Salvagnini L5 high-dynamic fiber laser plus the LTWS store-tower and the MCU automatic sorting system.
The unique Venetian style
Venix is a lively mix of creativity, artistic spirit and a desire to communicate with the world, which takes inspiration from the city of Venice and its ancient traditions of discovery, global trade and a great tendency for innovation.
“The company was founded in 2013 by a group of friends from different and competing companies, all with extensive experience in the professional equipment sector,” Nicola Lago, Venix’s Production Manager, tells us. “We decided to begin this new adventure because we saw the professional sector as one with plenty of potential for expansion: in our experience – over more than 20 years – we have seen it grow and transform, starting out with it being very like the domestic market, and arriving at what today is a completely different scenario.”
Venix is now present in 92 countries, with a market which is 95% export-based. And with 2019 turnover of more than 11 million Euros and 53 employees, the Castelminio di Resana-based company has been on a steep growth path.
The Venix product range includes:
• countertop snack ovens for cafés and similar businesses, for cooking bread, pastries, etc.;
• professional ovens for restaurants and hotels, for high-quality baked goods and meals, in various formats from 4 to 40 trays;
• electromechanical products;
• digital ovens, including the touchscreen range – an advanced product, with a cloud-connected Android environment, ideal for large-scale retail or hotel groups which need to monitor the entire chain and the activities of each individual oven;
• blast chillers, available in 3- to 15-tray versions.
Tacking back the control of food equipment production
“In 2017, our premises were getting small for us,” Lago continues. “It was getting complicated to load and unload all the materials, and we decided to transfer to our current site. The next step was to stop and reflect, and we realized that in order to improve our production, we would need to internalize the processing, something we had always outsourced previously. The requirement, in short, was to take back control of our production process. This change in strategy obviously involved some difficulties, but also offered a series of benefits: from independence to a reduction in lead times and control over costs.”
After scrupulous research and analysis, Venix chose a Salvagnini L5 high-dynamic fiber laser, with 3000×1500 work range table and 3 kW source, ideal for processing thin material – between 0.7 and 1 mm, above all AISI 430 and SAE 340 – which represents 80% of the company’s production. Cutting with compressed air, which is used for 90% of the machining processes, allows the company to maintain high quality results but keep operating costs under control.
The LTWS store-tower with 16-tray capacity maximizes the system’s flexibility, and it is rounded off with the MCU automatic sorting system, ensuring autonomy for unmanned operation. In short, it is a configuration created precisely to allow the internalization of around 80-85% of the total cutting required by the Veneto-based company, with the system being run continuously if necessary.
Automation for return of investment with a constant and predictable level of quality
“I personally visited many of the system manufacturers, and I drew my own conclusions,” Lago notes. “We needed a laser which was fast, which could cut our stock thicknesses with high quality, but above all which was as automated as possible. We chose Salvagnini, completing our laser system with an LTWS store-tower and an MCU automatic loading/unloading/sorting system. I did not want to assign two operators to manually separating and stacking the laser-cut parts: that wouldn’t have made sense. I think that the choice of automation, if it is possible to automate things, is completely justified also from the point of view of return on investment. Without forgetting that automation allows you to achieve a constant and predictable level of quality. Our investment in the LTWS store-tower and MCU can also be looked at from this point of view.”
Internalize food equipment production to achieve greater indipendence increasing quality in process production
From an operational perspective, the choice was therefore to internalize the food equipment production in order to achieve greater independence, and to develop internal know-how in order to reduce operating and warehousing costs, increase quality and streamline the process.
The system proposed by Salvagnini satisfied all these requirements, but there are other factors as well which helped convince Venix: the company’s Italian quality and know-how, its geographical proximity, and above all the level of the software, which has an edge in the overall management of the process.
“I didn’t find anything else on the market which really came close to OPS, Salvagnini’s proprietary production control software, which I would call a management system for sheet metal processing machinery,” Lago adds.
OPS, the modular production management software, acts precisely as a coordinator within the production equation, managing and distributing the information, eliminating critical issues and making the process much more efficient.
Customer orders: processed by ERP system, through OPS, nesting and cutting activities for subsequent phases
In the case of Venix, customer orders for food equipment production are first of all processed by the ERP system, which identifies the codes to be produced and launches the jobs. The jobs are sent to OPS, complete with the delivery date, and nesting is performed. Most of the nests cut at Venix are not predefined but dynamic, and are composed according to a logic which requires human intervention, assisted by a series of priorities and rules defined by OPS, which are sent automatically to the machine. Finally, once the cutting activities are complete, OPS sends the production feedback to the ERP and the parts are available for assignment to the subsequent machining phases.
“It is a system which is absolutely crucial for managing small sized batches, and in my opinion it is the right path for the future, perfectly in keeping with Industry 4.0. Our batch sizes are now smaller than ever: we are talking about five parts, three parts, two parts even. We also have products which can have larger runs, but in any case they are always different codes which have to be managed correctly. Management is key, it is where we can really lose or make up efficiency on the basis of the time we take to produce the part – it is pointless to have a system with very high performance which is able to cut a part ten seconds quicker if we then take three minutes longer to manage it: that wouldn’t make sense. I might have 2,000 codes cut and stacked, but if I can’t manage them quickly, I don’t have a finished product, and I don’t achieve any added value.”