Piciesse Elettronica manages a broad range of technologies for a wide number of sectors, one of them concerns big copper thicknesses and is called also “Heavy Copper”; it refers to printed circuit boards with high copper thickness, exceeding the “standards” and starting from at least 105µm.
Nowadays Piciesse Elettronica, with its 25 years of experience, is a leader company in the market of Printed Circuit Boards. Over the years, it has succeeded in managing a broad range of technologies for a wide number of sectors, one of them concerns big copper thicknesses and is called “Heavy Copper”, too.
The Heavy Copper technology refers to printed circuit boards with big copper thickness, exceeding the “standards”, starting from at least 105µm. To process circuits that start from 105µm of copper as “minimum” thickness, it is necessary to conform to special requisites and, as plant, to rely on the most advanced production technology and techniques, in addition to excellent process monitoring.
The circuits based on heavy copper technology can be single-sided, double-sided or multilayer; due to its knowledge and Know-How, Piciesse can manage maximum thicknesses of 2 mm, i.e. 400µm, of copper. Such technology proves to be particularly advantageous in the management of the thermal and mechanical stress and it benefits from the application on IMS (Insulated Metal Substrate) circuits, which allow a higher heat dissipation, thus creating a complete, performing and reliable solution.
The availability of various materials combined with different dielectric layers offers design opportunities of different nature from the thermal and electric insulation point of view.
Not fortuitously, the products that make use of such technology are “special” as they sometimes face extreme conditions. The sectors that more exploit this technology are Power, Welders, Forklifts, Caddies, Converters, Inverters, Charging, Automotive (power units), here especially in the ambit of electric vehicles, the latter in exponential growth recently.
Piciesse has specialized and has invested precisely in this sector in the last few years, making important changes:
structural, it has bought a 5000 sq.m. shed;
technological, introducing relevant industrial automations in compliance with Industry 4.0;
process, it conforms to VDA 6.3 standards, through which it has been audited with excellent results and it owns a multiplicity of certifications starting from IATF, fundamental to work in this market.
The success story of GROB-WERKE began back in 1926 when the company was founded by Ernst Grob, who was producing folding boats, weaving machines and stationary combustion engines at that time.
In 1952, Burkhart Grob, the son of the founder, assumed responsibility for the company almost completely destroyed during the war and was able to forge the link to the emerging automotive industry with high-quality and technologically-convincing production machines. In 1968, the Mindelheim plant was built and the company’s headquarters was relocated from Munich to Mindelheim. Besides the parent plant in Mindelheim, the plants in Bluffton (USA), São Paulo (Brazil), Dalian (People’s Republic of China) and Turin (Italy) are part of the production network of GROB Group. This production network is expanded through fifteen sales and service branches in South Korea, China, India, Russia, Great Britain, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Vietnam, France, Japan and the USA to guarantee the best service quality.
Even after Dr. Burkhart Grob passed away in May 2016, the future of the family company has been strictly set out. Christian Grob took the company into the third generation as the new Supervisory Board Chairman. With a product portfolio ranging from universal machining centers to highly complex manufacturing systems including automation, and from machining assembly units to fully-automated assembly lines, GROB is one of the few machine tool manufacturers that produces and supplies machining and assembly equipment, as well as electromobility concepts since 2016.
Since the production of electric motors demands special assembly know-how, it was logical for GROB to seek a competent partner from the field of electric motor technology. Its takeover of DMG meccanica enables GROB to emphasize more than ever its claim in drive technology to be a leading and reliable partner for the automotive industry.
Development of DMG meccanica
Mauro Marzolla and the father of Marco Debilio founded DMG meccanica in 1992. They both brought with them decades of experience in winding technology for electric motors acquired at PAVESI, which, at that time, was one of the leading Italian providers of winding machines for electric motors. In 2001, after PAVESI had closed the activity definitively, DMG meccanica enjoyed an extremely successful period during which a range of new technologies and invention were brought to the market. These included both solutions and machines for manufacturing stators for electric motors, alternators and generators, and solutions for highly efficient winding machines. Directly responsible for these technological milestones were the engineers of DMG meccanica, who are among the best in their industry. Following this development, further products were developed over the years, such as various machines for spool manufacturing, spool feeding and winding head forming and slot insulation machines. In 2016, DMG meccanica, with a workforce of forty employees, achieved a turnover of ten million Euro. Five percent was in the home market of Italy, 40 percent in the EU and 55 percent in non-EU countries. 60% of the customer portfolio is comprised of well-known electric motor manufacturers and suppliers to the automotive industry. In addition, DMG meccanica was particularly well-represented in the important e-mobility market of China.
The acquisition: benefits for both companies
At the end of January 2017, GROB acquired 100 percent shares in DMG meccanica, substantially reinforcing the competences and developments in electromobility which it has been developing for several years. The technologies of DMG meccanica and the new processes developed by GROB, enable GROB to provide all the vital manufacturing processes and procedures in electric drives for the automotive industry and its suppliers world-wide, and also to supply them for series production in the near future. Following the acquisition, DMG meccanica became part of the GROB Group without any changes being made to its corporate structure. To complete its integration and optimize its structure, DMG meccanica has undergone the final step of the acquisition and been renamed GROB Italy S.r.l. in January 2018. The management board remained unchanged and continued to comprise the founders of DMG meccanica Mr. Marco Debilio and Mr. Mauro Marzolla.
The cooperation was a win-win situation for both companies. GROB took this step in order to strengthen its many years of research and development work in the field of electromobility and DMG meccanica has found in GROB a strong, globally-oriented partner for series production.
Further investments to expand these technologies are planned at both sites in Turin and Mindelheim. So already four years ago, in response to the increasingly progressive pace of technological change with vehicle powertrains, GROB established a Research and Development Team that focused solely on electromobility. Close consultation with renowned representatives from the automotive industry soon revealed a high demand for mass production equipment in this sector, the focus being on two core areas, the electric motor and the battery. In close collaboration with the automotive industry, engineering processes and methods for the series production of high-efficiency electric motors and extremely compact battery modules with a high power density are being developed and trialed on over 2,500 m² of space. “GROB is currently working on several projects for electric drives in the international automotive industry,” says German Wankmiller, Chairman of the Board & CEO. He goes on to explain: “Thanks to a team of specialists and development engineers, GROB can realize each and every one of these projects. As a general contractor, we are already able to handle large orders and offer machines and systems for electric motors, battery modules and fuel cells.”
GROB’s innovative prowess in the automotive industry has led to the electric motor and battery being pushed forward into a new technological dimension, and to the development of electric motors achieving high power density and efficiency. The challenge is to manufacture very precise, process-stable and precisely-timed machines and equipment, since very narrow tolerances are vital for achieving efficiency. As a general contractor, GROB offers a wide portfolio of such machines in the field of stator, rotor and electric motor production. The production program ranges from individual semi-automatic machines to fully automated complete solutions. For stator production in particular, there are various manufacturing methods for inserting copper wires into the stator slots. GROB covers the wave winding technology, the hairpin method and the fan coil technology. In addition, GROB Italy S.r.l. offers the inserting technology and needle winding. This means that GROB can market and operate all the production processes required in the automotive industry. GROB supports its customers, from the initial idea to the system concept for prototypes through to large-scale series production. In addition to electric motors, the field of battery systems represents the second most important of the pillars for the future of electric mobility. The production of battery cells and the reliable assembly of battery systems is becoming increasingly important. As a specialist in assembly technology and automation, GROB is ideally positioned as a provider of turnkey equipment to also be capable of providing future-proof and reliable systems engineering in the field of battery systems. To meet the demands of car manufacturers in the field of battery systems, very versatile engineering is required, for which GROB develops new and innovative system concepts focusing on process stability, precision and flexibility, taking cost factors into consideration. With a team of specialists, the GROB technicians work on futureproof production processes and make an important contribution to the development of intelligent concepts from ideas to series production. In module assembly, individual battery cells are processed to form a module. The requirements for battery systems as energy storage systems are tremendously high in terms of product, production technology and safety, and optimal quality is demanded in view of the delicate cell chemistry, so production lines must be fully automated and interlinked. But at the end of the day, the success of production is largely dependent upon understanding and optimization of the overall process. For this reason, GROB offers support to its customers at all stages of the value-added chain the technical know-how needed for this is partly drawn from similar processes in assembly technology.
Relevant markets and future scenarios
Electromobility is gaining importance at an increasingly fast pace, and transformations in vehicle drive technology have already begun. The markets have responded to these changes in various ways. GROB though, with its inherent strength and experience of making highly productive manufacturing and assembly lines, has already squared up to this new challenge. The GROB Group champions a uniform procedure and sales structure, and this is closely coordinated with the headquarters in Mindelheim. Since Europe and China are among the electromobility forerunners and the proportion of e-drives in China for the next few years has been laid down by legislation, investments in this sector are very high. With its expertise as a turn-key supplier, recognized by the automotive industry on many occasions, GROB has already mastered all the processes and technologies required to offer system concepts for reliable and cost-efficient series production. No surprise, then, that GROB is already considered the first point of contact in the electromobility sector – the testimony being the first extensive orders from the automotive industry. In this process, the Italian production plant is playing a key role within the GROB Group alliance to secure positive future prospects for the company.
Ground breaking ceremony of the new GROB Italy plant
The transfer of the GROB Italy plant from Buttigliera Alta to Pianezza is part of a long-term development plan which intends to make Pianezza a place of reference regarding the design and manufacturing of special machines and automation solutions for the production of electric motors. To support this important technological development, GROB has set up the new plant in Pianezza as a highly functional center, with an area of 24,000 square meters, of which 4,800 sm are dedicated to production and 3,300 sm to offices and services. It is intended to pool the whole production cycle from conceiving an idea to its practical implementation. Currently, the financial investment provided is approx. ten million euro. The workforce at the moment comprises about 60 employees, but GROB Italy is planning an increase of about 40 to 50 new jobs in the first phase to meet future needs.
Specialized since the foundation, in 1955, in the production of laminations for motors and transformers, Trancerie Emiliane, owned by Felisa family, are unavoidably interested in the e-mobility theme.
At the beginning, it was the sound, and precisely the unmistakable one by Beatles. On tour in Italy in the early Sixties, the four from Liverpool clearly needed all possible stage equipment, starting with amplifiers. They were supplied by Davoli’s made in Italy, whose resonance boxes were echoed by the transformers by a small Parma company. We are speaking of Trancerie Emiliane that few years before had stemmed from the entrepreneurship of Pietro Felisa, founder driven by ingeniousness and the will of leaving war miseries behind. Since then, Felisa workshop has developed up to gaining the sizes and the renown as big international manufacturer of laminations for transformers and electric motors, entering the world of induced activities of leader global brands in automotive and not only. Today it relies on a subsidiary in Slovak territory and 350-400 workers in all, with a turnover of 150 millions. The time seems propitious for further great strides, due to the clamour aroused by the race to e-mobility.
The managing director Franco Felisa strongly believes that the electrification of light transports, or at least their strong hybridization, represents the (sustainable) future of mobility and perhaps of even human kind, even if he is aware that the road to be travelled is still long and will reserve new surprises.
«E-cars and hybrid», he told Electric Motor Engineering, «are the vehicles of the future but I do not think that their definitive success, that is to say the complete replacement of thermal engines with electric motors, can be implemented in the short term.
Let us just consider the infrastructural deficiencies from which we suffer, for instance, in terms of energy production and distribution capacity.
The game and the candle
In spite of that, the investments by big brands and by some representatives of their induced activities do not seem to leave any doubt: they are constantly growing. The numbers at stake are attractive even if, currently, the planned output is in most cases equal to less than one tenth of means of transport produced in the world in one year. While vendors generally compete on the distance covered and the mileage of their cars, their supply chain, to which also Parma brand refers, copes with fully different matters, like the development of the production of new components that imply the implementation of equipment to be used in brand-new forefront manufacturing lines.
«Another fundamental step for the success of the electric mobility», commented Franco Felisa, «is represented by the development of batteries, and the issue is not exclusively of commercial or technological character.
The automotive industry is working hard to establish long-term agreements with the owners of lithium mines to be sure it will be supplied with the precious mineral.
A shock of realism
In the opinion of Franco Felisa, batteries must be recharged in the lapse of few minutes and the recharge must be sufficient for hundreds of kilometres to allow zero-impact four-wheels to keep their promises and to meet market requirements.
Nowadays, unfortunately this technology is not available, yet, and, in fact, it needs too much time for a complete recharge, with which it is not possible to travel long distances, yet, and anyway at low average speed.
To succeed in the aim of giving more autonomy and higher average speed to vehicles, manufacturers must strive to produce less energy-eating electric motors. One of the feasible ways is certainly the reduction of sheet metal thicknesses. Instead of the common 0.5 mm thickness used for standard electric motors, already today automotive uses thicknesses from 0.35mm to 0.27mm, but some automotive companies report and produce prototypes with sheet metal thickness of 0.19 mm.
This requirement urges the entire chain to an epochal change in the implementation, for instance, of the necessary steels, as well as of apt equipment and machines for blanking the laminations for the production of electric motors.
In my opinion, this is the approximate situation we are likely to face for the whole current year.
From 2020 to 2021, the numbers of electric vehicles introduced by companies into their ranges will be much broader.
Certainly, we cannot get off the running train of the e-mobility and Trancerie Emiliane are ready for racing and for satisfying its customers’ demands and needs.
In comparison with past years, before the 2008-crisis, certainly the whole market scenario has radically changed, for instance with delivery terms dropped from some months in the past to the present few weeks, as well as quality, irredeemably shifted to zero PPM. Despite criticalities, Felisa irremissibly considers automotive as the core of his company’s next initiatives and he is certain the future coincides with the diffusion of the e-car.
«We have clear ideas about what we would like to do», he anticipated, «but in a scenario of such a difficult interpretation caution is mandatory.
We imagine a robotic “next” factory, with electric trains that will handle goods in absolute autonomy, and fully automated warehouses, too, without anyway ever forgetting the human factor that is, and must remain, the focus of each of our thoughts or actions. On the other hand, employees’ competences and their way of working are expected to live an epochal change. Besides machines, workers are and will be called to increasingly use forefront consoles of collection and transfer of data concerning single job orders and all that can be used to fulfil them.
The AIDA MSP allows producing high precision and high-efficiency motors such as EV motors, HEV motors and energy-efficient home appliances motors. AIDA MSP presses are characterized by a remarkable dynamic precision due to both the compact design and the multiple suspension points architecture in line, to the native AIM function (Adjust In Motion) and to the balance reached between the high rigidity and the large surface of bed area. AIDA MSP presses guarantee unsurpassed accuracy and the longest die life thanks to the lowest deflection characteristics. Moreover, all areas that transmit the press the forming loads, such as the connecting rod bearings and the crankshaft bearings, are made from special metals selected to avoid heat deformations. Ideal for production of parts featuring thicknesses under 0.2 mm Multiple suspension points Oil temperature control unit Caliper type clutch and brake Highly rigid frame Highly rigid guidepost Adjust In Motion function (AIM)
We imagine the next job as absolutely less heavy from the physical point of view but much more committing in intellectual terms.
To compete globally, we must create further flexibility and this is accomplished through studies and investments in people and machines.
Trancerie Emiliane’s programme includes the implementation of a central unit or control tower that tracks in integrated way the information about activities in course and productions, the state of the art of each machining, which can be monitored step by step from remote.
Concerning this, Trancerie Emiliane has recently bought new AIDA presses that will be interconnected with the company, actively participating in the industry 4.0 project.
Established in 1977 thanks to the farsightedness of the current founders and owners, Canali brothers, during the years Stame has specialized in producing mechanical parts, of complex geometry and fair or good dimensional precision, through compaction and sintering of metal powders.
Nowadays the company produces parts for various mechanical production sectors, from locks to household appliances, from motorcycle to automotive induced activities. A relevant part of the generated turnover is carried out with foreign companies. Due to a basic choice, Stame is deeply interested in scientific and technological innovation. The study and the setting up of innovative sintered materials and advanced mechanical solutions, together with customers’ collaboration in designing, are part of the company philosophy and are more and more often encompassed in the ambit of the activities planned and developed systematically.
To improve the professional level and the technical-scientific competences of its human resources, Stame encourages its engineers’ participation in training activities, seminars and international sector meetings.
With over 70 history behind, Cagnoni prosecutes its growth and expansion course, today even more structural and organizational than ever. In fact, since the first months of the current year the company has carried out its activity in the new headquarters taking up about 4,000 sq. m., still in Osimo (AN), at the service of the numerous supplied sectors. Among them, stand out automotive and appliances, for which Cagnoni plays the role of problem-solver, supporting its customers’ engineers in the design development.
A fundamental synergistic contribution, highly appreciated especially by Research & Development departments, with which they establish and share the targets to be reached. Approach that today can benefit not only from the wider operational spaces of the new Headquarters, but also from an even better structured organization and from an increasingly digital and high-quality process management. A high productivity assured by a machine fleet composed by 12 mechanical presses from 30 to 350 tons, automated by electronic feeders and specific bending machines for the processing of technical materials, completed by EDM plants, very high-precision NC milling and grinding machines. The division, further developed in the new headquarters, can process 15,000 kg a day of raw materials, manufacture about 250,000 items a day, from few tenths of gram up to 400 grams, and machine thicknesses ranging from 0.10 mm up to 4 mm.
The production of electric commutators for electric motors in DC and AC, they too used in several sectors, exploits a unique technology that allows less waste of raw materials, without affecting the product quality and assuring high performances, reliability and extreme flexibility. Robotic isles, in-process controls through sophisticated high-resolution cameras and the use of software for defect diagnosis, decrease in-house machining costs at Cagnoni, offering notable economic advantages, and then more competitiveness, to customers.
Euro Group is the industrial holding company of an italian metalworking group with 51 years of history. It has grown to become a world top player in the production of magnetic steel laminationsfor stators and rotors of electric motors and generators.
Euro Groups market presence is worldwide, with 7 production units in Italy and another 5 in Mexico, United States, Tunisia, Russia and China.
The market for electric motors is increasingly demanding in terms of product complexity, shorter project development to market time, price competitiveness and high service level.
Euro Group meets these demands as a global partner who can offer solutions from dedicated production facilities to provide the best fit for all our customer requirements. To achieve these targets it has become master craftsman of its historical technologies (tool design and manufacture, blanking, die-casting, core assembly and slinky).
The company also cooperates as partners in the development of new families of magnetic steels.
Euro Group identifies and develops cutting-edge new technologies (for example laser welding, self-bonding steels, in-die gluing) and approaches new business opportunities with a structured Project Management, who have access to fast prototyping and numerical tools to simulate processes and designs to mitigate risks in serial production.
Heat pump products are increasingly present in each consumer’s experience. Their success is based on the energy saving and the environment protection: pursuing this target, the European Ecodesign regulation is introducing new important transformations at products’ core. However, the new generation of heat pump products will be asked to solve important technical challenges, as in the case of problems connected with the replacement of refrigerating gases.
Zoppas Industries Heating Element Technologies – global supplier and top player in design, production and sale of heating systems for domestic and industrial applications – offers a broad range of suitable solutions for facing the technical challenges in the development of new heating products equipped with heat pump technology. In the case of domestic washers-dryers, for instance, Zoppas Industries has developed innovative solutions of thermal boosters for applications exposed to the flammability risk of refrigerating gases. They have overcome, in particular, the limits of the previous generation, characterized by the use of bare-wire technology. The experience gained, operating for 50 years in over 200 different markets, is the driving engine of a portfolio of systems and technologies suiting tradition and at the same time keeping pace with innovation: new, reliable and advanced heating solutions, for products addressing aware customers.
In recent years, companie’s investments in the production of the electric motor for automotive have exponentially grown. This very particular product typology, in its turn, needs very definite and complete testing processes, to make the motor highly performing.
The experience of Risatti Instruments , combined with the new technologies developed by the company, allow customers to reach the prefixed targets. The testing phase starts from the control of losses in the iron of the assembled stator stack (N1), to optimize all manufacturing phases and then to obtain the highest efficiency. This analysis is carried out also on the rotor (O166) where, in addition, it is also possible to assess the die-casting quality, detecting also eventual interruptions and blows of bars, as well as the aluminium quality, which notably decrease efficiency. Concerning instead the stator testing (H5), four standard tests are carried out: ohmic resistance, stiffness, SURGE and rotation sense, with the further addition of: measurement of the insulation resistance, measurement of the ohmic resistance in alternate, at different frequencies, for the control of copper losses and the detection of the presence of partial discharges.
The issue of finished motor testing follows: of both the only motor, loadless or loaded, with the detection of the characteristic curve, and equipped with reduction and differential gear to evaluate the overall efficiency. The scheme proposed here represents the ideal testing process with the machines by Risatti Instruments, produced according to its customers’ single requirements, with the addition of suitable lab instruments (H3) for executing all tests for the design assessment and life tests, as well as complete tests on batteries.
Among the several applications that require the resin-bonding or the vacuum casting, there are also electric motors, whose insulation is absolutely necessary to grant them very long duration. Air bubbles or resin gaps can diminish the motor insulation, damaging performances and service life. Moreover, a partial discharge between the ground and primary insulation can occur.
Another reason for avoiding bubbles is the decrease of the heat dissipation, provided by resin and essential for the long service life of the motor and the preservation of high performances. Therefore, the resin must be “forced” into all inner spaces of the motor (especially in undercuts and in windings). The only possible procedure is vacuum casting.
Demak, thanks to its vacuum casting system, can assure the total absence of air in resin (by means of efficacious degassing systems) and in finished products, too. Then, all dispensing systems used in these process types are equipped with vacuum cabins, but not only: Demak technology for vacuum degassing starts from the resin loading on the machine until the last dispensing time. An efficient vacuum dispensing process, together with epoxy resin featuring high thermal resistance, allows qualifying motors for all durability tests required by OEM.
Many manufacturers of motors, solenoids, coils and other assemblies continue to use traditional, manual soldering techniques for magnet wire connections in their products. This can be costly, both in terms of the time required to make these manual connections, and in terms of quality, given that such processes are difficult to control and may result in poor connections.
TE Connectivity (TE) offers alternative solutions for terminating magnet wire, whether it is copper, aluminum or a combination of both. The terminals and splices are supported with application tooling ranging from hand insertion tools up to customer specific machines. High speed, fully automated, integrated systems provide uniform terminations reliably at a very low applied cost. No pre-stripping, soldering or welding of magnet wire is required.
MAG-MATE terminals and SIAMEZE terminals utilize insulation displacement connection technology, while AMPLIVAR terminals and splices utilize compression crimp technology.