Berco, a global leader in the manufacturing and supply of undercarriages and components to the world’s main heavy machinery OEMs and the Aftermarket, is excited to announce the inauguration of its new Research & Development (R&D) department in Copparo, Italy. The company’s commitment to innovation is demonstrated by its investing of €1 million into this facility.
With over 100 years of experience and expertise in the industry, Berco is renowned for the very high quality of its products. This recognition has been forged through an enduring commitment to R&D, which is now further demonstrated by this most recent development. Covering 2000 m2, the new department is located beside the entrance of the company’s headquarters. It houses state-of-the-art machinery, specifically developed to advance the company’s strategic plans for the future.
The new R&D facility will be home to the ‘T&I’ (technology and innovation) team, which will be divided into two subgroups: the metallurgical laboratory and product engineering. The team is currently composed of 23 researchers. This group, however, is set to be expanded. New recruits will be given the opportunity to work in a highly advanced mechanical engineering environment, further bolstered by Berco’s membership of the globally renowned thyssenkrupp Business Unit, Forged Technologies.
Francesco Grenzi, Executive Director of R&D at Berco is very excited about this recent development. “The new Berco R&D department features state-of-the-art equipment that will ensure that all of our researchers will have at hand the most advanced tools possible as they continue the company’s long tradition of being at the forefront of innovation. We are now working with generation 4.0 machines which allow us to store all of the data we collect, which can then be used for future analysis; this is vital for our continuous improvement.”
The standout feature at Berco’s new R&D department will be the benchmark room. There, tests will be carried out on the company’s own products as well as on those of its competitors and suppliers.
The revamped roller test bench is equipped with completely new software and hardware control systems that achieve greater flexibility in defining load protocols. It can perform its duties without human supervision. It also allows endurance tests to be carried out over extended periods, which help Berco engineers to be more targeted in defining the applications of the rollers.
The updated rubber testing machines, moreover, are able to perform cryostatic tests which determine performance at very low temperatures. Indeed, rubbers are of fundamental importance for Berco because they are key components for the sealing of rollers, chains and sprockets/track adjusters which determine product life and quality. Despite their apparent simplicity, they need to perform at very high levels in all working conditions, even at extremely low temperatures (-40°C and -50°C).
Berco’s new spectrometer machine is strengthened by two additional analysis machines, ensuring that chemical analysis of the steel can be carried out during all stages of production. One is able to measure the amount of nitrogen and oxygen present in steel and the other the amount of sulphur and carbon.
The latest 3D printing technology provides Berco engineers with a refined model when they are entering into the structural phase of a component. It is beneficial to production processes, helping to simulate systems and understand size. Moreover, a 3D printer can provide customers with a clear view of what is being created for them. Finally, new 10-ton and 100-ton presses allow extensive fatigue and static testing to be performed on mechanical components such as springs.
The new R&D facility once again confirms Berco’s leading ability to innovate in terms of material, treatments and processes, while also delivering market-leading customer services. It additionally furthers the aims of the company as it transforms into an all-round solution provider.