„For double-digit annual growth rates“
Accornero Spa: New era in the production of stamped and formed parts
Accornero Spa in Druento, Italy, have heralded in a new era in their punching and bending operations with a new RM-NC and the Leantool system. As a result, not only is it possible to manufacture all parts faster and more flexibly, but the tools needed can also be produced efficiently by a single source. Both these components are key elements of the success strategy of a company that is targeting annual growth of at least ten percent.
Alongside injection molded components, contact elements, clamps and formed wire parts, the focus of Accornero Spa’s product portfolio is springs of all types, from compression and tension springs, through coil springs and right up to flat spiral springs. Founded in 1958, the Druento-based company’s 33-strong workforce produces a total of around 300 million parts a year, which are used in cars, motorbikes, electrical products and white goods. The manufacturing equipment includes seven Bihler machines, the first of which was a DR1, which the company bought back in 1987. Some sixty percent of the parts produced goes to other countries in Europe, to Turkey, the USA and Mexico. Carlo Bazzano, CEO of Accornero Spa: “Our aim is to increase sales by at least ten percent annually, and we are investing heavily to achieve this. Our focus is on developing solutions and manufacturing concepts that allow us to manufacture faster, more flexibly and more economically, and which will also enable us, together with our customers, to bring new products to market successfully.”
Market-driven manufacturing under servo control
One key aspect of this strategy for success is systematic modernization of the machine pool, something Accornero is also doing in the field of punching and bending. And the best example of this is a new RM-NC machine, which was delivered to Accornero in mid-2017. It represents the latest generation of servo-controlled punching and bending machines, and allows the company to manufacture to minimal tolerances extremely efficiently, with absolute precision and in top quality. But the new machine also delivers the production flexibility that Accornero needs to handle their huge range of batch sizes, from runs of several million down to just a few dozen units. Bazzano: “The market is demanding ever smaller runs and shorter delivery times. The RM-NC is just the answer to those demands.” Accornero first saw the RM-NC on a visit to Otto Bihler Maschinenfabrik in Halblech in July of 2015. And the servo-controlled machine duly impressed the visitors, in particular when it was demonstrated that a tool that they had brought along from an existing mechanical machine was able to be adapted to the NC machine without difficulty.
Making tools competitively
At the same time, Bihler also launched the Leantool system – an innovative modular tool system that revolutionizes the production of new tools – and this solution was also enthusiastically embraced by Accornero. Paolo Destefanis, Technical Director at Accornero Spa: “We have been successfully engaged in toolmaking for many years, and immediately saw the potential offered by the Leantool system. The Leantool system makes us more competitive, because it allows us to make the tools we need, particularly for short runs, extremely quickly, cost-effectively and from a single source.” And so it became clear that the company would put their trust not only in the RM-NC, but also in the Leantool system – a combination that would lift both component manufacture and toolmaking to a new, highly efficient and sustainable level.
The success of Leantool in practice
In June, 2017, the new RM-NC machine arrived at Accornero, and the company has been working with the Leantool system since around this time. Even though the two components have only been in use for a short time, the investment is already bearing fruit. For example, Accornero has already successfully made a bushing tool that is used to produce ten different bushing products per month. And in future, all new tools will be built using the Leantool system. The first step is to consult the Bihler database. In eighty percent of cases, this offers tried-and-tested phase plans and step-by-step plans for the punched and bended part that is needed. Then the tool is designed using the bNX technology software before it is sent to be manufactured. Following the Leantool system, the tool is then fitted, the machine is set up and production of the parts can begin. Thus, Accornero has now become the very first Italian company to handle the entire toolmaking process on site according to a seamless, precisely defined formula.
Expectations of RM-NC exceeded
And the RM-NC, which was already up and running within a week of delivery, is impressive in day-to-day practice: “Our existing tool from a mechanical system runs on the RM-NC at 250 strokes per minute,” says Paolo Destefanis. “This represents an increase of 20 percent and is exactly what we set out to achieve.” A further increase in speed up to 300 strokes per minute is conceivable, and the company believes that the use of servo technology will allow a general increase of cycle times of up to 50 percent. Another huge plus is that the setup time has been slashed from between four and eight hours to an average of around one hour. Paolo Destefanis: “This means that we can now manufacture far shorter runs economically on the RM-NC.” Not only that: the stock levels for the input materials can be reduced to meet the requirements of the batch size, which also has a financial benefit. Beyond that, the monitoring options provided by the machine, with their precise analyses and forecasts, have been enthusiastically received. And the ease with which the RM-NC can be operated has proved its worth in practice, as has the user-friendliness of the Leantool system.
With Bihler on the path to success
Paolo Destefanis is certain: “The support given by Bihler, in particular the initial and ongoing training on-site, were crucial for the successful deployment of the RM-NC and the Leantool system. Bihler doesn’t simply supply a machine, but also delivers the associated skills.” In future, Accornero will migrate all their operations to Bihler’s servo technology, and a new GRM-NC machine will arrive at the company at the end of the year. CEO Carlo Bazzano is very positive: “We are extremely satisfied. Bihler is a good, reliable partner with whom we will continue to be able to achieve our objectives in the future.”
Alongside injection molded components, contact elements, clamps and formed wire parts, the focus of Accornero Spa’s product portfolio is springs of all types, from compression and tension springs, through coil springs and right up to flat spiral springs. Founded in 1958, the Druento-based company’s 33-strong workforce produces a total of around 300 million parts a year, which are used in cars, motorbikes, electrical products and white goods.