sports and big area floodlighting luminaires. Organized to manage in-house all the phases of product design, industrialization, testing/certification laboratories and production, it operates in two productive units in Arezzo province; structures that take up a surface of about 20,000 square metres inside of which are employed 130 operators in production and management, for a turnover exceeding 30 million Euros (half of which fruit of export worldwide). Positive market outcome at the base of which resides a constant research and development activity, together with the continuous upgrading of its technology and machine fleet. «Our company – confirms Alessandro Cini, general manager of the company – over the last few years has taken care of huge investments both in the design sector and in new highly performing production machinery in particular in automation and in process quality. Today the sector calls for the highest flexibility also in the product customization, which we are expected to satisfy with highly technological processes not bound to volume manufacturing».
Aesthetical factor and total quality
Pursuing this policy, the company, headquartered at Subbiano (AR), thanks also to the support and advice provided by Bruzzi Macchine Lamiera at Castel Maggiore (BO), has decided to optimize all sheet metal working processes with Trumpf machines, buying: a TruLaser 3530 dedicated to laser cutting, equipped with LiftMaster Store and SortMaster automation, connected with a 166-pocket Stopa Compact magazine; a TruBend 7036 and a TruBend 5130X for bending operations; a laser welding cell TruLaser Robot 5020. «One of the most complex products in our production – explains Cini – is represented by the series of tunnel luminaires. In this case they are in fact manufactured articles consisting of complex box-types in various sizes, made of Aisi 316 L stainless steel with 10/10 thickness, to be laser cut, bent and subjected to the final laser welding. A process that implies a very high precision degree of the various phases to obtain perfect fits and a consequent optimal welding. Aesthetical factor and total quality are then essential requisites for a product whose reliability must be strongly granted». Aesthetics assured by the whole process, in which stands out the presence of the laser welding cell, a “turn-key” system with high integration degree for machining complex welding geometries. As modular system, the TruLaser Robot is composed by the robot, the laser source, processing optics, protection cabinet and component positioner. Depending on single specifications and to reach the optima result in terms of performances, as in the case of Aec Illuminazione, each single machine component is assembled individually in conformity with the different requirements. For the same reason, the system is equipped with the most appropriate laser, no matter whether it is TruDisk or TruDiode. Among the possible options, it is worth highlighting the camera, the TeachLine sensor, the protection against collisions, a motorized focusing and the profiling nozzle. Performances and operational flexibility, then, granted in their use by a control unit and intuitive software. The TruLaser robot is in fact equipped with standard control completed by intuitive software components. Likewise the robot, the component positioner, the laser and the processing optics can be controlled manually or by computer. The TruTops Cell programming system finally allows importing and machining with the traditional 3D Cad and automatically generating robot programmes.
Technological upgrading and competitiveness
As performing and efficient in the process at Aec Illuminazione is the initial laser cutting phase, granted, as already underlined, by a TruLaser 3530, equipped with LiftMaster Store and Sort Master automation. The LiftMaster Store module allows the direct connection between the machine and storing system. SortMaster is instead designed to pick up single pieces directly from the pallet change. Small pieces are thrown into containers, the bigger ones are instead deposited on euro pallets or carts (stock) and arranged. The use of pliers with separately manoeuvrable suction cups allows the transport of the most varied pieces and, especially, their accurate handling. Technological equipment that reveals the company’s steady will of making use of performing flexible solutions, able to manage the various production batches at best. In this context, how much do innovation and technological upgrading matter inside Aec Illuminazione? «Today more than in past – points out Alessandro Cini – it holds fundamental importance. Necessary more than ever to grant us the highest competitiveness of the product manufactured in Italy». What are then the advantages of relying on a performing and constantly upgraded machine fleet? In what way are the acquired Trumpf solutions integrated into this context? «The choice of machines whose performances and characteristics are perfectly compliant with our activity – states Cini – allows us not only high flexibility in design and piece implementation but also the possibility of achieving economic and efficient output both with big and small batches. Also in case of sudden changes of production requirements». Besides, Aec Illuminazione can rely on the assistance of skilled personnel in the most various cutting, bending and welding ambits. A choice aimed at managing in-house and in full autonomy the whole product development cycle, starting from design. «Our company – underlines Cini – designs its systems with the awareness of producing with suitable processes for granting the “total quality”. We cannot afford not to have the best machinery and the most advanced technologies at our disposal. For this reason we avail ourselves of partners able to support and to follow us to improve our processes, to be able to offer the best competitiveness on the market». Today Aec Illuminazione does not consider the mere “customer and supplier” relationship anymore. «When we have to manage complex machinery as in our case – ends Alessandro Cini – we choose a supplier able to represent more a “partner” than a simple supplier. We exact the highest reliability in service, of whatever type it may be».