At Euroguss 2020 Meccanica Pi.Erre will present the innovative Electra, a new totally electric trimming and deburring press for casts and die-castings. Simple, convenient, with high performances, it improves the working environment, cuts consumption and maintenance and brings about environmental improvements: the new generation of electric presses is a great step forward in the circular economy, safeguarding the environment and saving resources. A meeting with Ruggero Pederzoli, the company’s CEO
by Mario Conserva
Meccanica Pi.Erre is the main Italian specialist and European leader in trimming and finishing technologies for aluminium and magnesium alloy casts and high-pressure die-castings. Founded in 1983 by Ruggero Pederzoli, today joined in the company’s management by his daughter Federica and son Marco, Meccanica Pi.Erre produces the complete range of TMT products in a very modern 7,000 square metre plant with 70 employees in Bedizzole, near Brescia. We entered the factory with Ruggero Pederzoli for the important presentation of an absolutely revolutionary and innovative product, Electra F.E.T.P, an acronym which stands for Full Electric Trimming Press, a new type of completely electric trimming-deburring press, which therefore works with a mechanism which is completely different with respect to previous products: it is simpler, leaner, much cheaper and than the traditional hydraulic system and much greener. We discussed this in detail with Ruggero Pederzoli, whom we asked to begin with to provide us with a brief update on the company’s activities.
“We have over 35 years of experience in our specific segment in the foundry industry, which made enormous progress recently, especially regarding light alloy castings which make up our specific interest. Ever since the first few years of our activity we had the intuition and determination of focusing on advanced, and constantly updated, design and production technologies for trimming tools and presses for trimming and deburring castings, operating 100% in-house with a UNI EN ISO 9001 certified corporate structure, equipped to face both the Italian and foreign markets, where we export over 75% of our production. We can machine and punch any kind of foundry casting, from the smallest to larger size castings with complex deigns such as the ones increasingly in demand by the transportation, mechanical and building industry. Using Robopres, the brand of a company we acquired in 2013, we provide the market with standard readily available machines, from 20 to 10 tons, while under the MPR brand we manufacture customized machines, even large ones, from 100 to 300 tons, for instance the giga presses from 5500 to 6200 tons which gained ground during the past few years following pressure by car manufacturers, as you reported in an article recently published by your magazine A&L. Of course we can manufacture dedicated trimming machines, with machining units, besides being able to complete die casting cells with all the necessary peripherals, especially with trimming tools and trimming-deburring presses”.
What production volumes have you reached at present, and for which markets?
“On average we produce 170 punching dies and 50 trimming presses every year, besides some dedicated trimming machines, and trimming tools combined with machining units. We manufacture machines and plants which are exported worldwide, from North America (Canada, USA & Mexico) to Europe (Italy, Germany, England, France, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Belarus, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Turkey), to Russia and the Middle and Far East, particularly China, India and Thailand. Regarding our corporate results, during the past two years we settled down with revenues around 13 million euro, on average each year we supply abut one hundred clients with new projects and after-sales service, including large companies in the automotive sector, a segment which accounts for roughly 80% of our total business, we are confident as to the future even on account of the excellent contacts established on the US market”.
Let us now examine the details of this original trimming-deburring press which you patented and are introducing into the market. Could this absolutely innovative realization mark a new path in die casting technologies and in your business?
“Electra F.E.T.P, Full Electric Trimming Press, which we are about to present as a premiere at Euroguss 2020, is an innovative product, which we are proud of especially because it introduces new and profitable operation techniques in a delicate technology which is so important for the growing development of die castings in light alloys in structural uses, as in the automotive segment. We are furthermore even more satisfied because it is not an everyday occurrence for a relatively small company like ours to achieve such a significant technical result which certifies the great heritage of knowledge built up over time within our group. The brand new Electra trimming and deburring press was developed following an intense work consisting in feasibility studies, tests, checks and operation capacity monitored live with field work in the factory; I would like to add that we ran the machine for more than 50,000 real cycles, carrying out both punching services and sample and pre-series productions for some clients, using the respective punching presses which had been requested from us, and all of this, I repeat, with excellent positive results. The final episode in this operation was the attainment of the invention patent, a clear proof of the innovative criteria contained in a machine which represents a new way of producing die castings in light alloys. The first new machine we produced is average-sized, around 50 tons, and as I mentioned it provided excellent results in terms of flexibility, which we built on to start off the production of two more types of machines, a smaller 30-ton one and another medium-large one weighing 80 tons. Each type of machine will be installed in purposely built die casting cells, so all our clients and potential users will be able to verify in real time the performances and originality of our product”.
Which are the main properties enhancing the originality and advantages offered by Electra?
“It is evident that in creating this machine the hydraulic component was completely eliminated, and this implies a great energy saving in use and maintenance throughout the life cycle, since we are dealing with an electric mechanism, much leaner, simpler, more compact and cleaner than the traditional hydraulic one. It is sufficient to cast a glance on the machine to perceive the strong differences with older equipment, heavy, cumbersome, more pollutant and not qualified to express the concept of Industry 4.0 to which the die casting segment aspires. Basically, Electra is a green equipment with energy consumption cut down to a minimum, its concept is that of a hybrid machine which during the descent phase produces and stores energy: the simplicity of its conception makes this machine fast, with high performances, great precision and easy management, with highly reduced maintenance and running costs compared to traditional hydraulic punching presses, and today it is already in an excellent competitive position from an economic standpoint with respect to traditional machines. After checking accurately during almost two years of tests the real qualities and performances of the machine, I have no doubt that Eectra is a quantum innovation and quality leap in its context, with a great future and representing a great step forward which will positively change the production system of light alloy die castings”.