At Italian baked-goods firm Forno Bonomi, ladyfingers and éclairs aren’t the only thing you will find in the factory. You will also find the latest in automation technology, thanks to the owners of the company, the Bonomi brothers.
The brothers not only make a practice of trying their own products, they also like to test the newest innovations in automation. They credit automation with enabling the Veronese Bonomi brand to combine a long tradition in the confectionery industry with the requirements of an increasingly extensive and demanding market. Bonomi started investing in electronics and automation at a time when just talking about them seemed like science fiction: “We had to make a virtue of necessity,” Renato Bonomi says.
International demand drives automation
“Not only due to a lack of manpower, given our geographic location, but also to deal with an ever more-demanding international clientele who expected high quality and at the same time standard products that were always the same. ”Foreign markets, from Europe and the United States to Asia and Australia, still make up a big slice of Forno Bonomi’s business, especially when it comes to ladyfingers and éclairs.
“We always wanted to be automated and to make our machines internally,” says Renato Bonomi. “Today we are self-sufficient in terms of maintenance, thanks to our workshop, while in terms of electronics we call on Tech-Pa, a company to which we are historically linked.” Since 1992 Tech-Pa has been Bonomi’s sole supplier for the automation and electronics of the special machines.
“We opted specifically for independence and autonomy for the electronic aspects of our machines and with Tech-Pa we are certain of having machines which meet our most specific requirements,” Renato Bonomi says.
Forming part of this background is the collaboration between Forno Bonomi and ABB Robotics. Since 2005, there have been two projects based on the use of ABB robots on the éclair production line and the packaging line of the different cakes produced at the Roveré establishment. “We chose ABB,” says Renato Bonomi, “because it was our clear intention to put our trust in the experience of companies that have dealt in automation and robotics for many years, but at the same time we wanted to be capable of doing something new and to bring innovative elements to our lines.”