Strategic vision and medium-long term planning. These are the keywords of Cesare Dal Monte, who has been GER Elettronica’s managing director for a year and a half, after a long experience in the woodworking equipment sector. The manager has big plans for the company based in Montecchio Maggiore (Vicenza), founded in 1975 for the production of machines to measure the leather surface and spray control varnish economizers. A lot has been done since then and today GER Elettronica proposes itself to the market in a completely different role: “Up to now we have been seen as those who measure leather at the end of the manufacturing process, but now all this has changed because our leather reading devices (surface, thickness mapping, colour, etc.) located along the process has seen us on the front line in the collection of very important data to optimise the production cycle, since the beginning of the process”, explains Dal Monte.
The manager looks to the future thinking about the inevitable changes that the market itself is imposing. “Tanneries are destined to change traditional processing systems – says the manager -. Given the progressive reduction in margins, today’s companies need to cut production costs but, more than buying expensive machines, attention is paid to process efficiency. We also see that from the type of requests we receive. This is why we are developing our business along its two main development directions: artificial intelligence software and automation”.
What exactly is your role in this change? “Our mission is to make business intelligence tools available to tanners. How? Through data collection and analysis. Our tools have always ‘read the hide/skin’ throughout the tanning process. Not by sample but systematically and with certified procedures. Enabling objective and real-time quality control and immediate reporting of critical issues. The same data can be processed to provide information on the process in its entirety. We are talking about information that enables us to know the yield of each single phase or the production in its entirety and its variation over time. A software (like our I-Data) that analyses in real time all the data collected by our tools located throughout the tanning process offers valuable information to those who have to make decisions and guide production”.
There was also talk of automation… “This is another trend we intend to focus on. I believe that in the next five to ten years tanneries will see a great transformation in terms of automation. At the fair we wanted to give a performance by presenting a robot applied to our leather rolling-up machine (covered by 7 patents): a manipulator arm that picks up rolled-up leather and places it into the box (in the photo above). It seems trivial but it is not, considering the peculiar shape of leather, which is standardised thanks to the rolling-up”.
The I.Gun patent, which revolutionises the in-line control spraying with the application of artificial vision technologies, is GER’s last novelty. The I.Gun’s eye is a camera capable of capturing frames of each gun while in motion. Also in this case the secret is in the ad hoc developed software that analyses images in real time and alerts the operator in case of anomalies.