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Founded in 1978 in Lucca, the heart of the paper district, Fosber, is a leading global supplier for the design, construction and installation of complete lines as well as individual machine units for the production of corrugated board packaging. The Tuscan company is now present worldwide with its production plants and sites located in Europe, America and Asia.
In the words of Lorenzo Vannucchi, R&D Manager at Fosber: "Our company produces top-quality machines and complete lines that must guarantee maximum reliability. In order to achieve this, we are constantly innovating in all aspects of design technology, working with partner suppliers who are not only able to offer us technically advanced solutions, but who are also able to offer high-level collaboration from the very first stages of a new project. In addition, we are known in the market for offering our customers the most responsive and targeted technical support, guaranteeing maximum availability to intervene promptly in any part of the world so that the lines can produce continuously, minimising downtime. Therefore, we use strategic suppliers who have a worldwide service network and who support us in meeting the many and varied daily needs of our customers."
The production of corrugated cardboard is a complex industrial process, which starting from simple raw materials such as paper, steam and glue has to create strong, uniform and perfectly formed sheets, ready to be used in the subsequent processes that will lead to the manufacture of boxes, containers and numerous other objects of common use. The complexity comes from the need to process very large volumes of material, alternating batches of different size according to the needs of an increasingly fickle market, which requires manufacturers to be increasingly flexible and attentive to the quality of the final product. It should be added that this more and more popular product should be manufactured with very competitive process due to a high pressure on the cost.
Fosber lines are designed to ensure maximum flexibility in the production process, high performance and quality of the finished product. As they are intended for a global market, they meet all the local regulations and customs of the place where they will be installed.
The role of pneumatic automation
A corrugated board production line consists of numerous machine sections, each of which represents a critical element of the process. Therefore, all machine sections must be able to run in unison and adapt quickly to changing product characteristics. Automation of the individual machines and the line as a whole is crucial, and pneumatic components play a crucial role.
Vannucchi emphasises: "Pneumatic automation is pervasive in our plants, so we tried to choose a strategic supplier who could give us the best, not only from a technological point of view, but also in terms of service offering and economic competitiveness in all the markets in which we operate. We found it in SMC, a company full of people who know our technologies and our market, with whom we can speak the same language and who gives us an important contribution to define the most suitable pneumatic automation architecture every time we start to develop a new machine or a whole line."
Today SMC supplies Fosber with a wide range of components for pneumatic automation, from air handling units to shut-off valves, from filter regulators to safety valves, as well as several other commonly used pneumatic and electropneumatic product families.
In addition, SMC's Italian facility also provides Fosber with a valued service for the design and updating of pneumatic schemes, in the spirit of full cooperation between customer and supplier that is the basis of this successful collaboration.
Compact lines with high productivity
A significant example where SMC's pneumatic automation solutions have been systematically used by Fosber is its new C/Line, a highly compact and cost-effective solution developed to best meet the needs of high quality corrugated board producers with small to
As Vannucchi says: "In developing the C/Line we introduced SMC technology into every machine, also managing numerous safety functions with an innovative architecture that helped us achieve our design goals. The result was excellent and was greatly appreciated right from the first installation at our customer V.G.K. in Vercelli, a packaging manufacturer particularly active in the quality food & beverage sector".
Today, many of the boxes and packaging that allow V.G.K.'s customers to deliver some of Italy's world-famous food products, from the most popular rice qualities for cooking risotto to the Barolo wine produced by the most famous wineries, are made from the corrugated cardboard produced by Fosber's C/Line.
Vannucchi concludes: "This is a typical example of how close cooperation between people from different organisations spread across the territory, but who share the mentality of excellence and availability towards their customers, leads to results of mutual satisfaction at all levels, contributing positively to the economic results of the respective companies