To become a supplier of hydraulic components to a crane manufacturer like FASSI, you have to pass their ‘entrance exam’. CEJN meets with Roberto Signori, R&D-SPE Manager in the technical department at FASSI, to see what was behind the decision to choose CEJN´s WEO swivel for their machines. The task of Roberto´s team is to stress-test new crane models as well as hydraulic and electrical components that will be included in the machinery. And when it comes to quality and service life, FASSI never compromises.
In the little village of Albino, outside Bergamo in Italy, we find the headquarters of crane producer FASSI. This particular facility produces medium to heavy-duty cranes, and other parts of the production takes place at six other companies around the country, a total of 450 employees. The HQ houses, among other divisions, an advanced technical department with 40 employees, and CEJN meets up with Roberto Signori, R&D-SPE Manager, in the testing division. He and his team define the hydraulic and electronic systems of the cranes by subjecting new models and supplier components to tough challenges. This is intended to guarantee optimum quality and performance for their finished products. 6000 cranes leave the FASSI facilities on an annual basis and 95% are distributed to foreign markets.
FASSI puts CEJN to the test. When CEJN came into contact with FASSI, they were suffering leakage, quality and dimension problems with their current connections on hydraulic control valves. There were also delivery problems with the connections, causing frustration. In applications like this, when hoses are constantly being twisted, a good swivel function is a must to enable long hose life. With the WEO swivel, FASSI immediately saw these benefits together with the advantage of fewer components, meaning a reduced number of leakage points. Leakage was often due to difficulty in assembling the different parts in narrow spaces. Another appealing feature was the plug-in system, which would cut the assembly time considerably.
Due to the confined space in the FASSI application, CEJN decided to look at the design of the WEO swivel to see if the size could be further reduced. “We managed to redesign the back section to save further space and therefore fit their application better,” explains Anna Pisano, OEM Sales Support CEJN Italy. This modification, making the WEO swivel more compact, was so successful it has now become the new CEJN standard. When the new WEO swivel was tested by FASSI, it passed all their various tests with good margins.
”Our vision is to have the WEO plug-in on all our machines”
Roberto Signori R&D-SPE Manager, FASSI
Cooperation with CEJN and WEO. FASSI has now been using the WEO swivel for over two years and they are very satisfied, especially with the reduced number of components, meaning fewer connection points to cause problems and leaks. The time savings are very important as well: “With WEO we can connect without the need for tools and it is extremely quick. When assembling, we save at least ten minutes on every crane,” states Roberto.
According to Roberto, cooperation with CEJN has worked out very well, with fast responses from CEJN. “When there have been any problems, FASSI has received the support they needed to move on quickly. Delivery also works fine. Today our FASSI Company Cramo uses CEJN ’s WEO swivel and delivery is just in time, as we demanded from the very start,” says Roberto.
The future. Last year FASSI celebrated 50 years in the crane industry and the aim is to produce an annual output of 25 000 cranes. WEO is currently being used on the distributor bank of small and medium-sized cranes and when we ask Roberto about the future for WEO, he feels that the next step is to implement the WEO plug-in on the large models too: “For me, the fast assembly time is the most important aspect. My vision is to have the WEO plug-in on all our machines. Always WEO,” explains Roberto. Another step is to have WEO in the valves as well.
FASSI has a strong end-user focus and feels that they could benefit as well from WEO. When performing maintenance, the smart WEO plug-in system allows the operator to unplug just the hose that needs to be changed. With other solutions an operator may have to dismantle numerous connections in order to reach the defective hose, which can involve several hours of work. Another obvious customer benefit is the longer hose life with the swivelling WEO. Roberto sums up by saying: “We see the advantages of WEO internally and we know for sure that the end user would also benefit considerably if we use WEO”.
Roberto Signori together with Anna Pisano and Luca Mortellaro from the CEJN Italian sales team on a tour of the technical department at FASSI in Albino.