THE LOYALTY OF THE KOHLER ENGINES CUSTOMER IS RENEWED WITH A SECOND PLANT, A NEW SUCCESS FOR EVERYONE, BUT WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
“When we talk about Proxaut, we are talking about two automation projects and Industry 4.0,” Mirco Di Paola, Process Engineer of Kohler Engines, Reggio Emilia (Italy).
In 2007 the American multinational Kohler Co. acquired the historic Lombardini Motori, which had been active in the Emilia area since the 1930s. It can be said that, between the Italian and the US experience, Kohler Engines has made history in the realm of diesel and petrol engines. In the historic Pieve plant in Reggio Emilia, opened in 1963, there have been significant extensions and investments, including technological ones, such that the company already boasts hybrid engine projects. Visiting the museum, which opened in 2019 and tells the story of the company from its foundation to today, one perceives the great international spirit, which has allowed the group to always be a pioneer and to be the first to knock on the doors of the industrial world, to offer its products and propose its own projects. The museum, in addition to exhibiting historical and modern engines, has been designed to offer an interactive experience and tell the story of the engines with the voice and face of those who have designed, assembled, sold and used them over the years. "Initially," explains Eng. Di Paola, "the need was to reduce or eliminate the use of means for handling and transporting the engines during the assembly process which then took place mainly on pallets. The need was also to maintain high flexibility, given the high degree of variability of our production processes. We chose to focus on handling and transport solutions that could guarantee precision, flexibility of use over time, and efficiency. Hence the search for a partner to purchase an automated system suited to our needs." This is how the search for an automation supplier begins. The Kohler Engines company therefore started looking for a solution: hence the meeting with Proxaut. "We appreciated the flexibility of Proxaut's AGV solutions for a dynamic company like ours, which allowed us to change the layout of our production plant and related processes, without having to work on fixed infrastructures or make large investments" continues Eng. Di Paola. He adds: “The flexibility of Proxaut in adapting the offer to our needs, as well as the close location our factories, which guaranteed us proximity in case of problems or interventions, were fundamental requirements. Last but not least, the quality of the product which, while maintaining excellent economic competitiveness, prompted us to order the first system in 2017 and now, a few years later, the second. The primary objective has always been to improve processes through the search for increasingly cutting-edge solutions, despite the involvement of handling activities on several occasions carried out with the aid of forklifts. "
The project with Proxaut not only improved the production processes, but also made them considerably safer. The confirmation comes directly from Kohler: “From a safety point of view, we have eliminated numerous critical issues deriving from the close interrelationship between vehicles and personnel. The use of AGVs has allowed us to achieve this goal as well. Our company has always held the key value of safeguarding and protecting our workers. This objective also involves the automation process within the production plant and, thanks to Proxaut, we were able to achieve it,” explains Di Paola. Again with this project, Proxaut proved to be a reliable partner fulfilling the customer's expectations, thus confirming its unique determination.
“We have a clear goal: to find the best solutions for our customers. And we are determined to achieve it. " Cit. Brand Platform Proxaut 2021.
In view of this success, Proxaut thanks all those who took part in the project. "A company is a team. Harmony, dialogue between departments, exchange of ideas, sharing of problems, search for solutions: that is how a winning team is created."
Stefano Ballotti, founder of Proxaut SRL