Industrial motors and drives innovator Bonfiglioli is celebrating its 20th anniversary of operation in Australia with growth of more than 30% in the latest year.
The global Bonfiglioli group – which has itself grown 75% over the past five years to sales exceeding $1 billion - is investing in increased stock, and assembly and testing technology in Australasia to further enhance product innovation and service and delivery times.
The latest $10 million investment in stock and technology, to position Bonfiglioli for further expansion in 2008 - comes after both Australia and New Zealand contributed record performances in 2007, says the managing director of Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia), Malcolm Lewis.
This $10 million follows investment the year before of another $8 million in Bonfiglioli’s new headquarters in Sydney coupled with expanded stocking and local assembly and testing facilities in Australia and New Zealand to cope with expanded demand.
“The ongoing investment and good performances across Australia and New Zealand have transformed Bonfiglioli from being a supplier of predominately smaller drives - including worm types – to having the region’s wide range of quality worm, helical, planetary and variable frequency drives,” says Malcolm Lewis.
“The investment will help prepare Bonfiglioli for even better performances to come with the impact of new ranges of heavy duty drives and new technology suited to mechatronics applications and production automation.
“Australasia is a success story of the Bonfiglioli group. Bonfiglioli has expanded more than six fold since it sets up a full Bonfiglioli branch here 10 years ago following a decade of successful national distribution by its original Brisbane based operation. Bonfiglioli has since expanded radically through innovation, range and service, gaining a reputation as a problem solver by adapting our versatile product ranges to customers’ particular needs” he said.
“We will do even better over 2008 as we expand our staff to satisfy expanding customer demand. New skilled positions will be created in Australasia as we continue to record outstanding performances in the area of heavier drives in the mining and materials handling sectors, as well as mechatronic packages into the manufacturing and processing sectors.
New technology from the Bonfiglioli’s Electronics Automation Division (EAD) will also assist local manufacturers to remain world competitive.
Bonfiglioli’s presence has also been expanded in New Zealand, where Precision Bearings and Transmissions – with 10 branches in the North Island and Christchurch in the South Island - complements the existing highly successful distribution through Saeco Bearings and Transmissions.
Saeco has more than doubled its stocks of Bonfiglioli drives and assembly facilities as part of a BEST (Bonfiglioli Excellent Service Team) Partner agreement.
The increased stocking levels built up throughout Australasia over the year ending June 2008 will help satisfy burgeoning demand for technology such as:
- New generation HDO/HDP large helical drives, which are especially suited to demanding materials handling tasks. This range – currently available to 72,000 Nm – has been a success and will soon be expanded further to 105,000Nm with local assembly being planned now. The HDO/HDP drives are also being combined with Trasmital planetaries to produce powerful high torque drive combinations especially suitable for low speed applications.
- Compact multi-stage Trasmital planetary gearboxes have been an ideal performer in their own right, as well as in combination with ranges such as HDP/HDO and the C, A and F helical gearboxes. Trasmital drives can be specified and assembled in Australasia following the new investment here. Planetary gearbox combinations are now available with peak torque outputs of more than a million Nm. Applications range from cranes and winches, conveyors and feeders, mixers, agitators, and aerators, clarifiers and thickeners.
- New high technology ranges designed to advance adoption of advanced mechatronics and automation technology in Australasia through Bonfiglioli’s EAD division. Bonfiglioli is currently more than doubling the capacity of Vectron ACT 201 and 401 selectable vector drives ranges available ex stock in Australia and New Zealand. The move to expanded local stocking of the ACT series of drives up to 132kW, means enhanced availability and delivery of the advanced technology drives, which are designed to offer outstanding flexibility for variable speed industrial process applications.
Malcolm Lewis says both Australia and New Zealand will develop their modern assembly and testing facilities to accommodate more new technologies coming this year.
“Our dedicated technical competence centre (the Drives Service Centre, DSC) in stage one of our Headquarters expansion is the latest initiative of this technical focus. Customers can be linked to our local and global expertise via the DSC and its 24/7 Mosaico online technology, which helps customers to optimise gearbox specification and design for specialised applications.”
The work of the DSC in tailoring ranges to the needs of customers is also being complemented by the expansion of Bonfiglioli’s advanced technology where modern electronic drives are configured to radically enhance process control and facilitate the ongoing introduction of Mechatronics drives technology.