SMC Italy has teamed up with automation solutions provider, ATS to provide versatile machinery to meet the complex challenges and competitive demands of modern day manufacturing across the globe.
Located in Torino, Italy, ATS delivers innovative and reliable automation machines for assembly and testing to blue chip companies such as Tyco, TRW, Bitron, Valeo and the Sorin Group. Its market leading customers demand high quality automation solutions that deliver competitive advantages, improve productivity and overall efficiency.
ATS was founded in the 80s and has enjoyed steady growth thanks to its philosophy of being close to its customers. Daniele Torchio, ATS technical director, explained: “We are continuing to expand into new territories and have built a strong customer base in Eastern Europe and Turkey, with China on the horizon. This growth is the result of close collaborations with trusted suppliers, something we have achieved successfully with SMC Italy.”
A joined up approach for TYCO
Torchio added: “A great example of this teamwork was our design and build of bespoke testing equipment for an automotive industry customer in Spain. Featuring 13 SMC LE actuators, the machine was designed for the assembly and testing of valves in a hydraulic circuit that perform mechanical and electric control and deliver product conformity.
“After a successful implementation, we decided that these actuators were going to be perfect for the demands of another customer, TYCO, who commissioned a machine that could accurately insert pins at high speed. The versatility of the LE Series meant we were able to ensure the equipment could effectively manage these demands and regular readjustments.”
The solution included the mounting of 21 LE actuators, which had to cope with 18 different piece formats that frequently changed more than once a day. This flexibility significantly reduced the machine’s downtime. Another example of the electric actuators’ versatility was the fact they could also operate with a SIEMENS servo motor, which was an essential requirement for the end user.
SMC’s Car Project Manager, Paolo Rossi said: “We have been able to demonstrate how SMC can adapt the mechanics of our products so they can function with different types of electronics.
“Both projects also required close teamwork and us being able to deliver a versatile solution that met the needs of the end users. Due to the complexities of the processes, pneumatic actuators would not have been an option, so our electric actuator range was very well received by all parties.”
Working in partnership
Paolo Rossi added: “We have forged a close working relationship with the ATS team to provide them with the technical support they require so they, in turn, can offer their customers outstanding speed, multiple positioning and accurate control.
“SMC is a long established, trusted supplier to ATS. We initially supplied more basic pneumatic components such as air treatment, clamp cylinders or fittings; now, with the addition of our electric actuator range, we are proving to be the perfect partner for meeting the market demands for versatility.”
ATS & SMC – shared philosophy
The other key ingredient to the successful working partnership has been the values that both SMC and ATS share. Being close to customers and understanding their needs to develop cost effective and quality solutions, as well as a desire for teamwork in order to deliver the very best service, are core to each company’s success.
Torchio explained: “We have enjoyed consistent growth because of the attention we pay to our customers, along with quality of the equipment we manufacture on their behalf. This would not have been possible without our network of trusted suppliers, such as SMC, who are allowing us to cope with the increase in orders while maintaining the high quality of our work.
“And the proof lies in the nature of our customer requests which are mainly focused, not on maintenance, but on adapting and updating existing machinery that was first installed more than 10 years ago but is still fully operational.”
SMC has a deserved reputation for working closely with its customers to develop bespoke and versatile solutions for a range of industries and applications. With 400 sales offices in 82 countries across five continents, SMC has a team of 1,400 R&D engineers and is recognised as the worldwide leading expert in the pneumatics industry. The company offers more than 12,000 basic products with over 700,000 variations and has a diverse customer base covering all automation industries. For more information about SMC electric actuators visit www.smc.eu.