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At AL.PI Srl, Italy, 80% of the stainless steel tubes used in the production process is worked by laser on three lasertube systems.


laser applications for solar, furniture and agricultural equipment

AL.PI Srl, located in Rosà in the province of Vicenza has been in the precision metal fabrication and stainless steel, iron and aluminium tube processing business since 1985. The family-run company with 15 employees is managed directly by the owners Mrs. Luciana Meneghetti, Managing Director and her daughters Daniela and Sara Alberton, head of the administration and personnel departments respectively and by Davide Moresco and Lago Simone, production and technical manager. The activity is substantially divided into two production lines: the traditional one that gave origin to the company in the processing of hydraulic tubular components for industrial cleaning systems used in restaurants, bars and community centres; and the most recent division relating to the service sector for furniture, solar and photovoltaic panel supports, automobile and farm equipment components.

 

Lasertube planning


steel component for a washing machine

The extensive know-how that has been grown from the processing of stainless steel for washing machine components using materials such as AISI 304 and 316 that are not easy to cut, punch, lathe or weld has been a launching pad for the introduction of lasertube processing and for the development of the service centre. 80% of the tubes currently used are laser processed according to the specifications using three ADIGE systems. Other operations include fabrication of structural steelworks, end machining, forming and TIG/MIG welding with associated tightness tests. "Even in our specific field - explains Davide Moresco - stainless steel tubes are replacing sheet metal because of the benefits: greater savings in raw materials thanks to thinner walls and greater structural resistance of the tubes. The use of open profiles (flat, C and L sections) now can replace sheet metal even where hollow sections are not required. "Since the first Lasertube LT652 system that was installed in 2001, we have come a long way as far as technology is concerned" recalls Davide Moresco. "Customers have understood the potential of using tubes and are now able to design components for laser cutting".

 

“Turnkey” oriented


A development that has not been easy with a lot of imagination and DIY. Daniela Alberton tells us of "how in 2002 AL.PI Srl exhibited at the first trade fair, inventing samples and displays ad hoc. Nowadays, we still exhibit proselytising the lasertube processes that continue to be valid systems and make us stand out". To see the level of imagination come to life all you have to do is take a look at the chairs and benches that furnish the office entrance, which are made entirely of stainless steel tube. "Thanks to the service centre, our most varied clientele can benefit from all the know-how we can provide not only as far as cutting is concerned, but also complete ready to be assembled pieces. Our strength" continues Davide Moresco "is to be "turnkey" oriented as much as possible. We follow everything through starting from the design stage". These are not impulsive words, even if they are said with the typical boldness of a young person. When you know how to process stainless steel and you have three lasertube systems of three different generations (LT652, LT712D and LT722D), you can quite safely say that you know how to run the machines. In addition there is also the new potential of the ArTube programming software, the latest ADIGE development for its lasertube systems.

 

Meticulous craftsmanship and top technology


tubular structures for solar panels

The new facilities that AL.PI Srl moved to a few months ago seems to be more like a laboratory than a mechanical workshop. Even the components produced in small and medium batches give the meticulous characteristics of craftsmanship combined with top technology of the machining processes. It is sufficient to take a look at the wide range of samples to understand how a broad range of technologies can be gathered combining the "cut & bend" feature on a round tube to achieve tight bends from a single piece, or creating a tank by using 150 mm diameter tubes, cut and testing them for water tightness. The company is currently in the process of ISO 9001 certification, but has been working in compliance with the standards for some time now; an acknowledgement that has already been confirmed by the market that day after day makes AL.PI Srl a successful small company.

 
 
 
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