Nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscany and close to the beautiful city of Florence, lies the small medieval town of Certaldo - the home of international machine builder Pertici SpA.
Founded in 1967 by Leto Pertici, the company is still owned and managed by family members today and has grown from a small machine builder for the door, window and shutter industries primarily in Germany and England to an internationally recognised leader in the manufacture of machines for aluminium, PVC and similar profile materials throughout the world.
With sales of around 15€million per year, the niece of the founder and Pertici´s Sales Director, Lucia Caponi believes that the original focus on overseas markets has been instrumental in its success. Today, it has a strong network of authorized dealers and Pertici machines are used in 50 countries worldwide.
Leto Pertici´s son-in-law and co-owner Mario Caponi said, “Like most small machine builders, when we started in the early 60´s we began as a subcontractor manufacturing machines under different brands. But even then, our focus was on manufacturing innovative, high quality reliable machines, as well as providing excellent after sales service and support and this focus remains unchanged.”
Today, Pertici has around 60 employees and the support of a large number of external experts including engineers and designers and the company believes that this mixture of people coming together to share different ideas and opinions is fundamental to their on-going development of innovative machine solutions.
This approach is further strengthened by continual feedback via Pertici´s network of dealers and during face-to-face meetings on their yearly exhibition stands at Le Salon International de la Construction in Paris, FENSTERBAU Frontale in Nuremberg and VETCO in Madrid.
In the early 1970´s, following German demands for window and doors in more economical and better insulated materials than traditional wood, Pertici developed a range of machines specifically for cutting PVC profiles, and over the last forty years they have continued to develop these machines. Nowadays, Pertici can supply a range from small automated to fully automated machines to suit all needs either designed to produce a few units a day for specialist craftsmen, or those which can be fully customized to a customer’s exact requirements producing up to 150 completed PVC units with minimal profile wastage in just one single working shift.
Typically a fully automated Pertici line starts with a Scarabeo 55 cutting centre, which cuts the PVC profiles to the correct size. Using an automatic pusher system, the cut pieces are then moved to one or more handling centres where they are drilled and milled as required. Once completed the pieces are automatically transported to the welding machine, which assembles the four profile pieces into the finished shape.
Finally, the assembled unit continues its journey to a fully controlled cleaning machine, which finishes off the welding edging ensuring that each completed unit is perfectly finished. And, without the need for any further handling, cost effective production is guaranteed.
This innovative approach to machine building is also mirrored by Pertici´s business philosophy of only working with the best suppliers.
Software development has always been central to the Pertici approach and they have always looked to forge close working partnerships with the world’s leading electronics and pneumatics suppliers to ensure high quality machine build and performance. As a result, Pertici works closely with companies such as SMC, the world leaders in pneumatics, for all their pneumatic needs.
According to co-owner Riccardo Cerrini, “During the last five years our machines have become increasingly more technically advanced and with faster production speeds becoming the norm, we need to ensure maximum operational reliability. Although previously we had purchased SMC components, having seen their quality products in action and experienced their technically innovative approach, we made the decision to adopt them as partners for all our pneumatic needs.
Cerrini added, “When you sell machines in 50 countries and offer a direct after-sales service which needs to be fast and professional this is where adopting a partner like SMC, with branches and sales offices in all the industrialised countries around the world, comes into its own.”
Perici recognises that when a machine requires general maintenance or in the event of a breakdown, speed is of the essence, and that any machine downtime must be kept to an absolute minimum. Having a network of highly specialized people that can provide a complete diagnosis and offer immediate assistance in many locations is a necessity.
Cerrini continued “We offer a replacement parts service within 48 hours and that’s what we also expect from our partners as well. In this sense, SMC as a global leader has answered our service level needs by holding considerable stocks of components for our machines, which can be delivered immediately, from their Antwerp located European Central Warehouse”
And Pertici´s Managing Director Gianluca Falaschi is also quick to highlight the benefits of this partnership approach when working with their suppliers.
“Although most of our pneumatic needs are fairly basic, working with suppliers such as SMC, we have access to their experts when we develop new, more technically advanced products such as our GEKO –CL 008P Cutting Centre – our first machine developed with SMC´s technical support.
Whilst the GEKO has relatively simple movement needs, it’s still a very complex piece of machinery which uses a combination of ISO cylinders, valves and manifolds, air treatment components and a progressive start-up valve. In the case of our SCARABEO 55 Cutting Centre, which can cut PVC profiles up to 6 metres in length, we require customized products from SMC.
For example, one of our customers required identification bar codes to be attached to each length of cut PVC profile. SMC came up with an innovative Venturi system using a number of vacuum products including a controller, an ejector and vacuum pads which sticks individual labels to each cut profile.
Another option which is becoming increasingly popular which was also recommended by SMC is the addition of a bar type ionizer to help reduce static electricity issues such as the build up of statically charged PVC shavings which can adhere to the inside of the machine and make cleaning and suction extraction more difficult. Since we have been working with suppliers such as SMC we have become reliant on their technical expertise which is becoming invaluable in achieving our own success” he added.
Whilst the economic climate has meant that many specialist machine builders have faced some very challenging times during the last year, Pertici are quietly confident that their continuous growth over the last decade coupled with their strong partnerships with key suppliers will help to ensure their continued success in this coming decade.