Half a Century of Customized Cylinders

Bicelli has been manufacturing customized cylinders for over half a century. Its production lines, which fully integrate the concepts of Industry 4.0, mean the company can create tailor made, high precision solutions across all industrial automation sectors.

by Silvia Crespi

Bicelli has been producing customized hydraulic cylinders for over half a century: 50 years of family run success.
Set up in 1968 thanks to its founder Leonello Bicelli as a small mechanical workshop, the company is now headed by his children Claudio (General Manager) and Monica (Finance Manager), the company has been able to turn itself into a European level competitor in terms of design and production of customized cylinders.
2007 saw the move to its current HQ – a plant of 5.000 m2 on a 20.000 m2 plot of land in Carpenedolo near Brescia – a period which coincided with the company growing fast to reach its current total of over 60 employees with revenues at around €9mn (2018) and exports accounting for 70% of production. Europe being the principle destination for their goods.
The push toward globalization led to the birth of Bicelli-Geco in 2015, a joint venture set up in India putting Italian know how on the Asian market, one in continual expansion. The company which is based on the Italian model, is enjoying excellent results, the proof being in the talk already circulating concerning further expansion…

Customized products to satisfy all implementation applications
During a recent trade fair, we met up with Giuseppe Fadabeni, Sales Director at Bicelli, who told us some interesting details about the firm: “We don’t have a product catalogue; customization is our mission; most products are created from technical drawings supplied by our clients”.
Bicelli cylinders are used in many fields of application. While agricultural mechanics is still one of the most important, the products can be found in many other sectors like ecological industrial power movement, compression and transport of refuse, machinery for recycling, truck cranes, mechanical arm movement, fork lift trucks and so on. Such a variety of uses can only be satisfied when personalization is at the base of operations.
“Apart from certain particular versions – Fadabeni continues – like front or back braking cylinders with integrated positioning sensors, cylinders are not, in themselves, a particularly complex component. In our case, investment made is inside the company itself. Thanks to the implementation of Industry 4.0 principles, all machinery has become inter-connected through the production phases. This gives full control over it, guaranteeing on time delivery and quality control for flawless products, these are the requirements to be competitive on a European level.
Such implementation has meant substantial investment for both software and hardware. All machinery now has data transmission antenna which monitor and control workshop production progress. This is essential in terms of cost control and optimization of this, as well. In short, a revolution that is bringing excellent results”.

Training projects at all levels
Training up new recruits is another of Bicelli’s priorities, given the constant contact that exists between the company and schools, creating work experience opportunities.
“It has been our goal to focus on young team members – Fadabeni concludes – we have set up training programs at all levels of the company: from welders to CN machine operators.
Gaining the skill set necessary to fulfil your role, respecting company processes, requires training. Every member of staff must be able to manage the hardware devices in the workshop (tablets, bar code scanners etc.). The same training is also taking place for the workers in India, who also come over to the Italian plant on a regular basis to complete their experience”.

All eyes on environmental sustainability
To wrap up, a look at environmental sustainability, another must for the company. Bicelli is committed to producing customized cylinders with the lowest possible environmental impact. Since 2010, the company has produced part of its energy consumption through solar panels on the roof of its building able to power the latest generation machinery inside the plant.
Automatic welding machines and operators work in fully secure conditions where a vacuum plant filters air removing anything potentially damaging… and let’s talk about the paint! Bicelli uses only water-based paints, respecting the environment and workers’ health.