2018 for Weerg.com - the platform that offers CNC and 3D online works totally Made in Italy - was marked by dynamism, the strengthening of production capacity, important investments in cutting-edge technologies and prestigious certifications.
An exponential growth in Industry 4.0 that will see a further step in the imminent move to the new automated headquarters of Gardigiano. "Innovating is part of our DNA", says Matteo Rigamonti, CEO and founder of Weerg, a new formula developed by applying the business model of pure e-commerce to the mature mechanical market. The platform offers for free an exclusive online quotation service in real time, in addition to the advantages of certain delivery times starting from 3 days, high quality standards thanks to advanced production systems, all at extremely competitive costs.
THE CONSTANT STRENGTHENING OF PRODUCTION CAPACITY
In January 2018, Weerg announced the signing of an unprecedented agreement to install six new Hermle C42U working centres by the end of the year, alongside the four already in service. In total, the machine park will count 10 Hermle C42U 5-axis machines continuously deployed in two batteries of 5 each, fully automated through the implementation of anthropomorphic robots. A further upgrade of the production, suitably fitted with software for supervision and management of orders to ensure uninterrupted processing in 24/7 mode.
The Hermle systems selected by Weerg provide a generous working range (800x800x550 mm) and swivelling rotary table with a load capacity of up to 1,400 kg and high-speed motor spindles. In addition, they are all equipped with a tower tool magazine extension (up to about 500 per machine) to ensure the best flexibility in working. The huge number of tools allows you to choose the most efficient execution strategy on a case by case basis and increases the achievable morphologies. Continuity of operation and maximum speed are ensured by the use of twin tools with which working can be completed without the process having to be interrupted for a substitution.
In the area dedicated to CNC working, there is also the 3D Printing line for which Weerg boasts the largest installation of HP Jet Fusion 4210 printers in Southern Europe. Also in this case Weerg signed last June an unprecedented agreement that saw not only the doubling of the existing fleet of machines with the arrival of 3 new Jet Fusion 4210 systems, but also the technological upgrade of the 3 4200 printers already in operation. All this for an investment that exceeds 3 million euros per price list. This printing solution, designed specifically for industrial-scale 3D production environments, was designed, according to HP, to significantly reduce overall operating costs, increase capacity for production volumes and raise the "break-even point" for large-scale 3D production to 110,000 units compared to injection moulded production. It also offers the lowest part cost in the industry - up to 65% lower than other 3D printing methods. Accompanying this massive expansion of the production department, is the implementation of process automation software that includes a constantly updated ERP system that allows you to manage the daily processing of thousands of pieces, and a nesting software that organizes the "match" on all available builds to further optimize the loads.
Cutting-edge technological choices that define Weerg as an industry model 4.0, where production is verified by monitors and operator interventions are reduced to a minimum. All this is orchestrated by what happens online, on the e-commerce platform, where today more than 15,000 requests for quotes are sent and converted into a daily average of 150 orders.
Thanks to the production capacity of HP printers, Weerg is able to offer a unique and efficient service for the rapid prototyping of a single project, but also for the production of runs of up to 5,000 pieces, with competitive costs and excellent quality. Processes for which the company is in direct competition with die-casting, which however requires the production of a mould and consequently longer times. The uniqueness of the Weerg offer is exponentially enhanced by the ease of use of the platform, the free real-time quotation and guaranteed delivery times from 3 to 9 days.
"The use of the best technologies in the world combined with instant online quotation makes our formula an absolute novelty. Weerg was born with the desire to bring simplicity, quality and punctuality to the mechanical sector", comments Matteo Rigamonti and adds "Our watchword is 'optimization'. The objective of creating millions of different parts per year can only be achieved with perfect work organisation and a flow that allows automation and precision at the same time. That's why we continue to invest in the latest generation of industrial performance systems.
NEW MATERIALS AND EXPERIMENTATION
With the HP Jet Fusion 4210 systems, 3D printing is carried out by Weerg using Nylon PA 12, a thermoplastic material ideal for both functional prototypes and final parts. This Nylon is characterized by excellent chemical resistance to oil, grease, aliphatic hydrocarbons and alkalis, making it suitable for subsequent finishing processes. Since September, Weerg has also been offering 3D prints made of TPU and printed with a new top-secret system. An exclusive prototype that uses sintering technology to enhance the characteristics of TPU, a particularly valuable thermoplastic elastomer that, thanks to its high flexibility, exponentially opens up space for new applications.
3D PRINTING AND THE DESIGNERS OF THE FUTURE
During the year Weerg started an active collaboration with the University La Sapienza of Rome to trace the new frontiers of Indutrial Design, as confirmed by Professor Loredana Di Lucchio at the helm of the Bachelor in Design and Master in Product Design: "The profession is being updated, as are the ways in which new recruits are trained. Today it has become fundamental to introduce in design courses the skills to use new technologies, on the one hand to create models with rapid prototyping, on the other to trigger a creative and mental process of development of the object.”
The collaboration between Weerg and the University of Rome began almost by chance when the company launched the "Weerg Award" contest on Facebook, inviting visitors to submit original 3D models. The main purpose was to thoroughly test the performance of newly installed HP printers. "We received about 150 models and the winner was Alex Coppola, a student of La Sapienza, who designed a lamp of great design. The project has largely highlighted the performance of HP printers implemented in our production department," says Rigamonti. Shortly afterwards, the company took part in the Mecspe trade fair (March 2018, Parma), where it involved the students of La Sapienza who created very creative projects which were then exhibited at the stand. Hence the collaboration between Weerg and the University has continued with benefits for both. "The imagination of the students, less anchored in serial products often made by engineers who are certainly not inclined to 'new', allows us to test ourselves in the creation of very original and sophisticated pieces," continues Rigamonti. "In return, we offer them the opportunity to experiment in depth with the subject they are studying, with great design freedom, thanks to the versatility of our 3D printers". An example of how companies and the academic world can be synergistic, as Professor Di Lucchio says: "The figure of the designer must evolve in the light of new technologies and Weerg has allowed us to put into practice concepts that would otherwise have remained theoretical". While manufacturing industry is in many ways still 'serial', new generation technologies offer the opportunity to go beyond 'serial' by creating unique pieces and opening up new worlds and new markets. "It is essential that new technologies are not only used for established procedures, but become places of experimentation," says Rigamonti, stressing how the mechanical sector can benefit greatly from the creativity of young people in the field of design.
THE EFFICIENCY OF THE ONLINE PLATFORM
After a thorough verification process, last February Weerg.com obtained the prestigious Trusted Shops certification, trusted brand leader for online purchases, synonymous for 20 years of guarantee and quality for e-commerce across Europe. Only e-shops that meet strict criteria including financial solvency, price transparency, customer service and protection of sensitive data can apply for this certification and display the seal of quality on their website: "A sign of confidence that our company can proudly boast after passing the strict certification process. With us, fast execution times, transparent costs and reliability are certified and confirmed by our customers' reviews. In fact, to date our customer satisfaction score is very high both in Italy (4.69/5.00) and abroad (4.87/5.00)" - comments Matteo Rigamonti. The Trusted Shops certification logo, with its description card, appears directly on the homepage of weerg.com and contains the seal data and the current evaluation of e-commerce. Users can request registration for buyer protection on the order confirmation page at the end of the purchase process. The certifying body provides protection up to € 2,500, in case of non-delivery or after the return of goods, for a period not exceeding 30 days. After placing an order and receiving the delivery, customers have the opportunity to review the quality of the online store, evaluating their shopping experience. Only Trusted Shops controls the collection and publication of reviews, ensuring their authenticity and at the same time ensuring absolute transparency and truthfulness of the experiences reported, which thus become a guide to the use of the service for other users.
NEW PRODUCTION SITE UNDER THE BANNER OF INDUSTRY 4.0
And if innovation is its DNA since its foundation, Weerg announces the imminent transfer to a new location that triples the area dedicated to production. In keeping with its Venetian origins, the company will move to its new headquarters in Gardigiano by the end of the year. "We chose a building that could respond to our sudden needs for business expansion and therefore for space dedicated to production systems. It is a former knitwear factory of about 27,000 square metres, of which we will occupy a first step of 5,000 square metres, to which we will add another 3,000 square metres already optioned. A choice that allows us to envisage future expansions of the fleet without requiring further transfers," says Matteo Rigamonti. The last installations of the Hermle systems already ordered will be carried out directly in the new site, completing for the moment the production line dedicated to CNC works.
For both CNC working and additive manufacturing, production starts from the e-commerce site where the customer can upload the file in a few seconds, obtain a real-time quote and proceed to the order. A simplicity of use that uses a fully automated production process, orchestrated by exclusive evaluation and management software developed with great skill by the R&D department of Weerg. The software is the starting point for the inputs that direct the latest generation of machinery, selected according to parameters of efficiency, productivity, quality and automation. "One of our mottos is 'Set and forget': clearly we address our customers to whom we want to offer a purchasing experience that is absolutely new in the world of mechanics: the estimate in a few seconds and the certainty of the delivery date" - explains Rigamonti. "But not only, because this slogan also tells the story of our organization, where all the steps are managed through advanced software that drastically reduces manual interventions of operators and therefore procedures relegated to craftsmanship that does not belong to us.”
Although linked to the Venetian territory, Weerg aims to conquer the European markets, thanks to a service that is currently unparalleled, addressing vast and diversified sectors: from automotive to boating, from mechanics to aerospace, up to all the possible declinations of industrial automation in the different product sectors.