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Control panel for coffee machines with fiber laser cut

01 Jun 2015

In 2012, we were contacted by Dalla Corte Website, a Milan-based company that is a global leader in the production of professional coffee machines mainly designed for bars and restaurants.

The need for short start-up times, low initial tooling costs, production flexibility and the possibility to make changes to the design over the years represented the key choice for engineering the control panel for professional coffee machines of extremely high quality.

The product was initially designed to be made in bent steel plate, then undergo shearing in order to obtain all the required slots. This would have meant significant investments in the manufacture of the shearing moulds, in order to statically define the final dimensions of the piece and of the various slots, prior to actually constructing the moulds. This type of solution, though cost-effective in the event of mass producing thousands of pieces, is significantly counter-productive when, on the other hand, one needs to produce fewer pieces and if the design is expected to change in the future.

After a thorough analysis by Dalla Corte engineering department, the Customer decided that the fiber laser cut would be the ideal solution for this project.

Consequently, the basic material was changed from stainless steel to aluminium, which significantly cut down on production costs, and an extrusion matrix was then constructed to produce the desired aluminium profile.

The profile in question is technically defined “special open”, since it is not one of the standard profiles that the Fiber Lasertube installed at our company is able to process. In order to be able to carry out this process on our machine, a study and a simulation on a three-dimensional version of the piece were carried out.

Once the feasibility was confirmed, the software information concerning this profile was generated so that the machine would be able to recognise and process it correctly, avoiding any collisions.

In less than 5 business days from receipt of the raw material, it was possible to make the first sample and check its proper assembly on the Customer’s final product.

Subsequently, following new and natural evolutions in order to further improve the final product, various changes were made to the geometries developed on the aluminium profile as per the Customer’s instructions.

These changes were made at zero cost, since all it took was to change the cutting programs, with no need to mechanically work on any shearing moulds. In a short time, we were able to obtain the new modified piece to try out the new solution, at significantly low costs.

The Customer expressed their great satisfaction in working with our company, not only because we were able to complete the requested processes on schedule, but also, and most importantly, for the engineering support that Giulipas was able to provide thanks to its experience. The proposed solution, using fibre laser cut technology instead of die-casting,  actually resulted in a much more cost-effective and versatile development of the piece, i.e. the possibility to make changes and improvements to the piece in a simple and quick manner, with no production delays or incidental costs needed to adapt the production equipment.