• Automotive
  • Case Study

Bonfiglioli and Var Group: a path to technological excellence

For Bonfiglioli Riduttori, a leader in the engineering sector, innovation has always been the key to change.
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For more than 60 years, the company has been designing, manufacturing and distributing a wide range of industrial gearmotors and drives. Today, a true pole of excellence has been created at the Calderara di Reno site under the EVO name, the group's largest facility, joining dozens of sales subsidiaries, production plants and several hundred distributors worldwide. EVO is an ambitious project that would not have been possible without a strong belief in the transformative power of technology. The entire investment has been divided into new online production technologies, Industry 4.0 best practices and appropriate infrastructure. What was needed was a warehouse management solution capable of integrating with the SAP management system already in use, but radically simplifying picking operations.

Discussion with Var Group resulted in the design of a virtual pick-to-light system using augmented reality that speeds up warehouse operations by seeing through the “eyes” of a tablet, thus bypassing RF guns, voice-to-pick solutions and even expensive and limiting real pick-to-light infrastructure.

Thanks to the technical expertise and in-depth understanding of logistics processes of Var BMS, a Var Group company specialised in SAP, the choice fell on iPick, a solution that improves the performance of the logistics department thanks to Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality.

The differentiating element is that it does not use conventional barcodes/QR-codes, but rather Aruco codes, special video recognition markers that have no perceivable read latency. iPick has revolutionised the assembly department: each operator uses a multi-level trolley equipped with a normal tablet that iPick makes “intelligent” and that “sees” its own Augmented Reality without affecting that of the others, providing real-time identification of the code, quantity and position from which to pick: this speeds up picking operations and gives the operator a more fluid work experience. The iPick system also directs each employee so that they can finalise their picking tasks in a timely manner, even when they do not know the warehouse map: training on the job is therefore very quick. Finally, the interface with SAP provides a real-time view of the overall situation, and the tablet can also be used for additional functions related to the management software.

Bonfiglioli and Var Group have taken an articulated path towards a higher level of innovation that requires continuous updates and that, by adapting to the company's growth, opens up continuous margins for improvement.

Enrico Andrini | Chief Digital & Information Officer of Bonfiglioli Riduttori