3D Print in mechanics: the Pedrollo’s case
For a mechanical company open to innovation, the meeting with the 3D printing technology can not be avoided. That’s why, just from a few weeks, in the Pedrollo’s technical office arrived a Projet 6000 by 3D Systems, provided by 3DZ. And the expectations are very high.
Committed from more than forty years in designing and manufacturing pumps for water extraction, Pedrollo knows very well the importance of the technological research in order to speed up the product development. Every year they make important investments and steadily follow any changes that could be useful to improve products and processes. Firstly, because the law asks for ongoing improvements in yields and consumption of the electric motors, and secondly, because speeding up the product development is a key component to the success of a company.
3D print in mechanics: an ally for innovation
We are talking about a company that made the “made in Italy” formula a real value and not just an empty slogan. Although they are exporting 90% of the product in more than 160 countries, the design and production departments still stay in San Bonifacio, close to Verona, where Pedrollo represents an industrial district of over 120,000 square meters.
More numbers: the company, which manufactures over 2.5 million of electric pumps per year in highly automated production plants, has seven direct branches worldwide, a turnover of 159 million and 458 employees. Together with the five companies headed by Pedrollo, the group counts a total of 650 people and a turnover of 210 million.
On the right: Silvano Pedrollo, founder and president of the company.
The main company strength is an intellectual heritage safeguarded by over 150 patents, witness of the great value given to the technological research. This led to the decision to approach 3D printing. The engineer Silvano Pedrollo, founder and president of the company, outlines the steps of the path that led, in a “natural” manner, to choose additive manufacturing.
“At the beginning, the times to create prototypes were very long: from the design phase to the moment in which the outsourced models were ready we had to wait about 4/5 months. We have therefore decided to move the production of prototypes within the company, creating a department with this scope; what may seem a uneconomic choice actually was very careful: the times for the realization of the models were reduced to a month and we have also reached the total confidentiality on our projects.”
The result achieved, that allowed Pedrollo to increase the number of prototypes manufactured, was an incentive to keep the route: new investments were made, new machines for rapid prototyping were purchased, up to what the founder defines a real leap: the introduction of the 5-axis machines. An update that drastically reduced the times up to 2/3 days. At this point, 3D Printing was a very close passage, in order to further reduce costs and times. In fact, with the additive manufacturing lead times turn to 24 hours.
And this was not the only benefit. “Speeding up the production of prototypes – explains Pedrollo – enhances as well the fight against counterfeiting, which annually reduces our income of a percentage close to the 30%. A 30% of revenues that would allow us, for example, to hire other people“.
On the right: the technical training by 3DZ
Below: some components created with the ProJet 6000 by 3D Systems
Investing on 3D printing
Before investing, Pedrollo analyzed the market and observed other companies already entered into the world of additive manufacturing, such as Luxottica, and then decided that the time was ripe for this new step. 3DZ supported Pedrollo in consulting for the choice of the 3D printer that most suited their needs.
The final choice was on a ProJet 6000 by 3D Systems. This 3D printer can quickly create quality objects and features an high ease of use.
It is possible to choose from three different print resolutions and six kinds of VisiJet SL materials. The net volume is up to 250x250x250 mm and a simple touch screen interface allows you to constantly monitor print operations.
The assistance offered by 3DZ was efficient and punctual. The 3D printer arrived within the agreed time and the support was timely and continuous at all stages. 3DZ trained as well the three people from Pedrollo that will be dedicated to the additive manufacturing.
Below: the training with technicians and Graziano Pellizzari, the 3DZ sales manager who followed Pedrollo
“The use of the 3D printer will be daily” confirmed indeed Silvano Pedrollo. The idea is to use the printer very often and for many different tasks: technical components, aesthetic particulars, spare parts, containers for gadgets and also for the workpiece support used in assembly lines … and the suspension dots are necessary as Silvano Pedrollo’s ideas are constantly changing. Just like 3D printing.