With the cooperation of our UCIMU hosts, a field trip was arranged tovisit the site of a real live FMS. Guide for the occasion was JohnRusso, president of Berardi USA Ltd. That is the Cranston, RI, outpostfor Rino Berardi, an Italian machine-tool builder headquartered inBrescia, Italy.
Berardi is no small outfit. They have a staff of 700 people atBrescia. Subsidiary companies include: Ital-planning in Milan–anengineering service organization of 70 people who “study completeturnkey equipment for every industrial field all over the world.”Ceruti in Bollate has 400 people making boring machines and verticallathes. Omus in Milas has 200 people making carbide tools with WidiaKrupp material. Francesconi & Terenghi in Brescia has 50 peoplemaking electric and electronic systems. Samo in Brescia has 200 peoplemaking sintered products for the automotive and household-applianceindustries. About 70 percent of the above companies’ production is forexport.
Russo had arranged for a briefing by Anselmo Lusvardi, directortechnical operations of the SAME tractor factory at Treviglio, an hoursdrive from Milan. This plant employs 2000 to make three brand names of tractors. TheFMS is a part of their program of keeping production facilities up todate. The magnitude of the project was evidence by the presence of ascale model under glass in the lobby of the office building.
The design is modular and had only six of the eventual eightmachining centers installed at the time of our visit. The computercontrols were by ELSAG, with software by Berardi. The DNC system andcomputer-driven inspection station were scheduled to go in after thelast two machining centers. The product line evident in the yard indicated a mix ideal forflexible production equipment and a need for more market recovery to buythe inventory.