ISAM - Intelligent Sawing Machine
Mechanical gearshift replaced by custom Programmable Logical Controller and Variable Frequency Inverter for safer and more competitive woodworking machine
Technologies used

PLC – Programmable Logical Controller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Machine tools
COSMEC Srl is an Italian company employing 35 people, including three electronic engineers operating within the Technical Department. The Company designs, manufactures, and markets to the sawmill companies fully mechanical woodworking and multi-blade sawing machines. It is a well-reputed manufacturer on the market since 1961 as far as concern mechanical technology and product quality. Unfortunately, in comparison with their foreigner competitors, their present products are somewhat obsolete: the multi-blade-sawing machine was completely mechanically controlled and this resulted in low flexibility of the process and higher possibility of several crashes due to operator's errors and too frequent non-homogeneity in the wood. So, the Company worked out a study about introducing an electronic control into their products. The Company was completely First User in electronic technologies.
The Company decided to install a Programmable Logic Control (PLC) plus an inverter to control the main motor to achieve the wood sawing machine refurbishment. Adopted solution resulted to be the best trade off between new desired machine performances, production costs reduction, and an affordable technological step by the Company.
By introducing electronic technology COSMEC gained at least a twofold significant product improvement:
q Optimal management of motor on/off control, of time before opening the safety hoods, of lubrication interval control and of dragging belt speed control;
q To eliminate the conveyors mechanical gearshift, thanks to a variable frequency inverter used to power the electric motor.
With the introduction of PLC, COSMEC gained also an increased product competitiveness, to be able to cope again with the market. As a matter of fact COSMEC can boast more than 10% decrease in production costs for the new product, due to parts saving and time saving in assembling electro-mechanical sub-system, which was re-designed in parallel with the new electronics.
Thanks to cost saving and improvement in performances, it is envisaged that COSMEC sales level could increase till 150 pieces/year in 1999 (+ 25 % vs. 1996). The new product will put the Company in a leading market position among the world leaders with relevant prospective for the potential market share.
COSMEC completed the Application Experiment within six months, from 01/10/97 to 31/03/98, with an investment of 30 KECU. The reckoned payback period has been evaluated in 1 years and 9 months. The ROI figure for the whole investment of 148 KECU to come to a completely industrialised product has been evaluated as 218%, rising to 1076% for the FUSE investment for the electronic part only.
Additional gained benefit was that to incorporate into the Company enough electronic technology and capability to be able to replicate the experiment in other products without any external help.

This experiment is of interest for every Company that needs to integrate electronics in an existing mechanical product, especially in these fields: wood machinery, marble machinery, and glass machinery, leather machinery and food machinery.
COSMEC s.r.l. Costruzione macchine per legno
Loc. Fosci, 28

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

PLC technology provided COSMEC s.r.l. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
Via del Ferrone, 5
I-50124 Firenze