Sustainability with a smart heart

Camozzi Automation, division of Camozzi Group, leader in the design and manufacturing of components for the control of fluidsā€™ motion and of systems and technologies for industrial automation, the transport and Life science sector, in the release of innovative products is expressing a precise business strategy that looks at the environmental sustainability and at the reduction of consumptions and emissions, but also at all the potentialities of smart and 4.0 components. We talk about that with Andrea Camisani, Research Director of Camozzi Group and Chief Technical Officer of Camozzi Automation.

Andrea Camisani, Research Director of Camozzi Group and Chief Technical Officer of Camozzi Automation

Ā«Our customersā€™ demands – Camisani says – mirror market trends and they are more and more oriented to a reduction of overall dimensions in components. All that implies for us a great effort by the research sector, since it is required to improve efficiency and performances of systems that become increasingly complex and ā€˜intelligentā€™, able to transmit process data that can make the component adaptable to applicationā€™s parameters in a certain stage, for instance to decrease energy wastes. Camozzi has chosen an innovative approach, which provides for reversing the paradigm regarding data processing, which no longer occurs on machine board or on process control PC, but directly on the valve, on the cylinder, or on the pneumatic actuator. Therefore, components can dialogue with other parts of the machine, transmitting information about performance and process conditions, also in predictive maintenance vision.Ā»

Looking at sustainability essentially means intervening on materialsā€¦

An example is represented by the range of push-in GRIPfit fittings, made of bio-compatible materials based on polyamide 11, thermoplastic polymer with low environmental impact that can assure high performances. They are studied for numerous applicative requirements, starting from the ones in medical, food and cooling system sectors.

Push-in Gripfit fittings are made with biocompatible materials, drawn from vegetal oils

They represent a new generation of push-in fittings, made with highly performing materials and provided with a flexible stainless steel gripping ring to facilitate the connection and disconnection of most semi-rigid tubes and, besides, with shaped seal that assures more tightness performance, making their use ideal in a broad range of static and dynamic industrial applications.

What about digitalisation?

Right from the component, we bet on concept of the condition assessment to increase plantsā€™ efficiency, to avoid manufacturing downtimes and to control the machineā€™s efficiency levels according to a predictive vision.Ā It is the case of the valves Series D, equipped with Coilvision technology, developed to monitor in real time the operation parameters of the solenoid that drives the spool. Each operation of the solenoid, in different cyclic configurations and environmental conditions, is analysed to acquire information that is processed by software algorithms to diagnose and predict the health status of the component. This proprietary technology represents an example of our will of increasingly developing diagnostics systems that allow monitoring of operation and parameters of the component where it is integrated, to make these products more and more able to learn automatically during their operation.

What solutions and novelties, instead, from the point of view of the energy efficiency amelioration?

I think, for instance, of the pressure booster Series BPA, which allows increasing the output pressure up to 20 bars, only where necessary, automatically and constantly, assuring the optimization of the pneumatic area distribution network, and then rationalizing costs and consumptions.

The pressure booster Series BPA allows increasing the output pressure up to 20 bars, only where it is necessary, automatically and constantly

The multiplierā€™s mechanical operation allows a fast user-friendly installation, a low heat generation and a safe machine operation. In the versions with integrated regulator, the output pressure is optimized according to the requirements, favouring an efficient management of the energy consumption automatically.

You have recently presented important evolutions in the sector of grippers, too ā€¦

The design of increasingly compact and light products characterizes also the handling sector, as proven by the gripper of the Series CGPL, characterized by long strokes that make it apt for gripping components of different sizes and also provided with re-circulating ball guides, which allow managing big workloads with high cycle times.

Great strides also in the handling sector, permitting to supply the market with increasingly performing and ā€œintelligentā€ grippers

Besides, the absolute novelty is represented by the smart pneumatic gripper that integrates the functions of a hand, combining efficiency, flexibility, ergonomics and intelligence in a single device, able to perceive the objects and to analyse their characteristics through a system of integrated sensors that permit it to collect information about the handled component and to undertake suitable reactions for the single situation.

Is the Italian manufacturing world ready to welcome fully these opportunities?

These and other solutions conform to the path of new frontiers traced a long time ago in the technological field, like for instance mechatronics that offers more and more interesting prospects. All of us, on the other hand, are accustomed to making use of tools also in our daily life, like smartphones, integrated with digital functions. The manufacturing world looks also at the repercussions of the evolutions coming from the automotive sector, which works towards revolutionary concepts such as autonomous driving. Today, when the value that can be drawn from data increasingly represents the key for the success of a company, there is a growing and diffused belief that these technologies not only improve the user experience but that they are able to offer extraordinary opportunities.