Industry 4.0 to drive demand for automated bending solutions
More and more industries are moving towards automation and Industry 4.0 where they would not depend on skilled manpower. Puneet Sharma, Country Head, Salvagnini Machinery India Pvt Ltd, feels there’s a progressive shift towards a lean, make-to-order, just-in-time strategy, based on medium and small batches and an increasingly variable production mix.
How do you see the growth of Salvagnini over the years vis-a-vis evolving opportunities & challenges presented in the market?
Growth of Salvagnini in India has been excellent. We see a change in the mindset of Indian customers investing more on automated bending solutions. We are installing Industry 4.0 solution — Salvagnini system — using automation in labelling, traceability, store management upstream and downstream of cutting, punching and bending activities. It increases the efficiency of the whole production process, extending its effects beyond the factory boundaries and throughout the whole supply chain.
Salvagnini has been designing, producing and selling flexible systems for sheetmetal working for over fifty years, and flexible automation has always been a part of the company’s DNA. According to Salvagnini’s vision, flexible automation means transforming packs of sheet metal into a wide variety of products, in a lean environment with no intervention by the operator and in a progressive production process, using proprietary punching, cutting, bending and panel bending technology. Challenges arise from the need to invest in training and education to teach technicians, engineers and industrial designers how to use the machines to their fullest.
Which end-user industries are driving the demand for your products & solutions (globally and in India)?
Majority are subcontractors, elevators, doors, HVAC, kitchen and steel furniture are growing stronger, which is in line with the global market.
What are the key lessons for the industry to learn from Covid 19 pandemic?
Crisis always bring opportunities to rethink and adapt to new challenges, and with this pandemic we see change in the customers’ mindset in investing more on automation and moving away from dependence on skilled manpower.
Has the pandemic led to an increase in demand for more automated features in sheet metal processing machines from customers (especially from cost-conscious markets like India)?
Salvagnini introduced new automated bending solutions specially for cost- conscious market and results in India. We see many customers wanting to adopt our new automated solutions not only for blanking but for bending as well.
Salvagnini has coined the concept of “Social Industry”. How is its acceptance? How relevant is it for emerging countries like India?
“Social Industry” is a powerful concept because it puts the man in the centre. It gives him the right place in the context of an industrial revolution (the 4th) that is really taking strong shape across countries and industries. It’s been well accepted by India and at IMTEX 2022 that we will present its evolution through our concept of “Beyond Manufacturing”.
Which new products have you introduced in the market recently? Are there any plans to launch new products in the near future? (if yes, please elaborate)
We have evolved and re-engineered our Laser-Punch Combi into a high-end combi machine named S1 a true Laser-Punch work center.It punches, forms, taps, cuts and separates the parts. and optimises the production process. It reduces waste by concentrating varied activities in a single-work phase, minimising intermediate handling and operator intervention. Therefore, the S1 is a competitive solution for businesses looking for productivity, flexibility, reactivity and efficiency.
The multi-press head requires no re-tooling or tool changesin-cycle, reducing overall processing time. The multi-press head is a distinctive feature of the S1 and can house up to 59 tools at the same time. The head configuration proposed for each customer is designed to meet their specific production needs, and to minimise tool changes which, when required, are simple and very quick.
We can equip the machine with different types of automations, but ours is the most compact solution in terms of loading, unloading and automatic sorting. It can also be installed in line with the panel bender.
Sustainability & Industry 4.0 are the two buzzwords in the industry. How is Salvagnini adopting these two trends?
Extending the vision to manage and optimise the process, digital transformation and Industry 4.0, have been some of the hottest industrial topics for the last few years. A widespread view often reduces Industry 4.0 to the mere integration of the ERP system and the receipt of machine feedback, when in fact this is a minimum requirement, the first step.
The Salvagnini system integrates labelling, traceability, store management upstream and downstream of the cutting, punching and bending activities. It therefore increases the efficiency of the whole production process, extending its effects beyond the factory boundaries and throughout the whole supply chain.
For Salvagnini, this is all about providing easy-to-use solutions to focus on control, production process optimisation and the elimination of all those often-invisible downtimes, that undermine the efficiency and competitiveness of companies. It is a fundamental support for managing dynamic, complex production in today’s industrial scenario.
What are the emerging trends in sheet metal processing?
In the last year or so, perhaps because of the pandemic, we saw an increase in customer interest in all systems that help part tracking and operator visual guidance.
In India, we see retaining skilled manpower becoming very difficult and that more and more industries are moving towards automation and Industry 4.0 where they are not dependent on skilled manpower.
There’s a progressive shift from a make-to-stock strategy, with large batches, towards a lean, make-to-order, just-in-time strategy based on medium and small batches and an increasingly variable production mix. The industrial scenario is moving increasingly towards a substantial reduction in work-in-progress, eliminating the intermediate storage of semi-finished parts.
Are problems like semiconductor chips shortage, rising commodities cost, etc. posing challenges to the sheet metal processing industry?
Yes. As any company which has in its products a bare minimum of electronic components, the situation is difficult, both in terms of lead time and costs. Thanks to the strong collaboration with our suppliers and our management in operations and project management, we have succeeded in minimising the disruption in the present supply chain.
What kind of new opportunities are you looking to tap in India? In India, what can we expect from your company in 2022?
We are introducing our new Panel bender technology along with new Laser Punch Combi machine S1. We see expansion in industry segments like doors, kitchens, furniture and elevators.
What will be the focus of Salvagnini at IMTEX Forming 2022?
“Beyond Manufacturing” is the concept we want to promote which is the evolution of “Social Industry” concept. Our focus is more on Industry4.0 with automated factories, introduction of new concept of bending automation.
On the eve of IMTEX Forming 2022, would you like to share any message for the industry and to the visitors at the Expo?
An unusual year is behind us. A year that changed many things and that forced us to re- think and act in different ways. The pandemic phase was difficult, but it also showed us our strengths and that a crisis always offers opportunities. Here again at IMTEX 2022 we shall introduce new technology in Bending Automation. Please visit us for first-hand information at Booth No B-102, Hall No-4.