Sunday 26th May, 2019

A head start on the next century

Bulk packaging manufacturer Concetti has celebrated its centenary by unveiling its upgraded manufacturing centre that supplies its Australian customers.

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Italian manufacturer Concetti has inaugurated its newly expanded manufacturing facility, where it builds packaging and palletising systems for bulk handling companies around the world.

The company first started operating in 1918, when the head of the family, Domenico Concetti, opened a craft workshop in the central Italian municipality of Bastia Umbra. Here, the company began to produce agricultural equipment, focusing on innovation, research and the ability to be flexible to the demands of a competitive market.

In 1975 the company changed its focus to packaging equipment, building a major manufacturing centre at its headquarters. From here, Concetti developed, manufactured and then exported its bulk material filling, closing and palletising systems.

However, as the company grew, the market began to demand even further output, leading the company to begin a major upgrade.

Concetti officially opened its extended manufacturing facility on 15 September 2018, with more than 700 guests invited to the launch.

The five million Euro investment has seen an additional 5,400 square metres of space to the existing site and includes the digitisation of its production and smart technology to simplify manufacturing processes.

Concetti has decided to focus significantly on technical and digital innovation to increase its competitiveness in international markets. To do so, it has installed IT infrastructure shared by the entire company to integrate systems and promote data sharing.

Another central aspect of the company’s innovation process is the strengthening of research and development, to produce increasingly reliable, technologically advanced packaging systems that can also be used thousands of kilometers away, with remote supervision systems.

More than 85 per cent of Concetti’s products are shipped overseas to its clients in 60 different countries, including Australia.

Sustainability initiatives were also included in the upgrade, with a photovoltaic solar power system installed, alongside the introduction of low energy consumption lighting throughout the company. The facility’s waste sorting processes have also been improved up to reduce waste sent to landfill.

Additionally, the sandblasting and painting department has been completely renovated to no longer use a solvent-based paint. Instead, an environmentally friendly powder coating is now used, to provide workers with a cleaner and healthier workplace.

Perth based construction material supplier Westbuild is one example of an Australian company that has benefited from Concettis’s technology. The company purchased a form fill and seal machinery which allowed them to replace traditional paper cement bags with rainproof plastic ones.

This meant its dry-mix concrete and mortars could be stored outside, instead of needing to rely on often expensive warehousing.

Marcus Parlapiano, sales manager of Westbuild, said being able to store pallets outside was a big advantage for the company and its distributors.

“People might think it’s always dry and sunny in Western Australia, but we get our fair share of wet weather in Perth and keeping cement-based products dry is just as important as anywhere in Europe,” he said.

The system is able to process up to 800 bags per hour and includes a single screw weigher and palletiser. It is also equipped with devices that compact the product into square shaped sacs to optimise the palletisation.

Mr Parlapiano adds that the flexibility to allow different products to be handled with all settings changed automatically has saved a significant amount of time on short job runs as well.

Similarly, Cheetham Salt, Australia’s largest producer of solar salt, uses Concetti’s technology to handle aggressive materials within limited space.

According to Concetti, the entire line was built and tested in Italy on Cheetham’s own products and bags before being dismantled, packed into containers and shipped 12,000 miles to the site.

“A novel feature is the use of a four-camera teleservice system with hard drive and connection to Concetti in Italy. This has the facility to allow the bagging and palletising areas to be monitored remotely as an aid to fault diagnosis,” the company said.

Concetti has said the increased output of its headquarters will allow it to establish and build upon partnerships it has developed in Australia.

One such collaboration is with Automaint Solutions, an Australian company headquarters in Keilor Park, Melbourne. The two companies will work together to provide maintenance and technical assistance for Concetti products in Australia.

Telephone assistance will be managed directly by Concetti’s technicians, with field interventions handles by Automaint engineers within a few hours.