Elettric 80: the Eagle is back!

Elettric 80, which has become 100% Italian again after a few years spent in the Swiss group SIG, confirms its character as innovative company in the field of integrated logistics systems.

Laura Pontecorvo

The company was born in 1980 and in less than 10 years gained a strong position in the market of high-technology end-of-line systems. From the year 1991 it has owned the NDC Swedish patent for laser technology applied to goods transport vehicles in industrial sites; this know-how was, in those years, absolutely revolutionary with respect to the systems in use. In 1992 at Costerplast, producer of plastic components for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, the first transport system in the world with laser guided trolleys was initiated, integrated in a 24-hour working system.

Two years later, Freeway was born. It was the first completely integrated robotised palletisation and ground-transport system with laser-guided vehicles able to manage the following processes: raw materials delivery to production lines; robotised palletisation of products; transport to warehouse; wrapping and labelling; products traceability through connection to the company host by supervision PC. Today Elettric 80 is one the few producers in the world that has the global know-how of the system: robot, LGV, supervision. The efficiency level of the equipment supplied is at around 99%.

A YOUNG COMPANY WITH SUCH CHARACTERISTICS ENTERING THE MARKET COULD NOT GO UNNOTICED, and first Sasib (De Benedetti) and later the Swiss group SIG acquired a majority stake in this company.

So, like many other Italian companies, in the course of these last few years Elettric 80 has passed its parcel of shares to big industrial and multinational groups. Experiences like these, so world-business oriented, have been very important to the company; without losing its identity or its original philosophy, it has been enriched with new organisation and management skills, noticeably growing as far as employees and net sales, continuously pursuing technological excellence and product innovation.

BUT ELETTRIC 80 HAS ALWAYS HAD AN ITALIAN HEART, and some months ago its President, the entrepreneur Enrico Grassi of Reggio Emilia, together with one of the original co-founders, Vittorio Cavirani (the current Technical Director) and Joan Castegren (Managing Director) coming from NDC, re-acquired a majority from the SIG group. Together they now hold 81% of shares, while the remaining 19% is still in the hands of the SIG group.

“We constitute a guarantee for our customers and a challenge for our competitors”, says President Enrico Grassi. “With SIG, of course, we maintain a strong and open relationship.”

“THE YEAR 2003 SHOWED A TURNOVER OF 29 MILLION EURO AND THE FORECAST FOR 2004, NOTWITHSTANDING THE UNFAVOURABLE INTERNATIONAL CONDITIONS, INDICATES AN INCREASE OF 10%. Now that the eagle, symbol of Elettric 80, is flying once again”, adds Grassi, “we estimate that our turnover will reach 42 million Euro in five years. Our development plans is mainly focussed on human resources and their professional growth; 145 employees out of 165 have a diploma or a degree. Moreover, we are investing in research and innovation, as we have always done. Since 1997 we have been on the Register of Research Laboratories of the “Ministero della Ricerca Scientifica”, because research is our passion. We are absolutely confident that those who invest in technology achieve the utmost efficiency”.

ELETTRIC 80 HAS A STRONG SPECIALISATION IN TISSUE: the Dragon robots and the Elephant LGVs, launched on the market in recent years, have been specifically studied to answer the needs of this field. In fact, seizing, moving and placing delicate tissue rolls is different from moving and managing solid products.

Dragon quickly and reliably prepares the products arriving from production lines and continuously feeds the palletisation robot, according to the rhythm and different speeds of products’ arrival. This robot places products both in lines and stacks, without any need for adjustment, and is able to “recognise” the product it is processing, thus adjusting pick-up pressure and all the other functions of the machine.

The LGVs of the new Elephant series come in two types: the pivoted one, particularly fit for the transport of soft tissue reels, and the jaw-type, to stock and transport non-soft tissue reels.

THE AFOREMENTIONED LGVS COMPLETELY SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF REELS HANDLING, TRANSPORT, STORAGE: in fact they can feed unwinding and converting lines with no need of an operator, and handle the reel stocking.

Equipped with the most advanced safety devices, they increase the safety level of the workshops where they operate.

20% of the systems produced by Elettric 80 are sold in the USA, 40% in Europe and 40% in Italy. “We have also re-opened our American branch office near Chicago, which has a half-Italian half-American staff” explains Grassi, “and the same choice has been made for Northern Europe, where we have a branch office in Goteberg, Sweden. The first months of 2004 confirm the success of our choices. The rest of the work is carried out in Viano”.

In Viano, a small village on the Apennines, Enrico Grassi has founded a far-seeing company, which designs and sells tailored systems, developed in partnership with customers. •

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