How customisation and innovation can make a difference for companies and the environment
For a company like Tecnopool, which has created and is building a large group specialised in the entire food processing chain, growth is not only an entrepreneurial goal but also a valuable opportunity to integrate resources and new innovative drives. This process is spurring the company’s evolution in various directions, for example on the customisation front, which has always been Tecnopool’s strong point.
Michele Capuzzo, an engineer specialised in refrigeration technology, who has recently joined the research and development department, tells us: “Today, customising a plant doesn’t necessarily mean higher costs. As we are increasingly operating at a total processing level, combining the advantages of customisation with those of standardisation has been very effective. At first glance both approaches, standard and custom, might seem opposite, but they are absolutely compatible: in fact, customisation does not always mean reinventing everything from scratch. In the case of cooling, for example, we have analysed our projects and devised a standard system for combining spirals and evaporators, with a modular approach that offers various advantages.”
On the one hand, customers can have access to price-competitive, high quality equipment, thanks to the simpler design and rationalisation of production. On the other hand, customers obtain the most suitable system for their production needs, which translates into better performance and lower line operation costs.
“I collaborated for years with Tecnopool as a supplier,” explains the engineer “dealing with evaporators – the machines on which process cooling depends. I joined the company last year because I firmly believe that in our sector time waits for no one, so I wanted to broaden my perspectives.
“I’m pleased to have found an environment that welcomes new ideas. The old guard, which is vital, is constructively integrating many new resources, obtaining ideas from various fronts. After all, our work is creative, every project is a challenge.”
For the technical department, this exciting challenge does not only concern individual projects: in fact, it means using all the skills available to continuously improve products and processes in all areas, especially in a group that is increasingly moving towards total processing.
Capuzzo continued: “If we consider refrigeration technology, both for cooling and freezing, we have made a competitive leap in quality, integrating the evaporator into the system design instead of resorting to standard machines from external suppliers or designing a special machine every time. Furthermore, reducing energy consumption with optimised systems makes companies more sustainable, not just economically, which rightly pleases the customer, but also from an environmental point of view. An aspect we care a lot about is that it benefits the community. In a job like this, open and continuous dialogue with the customer is clearly essential to provide truly advantageous advice, not only in designing but also in managing the system throughout its entire life cycle. Sometimes a Tecnopool expert may even give useful advice about daily use of the system. For example, one of our customers has recently changed its production rates by introducing continuous shifts on a line. Even though they hadn’t consulted us on it, we realised that this way of working could have an impact on maintenance and efficiency of the line, so we advised them to make some slight adjustments to the system. What might have seemed a nuisance made it possible to reduce energy consumption and avoid maintenance costs. Our customer was clearly very happy to follow our advice, which meant spending a little today to save a lot tomorrow.”
These are cases of routine assistance for a company like Tecnopool, which nonetheless show how customer support is an increasingly decisive factor for food processing companies when choosing a partner. The skills gained in the field can help customers understand what they really need and how to obtain it, how to improve performance and consumption and be both sustainable and competitive.