Clevertech S.p.A. explains its mission as “designing the future through integration”. It achieves this by delivering tools and solutions that help its customers to meet the needs of an ever-more competitive and demanding market.
“Our target is to ensure high standards, in terms of quality, reliability and security,” explains Luca Carollo, business development manager at Clevertech “an approach developed and evolved over the years thanks to important partnerships with leading multinational companies.”
The company attributes its success, in part, to developing modular solutions that incorporate high levels of automation. “Modularity offers significant benefits to our customers,” Carollo continues, “including increased efficiency, costs reduction and the highest level of flexibility. Our customers must adapt to market demands, and we must help them, but not by sacrificing quality or throughput.”
These modular solutions take many forms, including palletizers, palletizers/depalletizers, basket loaders/unloaders, stretch wrapping machines, strapping systems, case erectors, case packers and case sealers, all of which can be bought together into application-specific turnkey lines.
A recent addition to the company’s extensive portfolio is its Line Flex Manipulator, which creates ordered product layers prior to palletizing as an alternative to using robotic manipulators.
“The Line Flex Manipulator offers a highly efficient system within a compact design,” Carollo elaborates, “which integrates perfectly with any type of palletizing system. It can process cases, packs and shrink packs made from any material – an important feature for sustainable packaging – at a rate of about 38 manipulations per minute.”
The manipulator at the base of the overhead gantry robot is used to move products gently using positive handling, which does not stress or lift the product. Linear motors ensure precise movements and reduced vibrations, and an anti-collision system prevents product damage.
Reprogramming to adapt to alternative products, SKUs or palletizing formats is easily achieved, and line integration is remarkably straightforward, with the system being managed by the palletizer’s Rockwell Automation PLC, with operator interactions via an HMI.
“One of the first applications was for a leading global home and healthcare supplier who liked the mechanical concept and how the gantry system manipulated products,” Carollo explains. “Globally, this company standardized on Rockwell Automation, so they asked us if we could employ an Allen-Bradley® Logix programmable automation controller (PAC).
Smoother, faster and more stable
“As it turns out, the new Rockwell Automation PAC not only makes the machine run more smoothly, but it is also faster compared with the system it replaced,” Carollo explains. “We also found that we gained greater stability, which is essential for both positive handling and quality.”
Clevertech uses a broad range of Rockwell Automation solutions across its range to optimize its machine’s operational capabilities. As well as traditional automation hardware, it also deploys ASEM™ panel PCs. In terms of digital solutions, its use of FactoryTalk® Optix™ helps its customers with digital transformation and data capture, allowing them to monitor operational information using remote devices.
“We are fortunate to have a very close relationship with Rockwell Automation in Italy,” Carollo adds. “We speak regularly and always support close communication between the two companies. In this project, once the mechanical system has been developed, the Rockwell Automation team came on site and worked with our engineers to write the software and test the automation solution. They didn’t just sit with us; they shared our journey right up until the launch. We are extremely happy with the support we get.”
Global opportunities and support
Clevertech also has significant exports going to the North American market. “Besides the support we enjoy in Italy, Rockwell Automation also gives us fantastic support in the USA, and this level of service is being mirrored in India, where have recently started production operations. The local market will soon be able to call upon specialist machines designed in Italy but built in India, with features perfected for the Indian market. Logistically this will be incredibly attractive for this growing region.
This expansion into India addresses another of Clevertech's primary goals, which is to offer the best possible onsite technical support during both the sales and after-sales phases. To meet these goals, Clevertech decided to become a global supplier for its customers all around the world by opening new locations and production sites, with the confidence that it has class-leading support from its own automation supplier, Rockwell Automation.
Discover our comprehensive portfolio of OEM and machine design solutions, here