“First of all, multi-copy printing has solved several logistics problems in document creation. In addition, the printer, which works in an industrial warehouse environment, requires little maintenance when compared with laser printers that don’t cope well with climatic swings and humidity.”

The Italian plant of the Poclain Group, the world’s leading specialist in hydrostatic transmissions, is located between Bologna and Modena. This geographic area is known locally as the ‘motor valley’ as its manufacturing occupants include iconic brands like Maserati and Ferrari. Those brands are large users of transmissions, so the region is also known as the ‘hydraulic valley’. Many of Poclain’s peers and partners are also based there.

Poclain was founded in France in 1926 by Georges Bataille and the French, family-owned group now has four divisions: Poclain Hydraulics, Poclain Powertrain, Poclain Véhicules and Grandry Technologies. The Italian plant, Poclain Hydraulics Industriale SRL, was acquired by Poclain in 2010 from Comer Industries. It is now a key member of the Poclain group, contributing an annual turnover of some €20m to the business.

Line matrix helps drive business processes

Poclain’s Italian plant at Gaggio di Piano largely manufactures closed loop variable displacement pumps and high-speed motors and it is also a competence centre for axial piston products. Over 130 people work at the plant and most are engaged in production and logistics. There is also a team of R&D engineers and a sales force that works closely with Poclain’s 10 other manufacturing plants and 23 subsidiaries across three continents.

Poclain’s manufacturing plant is a challenging, industrial warehouse environment, subject to climatic swings and changes in humidity. Such conditions can cause issues for laser printers, causing them to jam and stop working. Poclain Hydraulics Industriale SRL cannot afford interruptions in production, so this is why it needed a printer in its shop floor area that would last and prove to be reliable in such a demanding environment. Poclain Hydraulics Industriale SRL also has to produce multiple copies of invoices and packing lists for administrative and legal reasons, so the printer would need to prove cost-effective too.

Up until 2015, Poclain was outputting such documents on laser printers. However, operational problems with these printers, caused by the demanding environment of the production floor, plus prohibitive costs, drove Poclain to look at alternative solutions.

Matteo Cirulli, IT support and Carlo Venturi, Finance and Controlling Manager said: “We had to choose whether to continue with laser for this application or change technology.” After careful analysis, it was chosen to change technology and switch to line matrix printer. A Printronix P8000 Open Print machine was installed in the production area. Read more..