The company Vismaravetro Srl has a more highly verticalized production structure than some of its other competitors. Vismaravetro Srl, in fact, starts from processing the glass in sheets to get the final glass of the shower enclosure. It purchases extruded unrefined aluminium profiles to arrive at the custom colour or surface treated profile with the relevant necessary cutting and CNC machining. Components, usually also unrefined, are purchased and then finished by third party contract manufacturers. The verticalization of the production process promoted in the company fosters the order-deliver cycle time and the multitude of solutions offered with many customisable solutions (measurements, colour) ready for the customers. So, by focusing on the customer, the company has gradually adapted its production departments, and as a result its machinery, with flexible solutions and modern machinery. Flexibility is certainly the company’s production mission.
The company is carrying forward a progressive transformation of its machinery and systems towards a 4.0 focus, with the following worthy of mention:

  • · glass cutting machinery,

  • · machinery for profile Cutting or CNC machining

  • · glass drilling machinery

  • · machinery for screen or digital printing

  • · packing construction machine

  • · parcel packaging machinery

  • · automated warehouse for storing and handling goods

all operating with characteristics explicitly required by the 4.0 philosophy. The latest investment in terms of time frames concerns the acquisition of an even better performing tempering furnace together with the investment in the photovoltaic plant, which will be installed at our production site in Giussano (province of Monza and Brianza), Italy.

It represents the future path to arrive at a company having a very low environmental impact, therefore able to self-produce most of the energy required to operating 4.0 production plants in totally green mode. The main characteristic of this investment is undoubtedly the reduction of energy consumption, square metres and glass thickness being equal.

There are two important production factors for a tempering furnace processing glass as the raw material: square metres and glass thickness. The estimated reduction of use of energy, with production mix being equal, is over 25% less than that previously used.

The benefit on production costs is rather significant since, as seen above, the cost of energy on the tempering process makes the biggest impact.

Coupling the 350 kwh photovoltaic plant will allow the company to self-consume alternative energy amounting to an average of 50-60% of that required for operating the furnace. All of this will be reflected in the benefit of reducing the process cost and greater production efficiency of the entire tempering process. In addition to the above-mentioned energy efficiency characteristics, the investment aims at guaranteeing:

· an overall increase in productivity: for the dimensional characteristics of the existing furnace compared to the one included in the investment, it will be possible to get many more panes of glass in a single “drop”. Consequently, with the cycle time remaining unaltered, productivity will be improved.

· the possibility to switch from one temperature to another and the opportunity to more quickly adjust the furnace height will offer the chance to be faster in thickness changeovers and in changing glass types from one lot to the other. Vismaravetro Srl’s prerogative is to be efficient in the order-to-delivery cycle time. Small lots can be treated with less set-up time wasted, all to the benefit of the overall processing time.

· the diversified connectivity of the flows of heat is an important aspect for the intrinsic processing qualities. In this way, the optical quality of the glass can be guaranteed at a higher level.

· the type of heating is specified for all new generation low-emissive glass. Generally speaking, a lower probability of glass breakage is expected. It is reminded in this analysis that breakage in a glass thermal treatment process results in gigantic damage for productivity. Indeed, breakage in drops ranging in time from 3 to 4 minutes per sq.m can also entail machine down time of 3 to 4 hours.

This investment is made through participation in the request for proposal “Sustainable 4.0 Investments” through Invitalia for the Italian Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy (MISE), which funds programmes that make innovative, sustainable investments with high technological content, consistent with the Transition 4.0 national plan.

On 19 December 2022, the approval to participate in the request for proposals with Application IS0109292 was received, for a total investment amount of about €1,685,000, against which subsidies totalling €421,000.00 were granted in the form of a systems subsidy for the resources of the “REACT-EU” initiative, allocated to priority pillar VI of the National Operational Programme (PON) “Enterprises and Competitiveness” 2014-2020. The subsidies were granted pursuant to and within the limitations of the provisions of section 3.13 of the Temporary Framework, funded as part of the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.