PERPETUO is developed and proposed by 'Gefond for a long Life Industry'.
Founded in 1994, Gefond represents leading suppliers in the diecasting industry and distributes technologically advanced equipment for light alloy foundries. Gefond's challenge is to stay ahead of the changing time by trying to anticipate it; to support trends in the manufacturing industry with innovative technical solutions, focusing on digitalisation and sustainability; to broaden the range of services on offer; to push training to increase productivity.
Gefond's strategic vision is embodied in five divisions: Gefond Products, Gefond Software, Gefond Technology, Gefond Academy, Gefond Service.
It represents and distributes consumables and technological equipment for the non-ferrous alloy foundry sector with a special focus on the use of energy-saving technologies that guarantee concrete and documentable advantages such as reduced cycle time, longer mould life, quality of parts produced and energy savings, and consequently a reduction in costs and an increase in productivity in diecasting cells. In particular, it represents the following brands in Italy: temperature control units (HPDC by Gefond), spraying machines (WOLLIN and AED), dosing furnaces (FOUNDRY 4), crucible furnaces (MMP), crucibles (Morgan), melting furnaces (KROWN), latest-generation laser markers (LASERAX), adiabatic coolers to replace evaporative towers (FRIGEL).
It researches and proposes, in collaboration with digital development centres, solutions to improve production efficiency and extend plant life. Perpetuo, the artificial intelligence software for predictive maintenance in foundries, intuitive and easy to use, the only one able to dialogue with any machine and peripheral device in the die-casting plant anywhere in the world; Fabbrica digitale, the first artificial intelligence solution for optimising production processes; Castle, the simulation software designed specifically for foundry mould making; Automata, the management application dedicated to production on order, tailor-made for metal and steel companies.
It researches, develops and distributes innovative and sustainable advanced diecasting production systems. The patent for the Greencasting temperature controller of the HPDC by Gefond line, which saves up to 85% electricity, is an example of this, as is the development of an augmented reality system, a tool used extensively by our technicians to carry out interventions without leaving the office. The jewel in the crown is the creation of PERPETUO. Sustainability and digitisation are the common thread running through Gefond's Research and Technological Development division.
Understanding customer needs and being flexible are the fundamental principles that drive GEFOND Service. In addition to the product, it provides a range of additional services with the aim of improving and simplifying the end user's work. It provides technologists for process optimisation with particular reference to thermoregulation and minimal lubrication, it prepares a tailor-made analysis of energy consumption costs by providing an accurate calculation of the savings derived from the use of our technologies, it offers rental service on some of its systems, immediate assistance and elimination of travel costs through technical service with augmented reality.
It offers a training programme to keep plants in optimal condition. The content of the proposed courses is oriented towards plant operation, process optimisation and maintenance management.
ANFIA Service, the service company of ANFIA - Associazione Nazionale Filiera Industria Automobilistica (National Association of the Automotive Industry) - which is one of the largest trade associations in Italy associated with Confindustria, has chosen Gefond as a partner. Gefond Accademia and Anfia Service will work together to promote training initiatives in the automotive sector, with a focus on predictive maintenance.
Sustainability and digitisation
For a more environmentally friendly production process and to offer higher service levels and improve safety. The predictive process safely minimises operating costs, making plants more efficient and optimised in terms of maintenance. This approach also reduces the carbon footprint of industrial plants, thus proactively and intentionally adhering to the decarbonisation measures needed to combat ongoing climate change.
Discover the full potential of PERPETUO
Interview with Tiziana Tronci, Board Member & New Products Development Gefond
The idea came about a bit by chance. At the Aluminium 2018 trade fair, I heard about Predictive Maintenance. With the curiosity that accompanies me in my professional life, I decided to look into the subject. Through research and through intense and assiduous dialogues and discussions with Gefond technicians, I came to realise that most of our customers ask for failures maintenance, emergency interventions, under stress due to machine downtimes, production stoppages, and the need for spare parts that are not always in stock but have to be ordered and have a technical lead time. I realised that operating in this way makes it very difficult to optimise work and be more efficient. I tried to see if there were any tools that would allow the customer to reduce the number of calls for breakdowns. By studying other industries, I realised that our industry also needed to adapt by working on fault prevention and the consequent reduction of downtime.
We initially planned to apply PERPETUO only to the plants of the companies we represent. We organised a tour of our suppliers in Italy and abroad, who showed us great interest and their technical readiness for the project. However, we realised that the manufacturers were not interested in being at the forefront, but that it would have to be Gefond who would have to support this challenge in terms of investment of time, energy, human and economic resources. Expensive investments for a company like ours. We were faced with a choice. We could either give up on this dream or courageously bet and invest in the project.
Giving up is not part of my character and from that moment on, the idea took another breath: we decided to have an open system capable of reading any machine and die-casting peripheral.
It was a vision like when you have a daydream but are aware of the difficulty of realisation. I never lost the will and desire to try to get as close as possible. With my team, a path and a strategy were outlined to try to achieve an ambitious result, and together we identified the tools most consistent with this goal, the tools that the new millennium and digital development make available to us. And for this we needed the right partner. We found it in Claudio Vivante and his T4SM. With this software house, we applied tools developed for other sectors to the needs of the foundry: Machine Learning algorithms. This was possible thanks to the combination of our two skills.
Gefond combines two aspects in this journey: a vision of the future of cutting-edge industry and almost thirty years of experience and expertise in foundry work, both from a commercial point of view in the sale of equipment and in technical assistance, installation and spare parts. The combination of this forward-looking entrepreneurial vision and experience is leading to a change, to the transformation of a business model that shifts the focus to customer and market needs. A proposal of product-related services is therefore added to the sale of machinery. The perception we have today is that the customer needs solutions in addition to the purchase of the physical asset. We have turned this demand into training, remote technical assistance with augmented reality and the PERPETUO software.
Industry 4.0 has led to the purchase of machines that collect data, but which are rarely monitored, analysed and interconnected. Gefond values the data collected that is analysed and used for predictive maintenance. PERPETUO was also born out of this awareness.
A cultural change is needed. Take care of the machines. Not just owning them but caring for them. This is Gefond's mission for a long life industry.
Building a modular solution. A software that has predictive maintenance as its special feature and value, but can also guide the customer in preventive maintenance. Flexibility. Every customer has his Achilles heel, his weak point, his needs. PERPETUO is not a closed system that always works the same way. When we sit around a table, we talk to the maintenance technicians, to the IT department, to the ownership, to the purchasing department. Each of these stakeholders plays a part and has different needs. We collect them, process them and come up with solutions built together. It is a team effort. Only in this way can we provide a tailor-made product, a solution that fits perfectly.
The aim is to connect as many machines as possible. With a self-learning process based on artificial intelligence algorithms, in fact, the system is able to become more and more reliable through the connection of plants, the recording and interconnection of countless data. To date, with around 150 machines already connected to PERPETUO, it is possible to estimate a reduction in annual downtimes of at least 35%. Despite the fact that the promotion of Perpetuo started in the midst of a health emergency, the market response has been very positive. In addition, Gefond's neutral position in the market and careful management of data privacy has allowed us to build important technical and commercial partnerships with manufacturers of machines and peripherals for diecasting that compete with each other. More and more manufacturers are showing interest in predictive maintenance, because they have realised that by entering the Perpetuo system they can optimise service to their customers and gain a better understanding of how their systems work. With the PERPETUO software, we are demonstrating that today the difference in competitiveness is made by exploiting the predictive power of data.