Interview with Sarbo Minuterie Metalliche: “How we increased productivity and drastically reduced inspection time.”

Sarbo S.p.A. is a leading company in the specialized production of bar-turned small metal parts.  

“From the onset, our staff training is based on a fundamental principle: producing quality.”

The company is undergoing a crucial and advantageous period with a generational changeover from partners Luciano Zago and Giuseppe Sartor, to their children, Paolo Zago and Roberta Sartor. The new generation has enthusiastically welcomed the handing down of know-how and skills, believing from the very start in the shared business project.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Cristian Perinel, Operations Manager at Sarbo.
The company supplies customers operating in various industries, from mechanical, electronics, automotive and motorbike cycles, to hydraulic, food and medical industries.

 “Our inspection equipment in the field of dimensional measuring represents the best technology on today’s market. With VICIVISION optical machines we have solved two fundamental issues: controlling tool wear and inspecting outgoing parts.”

VICIVISION machine on the shop floor – Sarbo S.p.A.

Sarbo has several VICIVISION machines. Where are they installed? 

Most of them are on the shop floor and some are in the controlled environment: the ones in production have a different function to those in the room and they provide two distinct advantages.
The machines on the shop floor keep tool wear under control. As you know, measurements often tend to change due to tool wear, which means that Sarbo operators must constantly monitor this trend.
For instance, if a certain measurement is going out of tolerance, the operator using a Vici machine can easily identify the tool responsible. So, measuring machines on the shop floor are essential for remaining within the required tolerances.”

“Our customers have high expectations and that’s where we have a competitive edge.
For example, automotive customers require all the process control dimensions. Picture the measurement trend as a line that travels between two extremes, the extremes of tolerance. The customer wants to see a sinusoidal curve that moves, over time, between the two tolerance limits, which certifies the process capacity (CP – CPK). To put it simply, if the snake graph is there, it means that we have done a good job.”

VICIVISION machine in a controlled environment – Sarbo S.p.A.

That covers VICIVISION machines on the shop floor, so what is the main benefit in a controlled environment?

 “The machine in the controlled environment has enabled us to increase the number of outgoing inspection checks prior to shipping. Before sending the goods, an employee carries out a sample check. The sample check depends on the quantity and number of parts, we have specific strategies.
If I manage three deliveries a day, one person is enough, but when I have thirty, then the automatic machine is essential. Without VICIVISION it would not be possible to control so many outgoing parts.
In brief, the measuring machines on the shop floor allow me to increase the number of process inspections. The one in the controlled environment helps me take sample measurements even when there are lots of part to check…

…So, I have basically increased productivity on the shop floor, keeping at the center of tolerance, and I have halved inspection time in the controlled environment.”


Who is responsible for programming?

“The quality control staff are experts in VICIVISION programming. We have chosen to channel training on programming because we believe in the specialization of people. We are a medium-sized company, but we are very well-structured. It’s important that every operator is highly trained for their specific activity.”

Sarbo S.p.A. Company – Italy

How many people actually operate the VICIVISION machines? 

“All the operators use the machine in its automatic function. It’s very simple, place the part and hit start. The most important thing is to clean the part well, accurate machines require thorough cleaning. In fact, we installed a MEWA part washer on the machine. It is an excellent product, it works with a cleaning liquid based on natural microorganisms, which break down fats and oils biologically and thoroughly clean very dirty parts.”

How often do you use the machine for dimensional inspection on the shop floor? 

“The frequency of dimensional inspection depends on several factors: the type of machine, type of material, customer specifications and operator experience. For example, tool wear on brass is lower compared to other materials. When we work with brass, inspections are not so frequent. In the case of steel, on the other hand, inspection must be tighter. Carrying out intense checks is not a problem, VICIVISION machines are extremely fast and provide immediate results.”

Would you recommend a similar machine to a company in the turning and milling industry? 

“Absolutely. I think it is an essential machine for any high-quality company looking towards the future.”