On May 10th, ISB Industries officially inaugurated its new integrated logistics center in Rubiera (RE), inviting key clients and press to the event. Holding up to 56.000 pallets, it is the biggest ball bearing warehouse in Italy and the third largest across Europe.
by Silvia Crespi
Up to 56.000 pallets in stock, 31.000 picking points, 20 tons of shelving and 7 automated stacker cranes: these are just some of the “figures” featured in the new ISB integrated logistics center opened on May 10th with key clients and the press in attendance. 25 meters high, 70 meters long and 35 meters wide, it is the biggest bearings warehouse in Italy and the third largest in Europe.
Between design and construction, 24 months were required for the project to become reality.
Romeo Ghirardini, ISB president welcomed his guests and was delighted to present the logistics center and to detail the other investments that have taken place over
the period. As well as constant commitment toward guaranteed performance and the passion of all group collaborators, the
creation of an Industry 4.0 ready logistics center of this size is an essential element in the development of efficient and long-lasting partnerships with clients.
A reliable partner for major investment
In an investment of this size, finding the right supplier is crucial. Ferretto group, a leading warehouse, handling and stock control expert, both on national and international level were chosen for the project.
The specialization and expertise acquired over their sixty-year history means the group, based in the Veneto region of Italy, can design and carry out hi-tech solutions for every need. From metal shelving racks to industrial mezzanines, automated warehousing to system management and handling software, from consultancy to post sales. It is the only company able to expertly manage both automation and stockage.
The partnership has proved its worth: “From the very beginning – said Riccardo Ferretto, Ferretto Group CEO – collaboration was of the highest order. When setting up such a gigantic structure, synergy is fundamental and we felt complete trust in our partner from the word go. Every key phase, whether due to project size or management of materials, was handled with aplomb”.
Increasingly international markets are still based on complete customer care
Today, ISB while still a family led company, has become a global player for industrial components thanks to its focus on export markets. The concept, which has seen the opening of branches and production plants around the world, has been pursued on the basis of best possible customer care. The opening of the first international branch was in Spain in 1998. The Shanghai branch was fully renewed in 2015 (having been a presence on the Chinese market since 1995 with ISB China, as underlined by company president Ghirardini), followed by Brazil and India in 2016 up to the most recent opening in Central America in 2018, a site which is experiencing great growth.
Production sites are also located in the most strategic corners of the globe for the group. Shanghai covers an 18.000 m2 site (which can be expanded up to 40.000) dedicated to the production of 60, 62 and 63 series bearings. The ISO 9001-2015 and IAFT 2016 certified site (for the automotive sector), is in continuous evolution toward production line and process management automation. Specialized bearings following client specifications are also produced here.
MACPOWER is the fully “Made in Italy” plant for swivel head components with HQ in Modena. This has recently become part of ISB Industries.
Linear system production is located in Taiwan: the plant was opened in 2004 and now has 230 employees.
ISB Cylindrical roller bearings are manufactured at the Chinese plant opened in 2008 and now undergoing refurbishment to increase piece production from 4 to 7 million. Grand re-opening should take place in 2020. The Indian site produces precision cylindrical and roller bearings according to specific automotive standards.
The technical center: the ISB point of strength
The new technical center of over 1350 m2 will rise up next to the newly inaugurated logistics center in a building over three floors featuring technical offices, laboratories, control and testing, training center and conference room holding over 200 people as well as an events room. For production with the highest possible quality, technical staff are fundamental, both in pre and post sales. The ISB technical hub is made up of over 20 highly qualified engineers and technicians and set up using cutting edge hard and software systems.
All bearing testing is carried out after working life cycles/processes and applications have been completed under conditions simulating those of the end user rather than under a standardized testing procedure.
After sales services include support and follow up with the client in order to analyze and understand applied function and study product behaviour in a variety of uses. During product development, technicians will typically study application characteristics to then move on to analysis through laboratory instrumentation, ISO 15243 standard and company know-how.