The metal industry is playing an important role in the international economies, from the automotive field to the production of machinery. We talk about this topic with the General Manager of Gefran Drives & Motion, who presents the excellence of the group in this sector
by Ginevra Leonardi
The Italian multinational Gefran Group is specialised in the design and production of components and systems for automation and industrial process control. One of the core businesses for which it boasts solid expertise is the metal segment. Let’s talk about it with Christian Pampallona, General Manager of Gefran Drives & Motion, a company belonging to the Group, who presents a cross-section of the sector. “The metal industry plays a primary role in the European economy. Indeed, the latest eurostat figures show that the growth of the manufacturing sector in this area mainly derives from the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, other means of transport and the production of machinery and equipment” Christian Pampallona says. “These application, together with the production of metal and metal products account for 41% of the total value of production sold, whose main target markets are, in addition to the domestic and community ones, Southeast Asia.
Concerning international trade, this sector is playing an important role in the economies of industrialised countries, whose productivity, in my opinion, is determined by the ability to innovate”.
A collaboration for a new line dedicated to the cold forming
In this context, what is Gefran’s distinctive feature in the metal sector? Christian Pampallona highlights how Gefran’s tailor-made approach has always been recognised by the market as one of the high added value services. An in-house team of qualified experts is able to support OEM, system integrators and end users at every stage of the process: from the examination of requirements to the selection or development of the most suitable solution, up to its installation and configuration. Thanks to this expertise, which is the result of an historical presence in the industry, Gefran was chosen for instance as a reliable partner for a new line dedicated to the cold forming of metal profiles.
Precision, speed and reduction of waste: this is the triple Gefran challenge which the company has managed to achieve by working closely with the client’s Technical Office’s team. The collaboration has proven to be fundamental, for example, for the production of the flying shear, a cutting system on the fly to obtain profile sections in a continuous process, without stopping the line.
Specifically, Gefran proposed the adoption of a new software application, directly implemented in the ADV200 frequency converter, to integrate the specifications of the flying shear to the standard functions.
The main technical features
The ADV200 frequency converter is available in a range of power up at 1.8 MW, from 400 up to 690 Vac. The inverter integrates the IEC61131-3 standard programming language which allows the configuration of any machine application, such as flying shears, guaranteeing complete integration flexibility. It also includes a Safe Torque Off (STO) function certified to SIL3/PLe, EMI filter for the entire product line and integrated choke up to 132 kW.
An expertise which guarantees consulting and ad hoc solutions
Thus, what are the advantages of using Gefran Drives & Motion solutions for the metal market? “Consulting, customization and flexibility: these are the main advantages that the market sees in us” Christian Pampallona says. “Customers rely on Gefran for its ability to support them, starting from their specific needs, defining and implementing projects, proposing, where necessary, ad hoc solutions.
As a matter of fact, the Gefran drives and power supplies are ideal for a wide range of metal processes and applications: winders and unwinders, slitters, roll forming machines, flying shears, rolling mills or presses. The control of the main types of motors – asynchronous, synchronous brushless and DC – together with systems for energy management and recovery, make up a dedicated application proposal for both single-axis and multi-axis systems, thus guaranteeing greater precision, reliability, plant performance and production efficiency. Finally, the control functions integrated on-board the drive, guarantee important additional benefits such as reducing system complexity and the elimination of delays and noises on the transmissions.”