Our HeavyQuip Magazine Team has been invited to visit the new Berco’s Headquarter in Copparo (IT). Officially opened on November 17, the new facility will be the home of the new I&T Departments, signaling the company’s commitment to innovation and technology research.
Berco, a global leader in the manufacturing and supply of undercarriages and components to the world’s main heavy machinery OEMs and the Aftermarket, is excited to announce the official inauguration of its new Research & Development (R&D) department in Copparo, Italy. The company’s commitment to innovation is demonstrated by its investing of €1 million into this facility.
With over 100 years of experience and expertise in the industry, Berco is renowned for the very high quality of its products. This recognition has been forged through an enduring commitment to R&D, which is now further demonstrated by this most recent development. Covering 2000 m2 , the new department is located beside the entrance of the company’s headquarters. It houses state-of-the-art machinery, specifically developed to advance the company’s strategic plans for the future.
Technology, Innovation and Sustainability
The new R&D facility will be home to the ‘T&I’ (technology and innovation) team, which will be divided into two subgroups: the metallurgical laboratory and product engineering. The team is currently composed of 23 researchers. This group, however, is set to be expanded. New recruits will be given the opportunity to work in a highly advanced mechanical engineering environment, further bolstered by Berco’s membership of the globally renowned thyssenkrupp Business Unit, Forged Technologies.
This process towards a future of innovation, sustainability and growth has been Berco’s priority for years.
Francesco Grenzi, Executive Director of R&D at Berco is very excited about this recent development.
“The new Berco R&D department features state-of-the-art equipment that will ensure that all of our researchers will have at hand the most advanced tools possible as they continue the company’s long tradition of being at the forefront of innovation. We are now working with generation 4.0 machines which allow us to store all of the data we collect, which can then be used for future analysis; this is vital for our continuous improvement.”
Also Fedele Salvatore, Head of Sales at thyssenkrupp agrees with Grenzi’s words. As he points out,
“Secure, execute, extend, diversify, exceed”
are the key elements for this new business transformation, which will be possible thanks to the great metallurgical know-how, the cutting-edge technology and the special customer care attention.
New software and hardware for products testing
The standout feature at Berco’s new R&D department will be the benchmark room. There, tests will be carried out on the company’s own products as well as on those of its competitors and suppliers. The revamped roller test bench is equipped with completely new software and hardware control systems that achieve greater flexibility in defining load protocols. It can perform its duties without human supervision. It also allows endurance tests to be carried out over extended periods, which help Berco engineers to be more targeted in defining the applications of the rollers.
The updated rubber testing machines, moreover, are able to perform cryostatic tests which determine performance at very low temperatures. Indeed, rubbers are of fundamental importance for Berco because they are key components for the sealing of rollers, chains, idlers and track adjusters which determine product life and quality. Despite their apparent simplicity, they need to perform at very high levels in all working conditions, even at extremely low temperatures (-40°C and -50°C).
The laboratory also houses an innovative standardized tester, based on the Charpy pendulum, for the very accurate measurement of the toughness of steel, a material widely used throughout Berco’s production. In addition, a new automatic universal hardness tester is present, to perform hardness tests in Vickers, Brinell, Rockwell scales, with visual output on a monitor. The collected data are put online, thus allowing subsequent analysis. Berco’s new spectrometer is supplemented by two analyzers for elemental testing on steels. One is able to measure the amount of nitrogen and oxygen present in steel and the other the amount of sulphur and carbon.
The latest 3D printing technology provides Berco engineers with a refined model when they are entering into the structural phase of a component. It is beneficial to production processes, helping to stimulate systems and understand size. Moreover, a 3D printer can provide customers with a clear view of what is being created for them. Finally, new 10-ton and 100-ton presses allow extensive fatigue and static testing to be performed on mechanical components such as springs.
New software, ultimate 3D techniques, rubber testing, spectrometer and analysis machines have been added to Copparo’s facility, signaling Berco’s strong commitment to digitalization and the company’s leading ability to constantly innovate and re-novate itself in terms of material, treatments and processes.
Aftermarket Strategy that meets Customer’ s Needs
Last, but not least, as Diego Buffoni, Head of Aftermarket at Berco has pointed out:
“On top of Berco’s high priorities, there is the supply of comprehensive and affordable solutions to all Aftermarket customers.”
The aftermarket strategy followed by Berco is based on providing solutions for all conditions and customer’s needs. This means that the company identifies a product area and develops an improved industry solution in line with expected maintenance intervals.
For Berco, this is another large step on the way to becoming an overall solution provider for the Aftermarket.
Accounting for a big portion of all Aftermarket sales, the mining market segment is of particular importance to Berco. The company is now looking to further strengthen its position there by extending its mining ranges and becoming the only high-quality alternative to the OEMs.