Food processing&packaging, more and more flexible and tailor-made machines
The food and beverage industry requires efficient machines, a user friendly technology and, most of all, top flexibility to be able to manage format changes without losing speed and thus ensure the high customization required by a more mature and conscious consumer who chooses according to consumption occasions and lifestyles.
This is the path covered by Zacmi, a historic Italian company established in 1954 in Parma, at the heart of the Food Valley along the Via Aemilia, by the Zanichelli family – still managing the business. The company designs and manufactures processing plants and filling and closing lines for the food industry and pet food in cans, glass jars and plastic containers.
«In the last two years we developed the universal format», says Giovanni Motta, Sales & Marketing Manager at Zacmi. «It is a machine that suits the container, thanks to a simple mechanical automatism that allows different formats to be processed on the same line; the added benefit is a shorter time to change format».
Zacmi focuses on the needs and requests of a customer; through continuous innovation and a solid experience we aim to find the best solution for the competitiveness and the success of our customers through investments based on joint experience.
Also recently developed are new fully automated, high-speed, high-efficiency filling systems with great attention to environmental impact. «In particular, we worked on reducing and optimizing energy consumption», adds Mr. Motta.
Industry 4.0 and digitalization drive evolution in this sector
Today, Zacmi employs more than 130 people and has a turnover of 35 million Euro with 90% export. Customers are major multinational companies with manufacturing sites in different continents.
«Our machines are 4.0 ready, however the customer manages data collected through machine sensors to obtain Industry 4.0», explains Mr. Motta. «We focus on a Global Service to optimise the customer service, both remotely and on site through joint ventures in several countries».
In the United States, Zacmi is present with a subsidiary, in Mexico with its own service centre, as well as in Chile, Great Britain, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, while China is coming soon.
A feature of Zacmi is the fact that its machinery has a long story. The company has been on the market for almost seventy years. Consequently, it is essential to ensure a 7/24 service and spare parts to user firms, directly on site while offering the added benefit of a perfect service. Local service is a benefit that adds up to customized and “tailor-made” solutions on the product and the user’s needs.
«Certainly, digitalization offers some interesting benefits, however the presence of a technician is still very much appreciated», adds Mr. Motta.
For remote assistance through an app downloadable on any smart device, even on a mobile phone, the customer reports the defect and from our premises, thanks to cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality, the customer is guided in solving his problem.
«However, this requires a digital culture, which is not always available at the customer’s premises», points out Mr. Motta. «Though working with the biggest multinational companies, it often happens that they request not last generation machinery so as not to create difficulties for the factory staff. And I am not talking emergent economies but countries like the United States».
When Scada manages the “Recipes”…
Today, all Zacmi machines are equipped with a Scada software to manage the line, complete with a “recipe” of the product process, to be filled and packaged. The Scada solution – developed and customized by an in-house software team, according to the client’s need – allows monitoring, control and remote-control systems to be managed and any problems to be reported.
The user company will process the information and carry out the necessary operations. «This is why with some important multinational groups of companies we have filed joint patents regarding software», adds Mr. Motta.
Another extremely important aspect concerns data security and protection, which is crucial because the production lines mainly consist of machinery from different suppliers, specific to each function.
The power of quality and special features
In 2015 Zacmi started to approach the Lean concept introducing and starting Lean Manufacturing, which allowed to re-organize and improve work, ensuring high quality in filling and seaming machinery (there are over 2500 machines worldwide) and complete lines.
Zacmi operates also in some processes, particularly in pasteurization systems. A distinctive feature of the company is a laboratory, where innovative products are studied. There, lab technicians test recipes of customers as well as how to package new products, using simulators in order to find the most suitable package.