Passion for Feeding, from the 486 to 3D Printing

Founded in April 2018 in San Bonifacio (VR), Accettini is a company with a strong focus in the making of electromagnetic vibration feeders. Although the headquarters is still an open site, the workshop works at full speed from day one to provide customers with high-quality and tailor-made feeders. Between past, present and the (manifold) projects for the future, Matteo Accettini tells how he intends to grow his company. Starting from innovation and a tight as well as involved staff.

by Fabrizio Dalle Nogare

Paraphrasing the famous saying “The show must go on”, a company, although very young, cannot afford to wait for the technical time that architects, designers, bricklayers and workers need to create offices or shape spaces. The work must necessarily be carried out. Matteo Accettini, deus-ex-machina of the company Accettini, located in San Bonifacio, had this in mind ever since, last year, he decided to start his own company, with quite a strong focus in the making of electromagnetic vibration feeders.
We just need to exchange a few words with him, then, to understand how the inevitable and temporary precariousness due to the renovation of the company premises will soon leave room for the design that Accettini has imagined since – in the early months of 2018 – gave rise to this adventure. Its key word is, of course, innovation. “I am firmly convinced that it is necessary to think thoroughly about the design and implementation of vibration feeders”, says Matteo Accettini. “A company like ours, which was born recently, must focus on the most innovative technology and the use of new materials. It is no coincidence that we will also have the opportunity to make tests in this direction”.

A virtuous and exciting journey in the world of vibration feeders
At this point, however, we are curious to know where it all began. We therefore ask Matteo Accettini to tell us his own story. “In 1997, I started working as an operator for a vibration feeder manufactures, so I had the opportunity to deal with a world that I was immediately passionate about. Being an operator, however, was not enough for me and I started to develop my ideas, drawing in my spare time using an old IBM 486 where I had installed AutoCAD. Then, looking at the trade fairs, I soon realized that, talking about vibration feeders, there was a whole lot to experiment. So, the next step was to found, together with other partners, a company specializing in feeders. This allowed me to learn, on a daily basis and in the field, how to run a business. Then, last year in April, I decided to set up my own business”.
Accettini tells us that he had to deal also with the red tape issues (bureaucracy, delays, uncertain financing), which are unfortunately an actual obstacle for those who want to do business in Italy. “The warehouse was still empty, but the customers, from the very first days and fortunately, began to order our products. Then, together with my staff, we have worked hard gradually preparing the first workbenches. We are absolutely grateful to all those customers – as well as suppliers and even some competitors – who have believed in us, helping us and above all showin confidence and believing in our project”.
A project that also looks to a careful and sustainable management of the spaces and the working environment. But above all to a modern conception of the relationships between the people who work within the company. “We all work for a shared goal”, summarizes Matteo Accettini. “I am counting on the employees coming to work with the utmost serenity, feeling really part of the team. We are already investing, for example, in training, with particular regard to the aspects of communication and interpersonal quality management”.

Speed, re-tooling and vibration control among the priorities
The so-called soft skills are important qualities indeed in the current production environment. However, we must not neglect hard skills, i.e. those strictly technical skills that are decisive when it comes to vibration feeders. These objects, which are crucial for the throughput of production machines, and especially assembly machines, are based on in-depth mechanical and mechatronic knowledge as well as a great deal of research. “The complexity – explains Matteo Accettini – lies in the design and construction process of vibration feeders. A manual operation truly based on the designer’s specific knowledge. And here we address another primary issue for companies like ours, namely the difficulty of finding young specialized technicians. Here, we are pushing the most experienced designers to pass on their know-how to the younger ones, training them”.
Going into strictly technical issues, we ask what are the main issues in designing a vibration feeder. “Speed, the ability to process parts of different types in the same vibration feeder, appropriate vibrations for the type of selection to be made are the main features that our vibration feeders must have. It should be borne in mind that even the smallest deviations in the design or construction of the vibration feeder can deeply affect their operation and effectiveness. We would rather provide customers with high-quality products, even though this means having quite a high price. This is also why we are partners of RNA, Rhein Nadel Automation, a leading global company in the sector, and we use their high-quality components to make our vibration feeders.
Accettini’s relationship with RNA has been further strengthened since last August, when the young Italian company became an authorized distributor of standard RNA branded products.

The key role of vision sensors
Moreover, the field of electromagnetic vibration feeders is deeply characterized by technological innovation. Especially in the case of vibration feeders that have to process components of different types, the presence of vision sensors allows the recognition of the pieces geometry without affecting processing speed, a key factor indeed, especially when it comes to assembly tasks.
“The market currently offers robotic pick & place systems that ensure flexibility without however providing a speed comparable to that of a vibration feeder, which is also able to prepare semi-oriented pieces”, adds Matteo Accettini. “Sensors are increasingly used in the vibration feeders we manufacture and they are indeed very important to meet a need particularly felt by customers, that of the format changeover, which requires extra care even in the mechanical design stage. Another request that comes more and more often from our customers deals with compactness. In this regard, we are studying special shaped protections – round or modeled, for example – that may be less bulky, more ergonomic and may also allow the operator to intervene more easily on the machine”.

What the future holds
Being so young, Accettini naturally looks towards the future. Production processes digitization, with the consequent reduction of paper and the creation of a data set, together with the management of the order flow according to the Kanban way, are primary goals in view of the many projects that the company has in the pipeline.
“Along with the completion of the work in the office area, we want to complete the assembly area as soon as possible, so we want to have mobile and customised workbenches instead of fixed workstations: each operator will therefore have his own equipment, which he can also take with him during the after-sales services. We have sandblasting machines, which we also use for the benefit of final customers”, says Mr Accettini. “We will also take care of sheet metal processing, with the aim of becoming a workshop equipped to carry out all the processes. We consider this a key step to be as autonomous as possible and, above all, very versatile for our customers, as well as having greater freedom in vibration feeders design. We have already purchased the warehouse next to the one we are currently in and, once ready, we will equip a part of it for 3D printing aimed at making bowl feeders”.