Spallanzani Linea&Legno – 30 people, a 6-thousand-square-meter factory, five million euro revenues – specialize in the production of displays for ceramics, where tiles of any shape and size can be glued to be exhibited and presented most effectively to end customers. Spallanzani is based in Villalunga di Reggio Emilia, at the heart of the Italian ceramic district. Technology has always been at home in this company: “Having updated machinery, the best available systems for business-critical operations has always been a key priority for us,” said Marco Spallanzani, managing director at Spallanzani Linea & Legno. A few years ago, Abele Spallanzani, the founder, handed over the management of the company to his children Marco, Sonia, in charge for sales, and Emanuele, the youngest of the three, production manager.
“I must admit – Marco Spallanzani continued – that the turning point was the introduction of “Sophia”, the digital platform by Biesse, our long-time supplier. When we decided recent investments, they offered to equipped our new machines with this powerful software and we immediately noticed the difference: significant efficiency increase, constantly monitored machinery, dramatic downtime reduction. Statistics show that this platform has slashed production stops by as much as 91 percent!”
How did you get to this “strategic decision”?
“Technology offers huge benefits. My father had already realized that, when he started to make displays using a Biesse “point-to-point” machine: productivity increased immediately and we realized we were on the right track. Today we are selling not only in Italy, but all over Europe and we are growing significantly in the United States: our displays are shipped all over the world, either directly or through our customers in the ceramic industry.
We have a longstanding business relationship with Biesse and they have always supported us: we have purchased a packaging machine “Comil”, a panel saw “Selco Wna”, a working center “Rover 347 Excel” with two heads and five axes, which is so performing that new prospects often come to Biesse to see it in operation. We have always used Biesse edgebanding machines: the latter, a “Stream” model, is provided with an automatic unloading system to meet increasing demand. We also have another edgebander, model “Akron”, and another working center “Rover A 15 32”. On the latest machines we have installed “Sophia”, the decision dates back to 2017, if I remember well, when the platform was still very young. We immediately realized it was a successful choice, a highly functional tool especially for those who love their machines like we do, as well as our job.
All our Biesse machines are covered by a preventive maintenance contract, which means that an engineer visits us, checks everything and executes the necessary actions to ensure with can operate with full confidence. Three of these machines are equipped with “Sophia” and it’s amazing to see how the engineers in Pesaro can see if something needs checking, or any action is required! In case of need, they call our operators by opening a ticket or simply recommend a specific adjustment or setting. Everything has become much smoother, the machines are constantly monitored, and in this way we have virtually solved our initial concern, i.e. having to stop production due to any failure or extraordinary maintenance.”
“With Biesse – Marco Spallanzani added – we have learnt that, when you purchase a machine, you have to think about its post-sales service. All our machines are connected, but those with Sophia are constantly monitored around the clock, and we can see with our own eyes what this means, which benefits and peace of mind it offers. We can rely on engineers who can check the situation in few moments and give us an answer, with the priority level included in our service agreement. Implementing technology is not just buying a machine, it should also include a service to ensure its best operation. And we should not forget reporting: through my computer or smartphone I can know what my machines are doing, how many parts they have made in a day, a week or a month, how many meters of edges we have processed, sending the information over to accounting for invoicing. And if anything should go wrong or a part is wearing out to a point where it needs replacing, with the “Sophia” app we can connect to the spare center, select the required part with few clicks and order it, with the possibility of involving a support operator if necessary.”
Don’t tell us it was so easy as you are telling it…
“But it was, really! We have been a family of cabinet makers for several generations, but when you enter our premises, you don’t feel like being in a workshop. There are mostly people wearing white coats and controlling production via a computer screen. Our last joiner retired six or seven years ago… and we have discarded old equipment, it only occupied space.”
by Luca Rossetti