Our history and the successes of our customers speak for us. Here, you can read some extraordinary testimonials from companies in Europe and the United States that are using Dalcos punching machines and laser cutting systems with great success. These stories inspire us and our customers every day towards ever more efficient and revolutionary solutions.
“Sukup Manufacturing Co. is the world’s largest family-owned manufacturer of grain storage, grain drying and handling equipment, and steel buildings. When we met Dalcos, in 2008 we liked the fact that also Dallan is a family business and that we could talk directly to the business owner. For our products, we are processing very large quantities of sheet metal and, at the time I met Andrea, almost all the production of punched parts started from sheets. The raw material was punched with all the products nested in the sheets, but we used to have very high scrap percentage: easily 20 to 30%, and in some cases up to 60%! Moreover, there was a lot of material handling to separate and sort the parts, and optimizing the material was a struggle. So we purchased the first coil-fed punching machine that was delivered in 2010.
The fact of working from coil immediately reduced the overall scrap to less than 5% and has reduced greatly the amount of labor required, because the production comes in line and all the parts come separated automatically, with no micro-joints. This has improved considerably also our productivity, because we don’t need to load and unload sheets onto the machines: they just “print” automatically the parts, ready to bend.
Our parts are also parametric: they have similar hole patterns and have often only the variation in length, so today we were saving also the time for programming all the machines parts because we only need to set the different parameters in the job lists, and the machines are ready to produce. So we had a great saving in raw material, production time and time for programming thanks to this new technology, and we decided to continue investing in these machines.
Today we have six coil punching machines from Dalcos and just purchased the laser to add to a punching system: so we are going to have also the first Dalcos combo system in the United States.”
“Ridi Leuchten produces lighting systems in Baden Württemberg. We came into contact with Dallan in 2007, when their punching machines were still branded Dalcos, and we purchased our first coil-fed punching machine, which had a maximum width of 500mm. A large part of production at the time used automatic punching and bending systems that were sheet-fed or used special coil-fed systems that provided little flexibility. So, in 2008, we decided to invest in a complete production line for lighting fixtures. The system had to be flexible and effective.
The lighting fixtures had to be produced from pre-painted sheet metal. After comparing different production systems, RIDI decided to choose coil-fed production because the forecast was to produce large quantities. The benefits of coil-fed production for RIDI include:
So, we decided to combine a Dallan coil-fed punching system with a Salvagnini panel bender: this meant that punched pieces – without protective film – went directly to the bending machine and were folded completely. We then added a clinching station to seal the lighting fixture, an automatic wiring robot and a test station for quality control on each item produced. The line went directly from the coil to the finished product and ready to package lighting fixture! We eliminated the painting of the panels and obtained a product of exceptional quality.
The numerical control coil-fed punching machine allowed us to change formats quickly, without interruptions and produce parametric pieces in different lengths. Nowadays, there’s no longer a need to produce lighting fixtures with fluorescent tubes, since the market has moved on to LED lighting systems.
Thanks to the flexibility of the system using a coil-fed punching machine and panel bender, we managed to modify the product line and now we produce LED lighting fixtures. The benefits of coil-fed production undoubtedly include production efficiency combined with great flexibility: a very interesting use of the main concepts of the LEAN Production philosophy.”
Andrea and his team provide high-level customer service. The Dallan company is very clean, well-organized and provides high quality products and services. The group and the people make you feel part of the team and guarantee aftersales product support.”
“I got to know Dallan and roll forming technology in 1995, while working as a production manager at a leading company in the production of armored doors and rolling shutters.
At this company, the metal frame of a door was constructed on a line consisting of a panel bender and a punching machine, numerically controlled. We, and all the competitors, used to produce the various semi-finished metal products (door frame, sub-frame and door profile) using manual bending machines.It was then that, for the first time, we thought of producing sub-frames, door frames and profiles using a roll forming machine and cutting and drilling dies at the end of the line, using the same technology with which we produced rolling shutters.
The processing cycle was completely revolutionized and simplified. From a complex process consisting of sheet metal cutting, sheet metal drilling, sheet metal bending, leg and crossbeam welding and painting, we went to a single processing phase.
Basically, starting from a coil of galvanized and plasticized sheet metal, we were able to produce finished semi-finished parts that were ready to be assembled using metal brackets, thereby eliminating expensive, slow and environmentally unfriendly operations such as welding and painting.
After other work experiences in different sectors, I returned to the world of armored doors at a company where I implemented roll forming technology in the production process of door frames and panel containment profiles: I was finally able to use Dalcos’s now famous coil-fed punching machines.
In 2002, I finally decided to found my own company in the same sector. This was the context in which I had the idea of also producing the body using a Pxn coil-fed punching machine and a roll forming machine.
I still have magnificent technical and personal memories of my daily discussions with Ingegnere Sergio Dallan regarding the development of an innovative product that could combine all the benefits of lean and in-line production with a booming market.
Our competitive advantage over competitors was considerable and allowed us to achieve a turnover of 15 million Euros from scratch in just 4 years! Today, we almost manage a turnover of 20 million Euros and we produce the second highest number of doors in Italy. The future? New products and most certainly new production facilities which always focus on technical and production innovation.”
“The Damilano Group currently has 20 roll forming lines that make about 500 types of profiles, 70% of which are based on the customer’s design. We process about 1,000 tons per month with the help of 80 employees.
We introduced roll forming for the production of suspended ceilings, which used to be done by 3 or 4 companies in Europe, while in Italy there was only Hunter Douglas, based in Milan, and Metal Sadi, based in Vicenza, meaning that there was plenty of space to enter that market.
Ironically enough, two companies purchased the first roll forming machine from Ingegnere Dallan, who unveiled it at the Saie fair in Bologna, us and Tecnesa, based in Marene, just a dozen miles away. Luckily, we managed to avoid a trade war!
The first roll former was purchased in 1984 and loaded up at Dallan’s workshop, after a very long test, at 4 am on a particularly rainy day. Dallan’s manufacturing took place in a small warehouse in an agricultural area and we had to call a farmer, a friend of Ingegnere Dallan, to pull the truck out of the mud with his tractor. Given the lack of money and space back then, the roll former was set up in a garage and when it was time for roll forming, we opened the garage’s rolling shutter and went out on the street with the profiles: when there were particularly long bars, we had to double park our cars to hide the problem!
Subsequently, since we considered roll forming to be a niche business, but one which had the potential to develop, I introduced the production of profiles for plasterboard, which at the time were only produced at a rate of 10/12 meters per minute: nowadays, things are infinitely faster, but we later abandoned that sector to concentrate on thicker, more complex and perforated profiles based on drawings. The first punching machine to perform perforations on coils, purchased from Dallan in 1988, consisted of a hydraulic unit with 5 stations, thereby permitting 5 different types of processing in fixed positions, but Dallan soon designed the Pxn, a flexible coil-fed punching machine with 20 mobile tools, which gave us an enormous range of punching options and incredible flexibility.
The choice of working with coils allowed us to replace press-forming in many cases, reducing waste to almost nothing, eliminating the constraints related to length, allowing a reduction in the cost of the various perforations, which were performed in-line almost while the machine was still operating.
Another very interesting development by Dallan was the construction of roll forming machines with Combi groups: for example, in the production of sheet metal armored door frames, that allowed us to keep the various pieces of equipment mounted on the various Combi groups and therefore be able to change production in the shortest of times!
On the other hand, when we produce our 500 profiles based on drawings, Combi groups allow us to mount the rollers on the heads and away from the machine, while it is operating. By doing so, production changeover time is limited to only the replacement of groups and the assembly of cutting dies, resulting in time saving of about 60/70%!”
“Bito Lagertechnik Bittmann GmbH is one of the European leaders in storage systems. Bito operates a highly innovative production program at its plants in Meisenheim and Lauterecken, with a surface area of 140,000 m2, focused on the customer and the highest levels of quality. We process around 70,000 tons of steel sheets per year. Production innovations are always triggered by specific market requests, such as the request for coil-fed punching and laser cutting. In this case, our goal was to improve our ability to produce small batches, special pieces, prototypes and samples, to satisfy the great demand for flexibility and to produce special pieces based on specific customer requests. The need for new products or products specially adapted to customer needs required flexibility in our production.
Coordination with other departments is increasingly necessary when planning shelving systems. Automation, links to transport systems, lubrication systems, wiring and the integration of various storage systems require extensive optimization and continuous adjustments of the components related to the project. It was necessary to have the ability to align our production with these requirements, on every occasion. However, we wanted to combine high flexibility with good productivity levels. Hence, an important question arose time and again during investment planning: sheet-fed or coil-fed production?
In warehouse technology, components are over 3000 mm in length. Therefore, the production of special pieces is often a challenging when using a sheet-fed system. Our experience shows that standard parts or project parts can be produced in large quantities from coils: that’s why it was worth researching and investing in innovative coilfed production systems. As production batches became smaller, precisely because of these special customer requests, there also came a need to produce these special pieces economically. To be successful, we had to be able to produce these small quantities economically and flexibly: it was a daily challenge for production managers.
There are some standard questions when planning special parts and small quantities:
Coil-fed or sheet-fed production?
Should we use expensive special dies, or should we move towards the complex production of unique pieces?
How do we evaluate productivity, unit cost and production cycle economics?
Due to the sizes of the components often being over 3000 mm, coil-fed production is undoubtedly the most advantageous. Managing sheet metal in sizes over 3000mm is much more difficult, expensive and the sheets often have very long delivery times and are unsuited to industrial planning. Furthermore, sheet-fed systems do not usually make optimal use of material: on the contrary, coil-fed systems always optimize the use of material, thanks to the width of the pre-cut coils.
On the other hand, we’re increasingly asked to produce prototypes for testing purposes, as well as having to produce pre-series pieces for static load tests before large projects get underway. It’s becoming increasingly preferable to produce pre-series samples long before planning investments on special dies that would be difficult to modify. All the reasons set out above led to our decision to adopt flexible coil-fed production.
Before investing in the Dallan combined coil-fed punching-laser system, these pieces were made in different ways. Firstly, it was necessary to plan and agree the preparation of work and internal planning to check the availability of the necessary resources and tools.
The first option was to manufacture the components using temporary dies, on temporary or auxiliary work lines using a very complex multi-step process. For example, components were manufactured using already existing tools where possible, then we would take and manipulate the piece again to perform special punching, perforating or notching operations.
This caused significant problems with standard production:
Extensive internal organizational effort;
High component costs;
Endless delivery times waiting for the delivery of test dies;
Tool costs that were out of control;
Extensive effort to continuously change and adapt components;
Excessive delivery and changeover times;
The second option was to manufacture these special pieces using a sheet-fed punching machine. This solution can be adopted for one-off pieces or small quantities.
Disadvantages often involve the quality of the edges cut or the necessary deburring of pieces; to get the same number of pieces, more raw materials were needed due to the amount of waste and production times were relatively long. The biggest problem facing BITO in this case was the limitation on the length of components: our punching machines are able to handle sheets up to a maximum size of 1500×3000 mm. Therefore, this production technology couldn’t be considered an alternative for components larger than 3000 mm.
Below are the production problems with sheet-fed punching and nibbling machines:
Limitation of the size of components to a maximum length of 3000 mm;
Higher material costs due to a higher percentage of waste;
Complexity of logistics management and movement of all sheets and packs of sheets;
Need to deburr pieces;
Very high product unit costs;
The third option was to purchase the products from the outside. The procurement of materials and delivery times were very often a major challenge with this option. Components could also be produced externally by larger machines, flat surface lasers or punching machines. In any event, sheets large enough for the length of the piece were necessary. The quality of the pieces also needed to be checked continuously, so we had to add the cost of internal and external quality checks.
The cost of pieces was often a multiple of the cost of our standard components. In addition, there were high process costs for internal processes, when the designs of pieces had to be adapted and modified. Subsequent deliveries of missing components in downstream production processes posed another major problem with this alternative option.
Below are the problems with external production:
Limited length – even for external production;
Length of components over 3000mm only using special machines and panels with special dimensions;
Lengthy procurement times for sheets with particular mechanical characteristics according to specifications (yield strength, etc.). In general, the procurement of coils with special characteristics is easier and faster than that of sheets;
Coordination of production follow-up processes is often time-critical; for example, the time required for deburring internal edges or that of transporting external laser cut pieces for finishing requires an extensive organizational effort;
Tolerance coordination involving externally manufactured production pieces is complex;
Subsequent deliveries of missing pieces and pieces not within tolerance limits are not straightforward;
So, we set the following goals for our new investment:
Cost optimization in relation to current production and flexibility for the manufacture of special pieces;
Great flexibility for the production of special order pieces,
with minimal investment in tools;
Increase of our productivity related to special pieces and small batches;
Reduce response times to make special pieces;
Reduce delivery times of said special pieces;
Use of coil-fed materials, which we already use for mass production;
Optimization of the production process;
Improvement of downstream processes, due to the ability to adapt pieces flexibly;
Production of samples directly in-house;
Production of samples before creating special dies and the ability to perform tests to optimize the figures of the special dies;
Optimization of the overall logistics of the process for special products and small batches;
We also wanted to reduce the time to market of pieces produced to order and the manufacturing lead time of critical projects such as the production of prototypes, samples, products for load tests and static tests.
Given that the costs for tools were low, indeed sometimes inexistent, it was possible to produce new products quickly and economically;
Projects frequently involve single pieces;
In research and development, there is often no precise data on the quantities to be produced and there is often the need for continuous and successive
Using traditional technology, this would have greatly increased the cost of prototypes. When we need to make large quantities and standard components, we always use coils, special machines and tools. Usually. There are special presses and dies and downstream roll forming processes: we’re ready for this type of production and the procedure hasn’t changed, even after the introduction of DALLAN’s system. Dallan’s solution allowed us to produce medium and small quantities, special components, unique components and even components over 3000mm in length. We could respond to specific customer needs with heightened flexibility and build prototypes and unique pieces and accessories, even for large projects. Dallan’s laser and punching machine gives us a combination of flexibility, provided by its punching and laser technology; in addition, we use coils and are therefore able to produce lengthy components to order without wasting material.
We usually have the coils required to produce special components for the production of standard pieces already in stock or we’re able to source them quickly. Therefore, we always have control over the quality of materials. Standard holes and notches can be made in the punching part using standard tools available on the market, which are cheap and quick to source. Much of this flexibility is provided by the punching machine, which includes three arched tool drawers, containing 25 tools in all. The arches contain standard thick turret tools. They can be purchased from various suppliers (for example, from a company called PASS) and are available very quickly. The stations available range from 12 to about 150mm in diameter and four of the tools are rotating. Larger tools can be used to insert standard tools with special shapes and multiple punching, up to a cutting power of 200kN. The tool holder arches can be moved along the numerical control transverse axis. By so doing, the tools are positioned automatically and quickly in the machine’s processing area.
The second part of the machine, the laser module, completes the special processing on pieces. The punching and laser combination provides extremely high flexibility and we combine it with very good productivity. A huge advantage is the very short pre-processing time before starting production. Only a few hours pass from the drawing to producing the first piece that satisfies the specifications or from receiving a request to delivery of the first series. An excellent example occurred during the installation of the machine: a number of pieces arrived damaged at one of our construction sites. We received a complaint because of this and, as usual, the replacement pieces would be manufactured by an external supplier and re-processed and folded by Bito.
An initial check on the delivery times showed it would take 15 days from the order and involved: finding the material, external processing, cutting, sending it to Bito, folding operations at Bito and sending the pieces to the construction site. We were able to verify out in the field how the flexibility of the new Dallan system could help us. After only an hour of processing the drawing in DXF using the programming software and installing the new coil in the machine, the first piece produced was already ready for our quality controls. After receiving the OK, we started production and the pieces were sent to the construction site the very same day. The integrated packaging system downstream from the punching machine and the laser module also satisfy the need for flexibility and productivity.
Below are the advantages of coil-fed processing using the new Dalcos punching laser system.
Good productivity levels;
Parallel production with the punching machine and the laser;
Very short production changeover times;
Continuous coil-fed processing (as opposed to stop-and-go sheet processing);
Automatic loading and unloading
We still continue to use standard sheet-fed punching machines for processing small quantities. However, in light of the above, the quantities on those machines will decrease and the production of these pieces will also increasingly move to Dallan’s system. Good programming means it’s possible to produce very small series, even just a single piece! During these initial months of project development and use of the system, we can relate the experiences we’ve gained out in the field.
In the project, the collaboration that took place during the configuration of the machines was excellent. Our requests were assessed and assimilated:
Good teamwork between us and Dallan and good project management;
Excellent preparation of tests at Dallan;
Excellent management and organization throughout the project;
Good assembly and installation of the system at BITO. Dallan’s assembly and installation staff came across as extremely professionalism;
Good instructions and training
We will gladly continue working together! Our experiences of the system so far:
Our collaborators started working and understanding the system very quickly;
We have achieved the desired flexibility;
The objectives of cost reduction and the production of special pieces and small series have been achieved;
All internal processes for these types of production have been significantly improved. Thanks to the characteristics of the new system, the steps of the production processes are clearly defined;
We can completely eliminate the external procurement of special pieces: we can cover everything using internal technologies;
We have reduced the cost per piece, as expected;
In the coming months, we want to improve our ability to use the system and, more specifically, we aim to improve the following:
Optimize the use of gas by optimizing cutting parameters;
Minor changes to the software by Dallan and Sigmanest;
Further training by Bito technicians”
Published in 2020, it was extremely popular among specialists in our sector and has been defined as “a book steeped in experience and the wisdom
of someone who has spent a lifetime in the world of sheet metal working” Dan Davis, managing editor of “The Fabricator”.