——Mr. Fernando Bertoni，CEO & President, Corob Corp.
Headquartered in San Felice sul Panaro (Modena, Italy), Corob for the past 35 years has been a world leader in the supply of high technology automation solutions for dosing and dispensing. The Corob Group supplies applications in the paint and coatings, inks and chemical industries, as well as providing related after-sales services on a global scale, thanks to a capillary organization dedicated to management and maintenance of our customers’ equipment.
Founded in 1984, Corob now has around 700 employees, 4 production and engineering centers in Italy, India, Canada and Finland, and 14 commercial and after-sales service centers around the world, including China and Singapour. In 2017 turnover exceeded 100 million euro on a global basis. Corob is planning to add its 5th production and engineering center in China, from where it manages its business in Asia.
Recently, we PCICHINA conducted a face-to-face interview with Mr. Fernando Bertoni，CEO & President of the Corob Group for the purpose of a deep understanding of how Corob will draw its new blueprint in the Chinese market.
Smart and Flexible Color Mixing Production System Creates a New Pattern for Producing and Distributing paints and coatings.
Traditional dispensing has been performed manually, which is not only inefficient, but also could not ensure the accuracy of the target color. Occasional human errors can also lead to re-adjustment of the formula, resulting in a double waste of manpower and materials. The traditional mode of putting the finished products into the pails after mixing in the large batch container is not so efficient and wastes materials; the large amount of waste water generated by washing the tank and the volatile organic gas emissions from the open operating environment cause environmental pollution. In response to the deficiencies of traditional color grading, Corob has launched the In-plant customizable smart color production and mixing solutions. The system can directly perform in-line color production in different packaging containers for different product types and different colors based on the orders, allowing for an automatic, highly precise and repetitive color dispensing, on an environmentally friendly manner.
Corob’s automated In-plant system is equipped with a modular dosing unit (with weight and/or volumetric dosing units) and automated mixing station for a wide range of applications from distribution centers to factories of mass production. It has a wide range of dosing systems, including high capacity gear pumps, wear-free bellow pumps, progressive cavity pumps and diaphragms pumps of different sizes and production range. The entire workflow is fully automated and intelligent through a state of the art operating system (fully developed by Corob). The fully automated production process can help lower the labor costs, reduce material waste and shorten the time for preparation and switching of different batches, which totally fulfills the needs of improving production efficiency while lowering production costs for factories, color distribution centers, off-site warehouses and big retail chains.
Automation, Digital Intelligence, Small Batch Production and Multi-color are the unique identifiers for Corob smart automation dispensing systems. Customized production of small-batch is gradually acquiring significant relevance as the traditional high-volume, large batches, color production model has failed to meet customers’ color choices as customer personal color decisions become more and more important. Corob In-plant's automated color production equipment can produce up to hundreds of different colors per day, with a maximum daily production capacity of more than 500 cans of different product/colors, and in the future, work efficiency will be further enhanced.
Customized Service based on the powerful resources that can be deployed globally
The delivery of technologies is inseparable from the support of a global engineering organization. Corob's local team in China is an integral part of the Company's strong global resources. Once receiving customers’ requests, the local, China based team will first clarify and classify the technical requirements and then will work with Corob's global engineering team to find the most suitable technical solution. In addition to the valuable precedents that can be used as reference, the most important thing is to be able to offer our customer in China access to the efficient pool of rich knowledge and experience of Corob's global technical team. The technical teams in different regions in the world can communicate with and learn from each other, thus providing our customers in China with the most feasible and efficient solutions.
Continuously promote the localization process in the Chinese market
China has always been a very dynamic and rapidly changing market, which has one of the largest concentrations of paint and coating production plants in the world. . Today it has become the world's largest automaker, with the world's largest car ownership and more than 1,000 paint factories. For Corob, its fully automated and intelligent dispensing system has broad application prospects in China.
Around the world, industry innovation has never stopped, and intelligence and automation have become the inevitable trend of future global manufacturing. Corob's automated tinting system has been introduced from Italy to Europe, to the United States, to Asia in a fast and efficient way. In recent years, Asian governments have become more and more aware of the impact of smart manufacturing, on an environment friendly way. The Chinese government has also continuously introduced various environmental protection policies and regulations in recent years. Intelligent and automated production not only helps to improve production efficiency and reduce labor costs, but also has important significance on reducing pollution, optimizing resource allocation, and promoting industry innovation and upgrading.
Corob has encountered a number of challenges since it landed on the Chinese market more than 15 years ago. The first challenge has to do with a being in a highly competitive market. Mr. Fernando said technology, especially in the Chinese market, really comes first. Keeping competitive means that the technology and solutions we provide for this market must be the most effective and accurate. Now our “In-plant” solution is a good example of the competitiveness of our company, which has successfully served many customers around the world and gained wide recognition. The second one should be the “cognitive” journey for a newcomer. It is quite important to have an in-depth understanding of local business practices, market conditions, technological development levels, and local market needs for an international company. Meanwhile, local customers also need time to know more about us and even to trust us. Thirdly, the rapid development and fierce competition in the Chinese market place extremely high demands on the response speed of suppliers. We are actively building our local production and service capabilities to better meet the needs of our customers here.
In order to better serve the local market, Corob has been committed to continuously promoting its localization process here for many years. The construction of our local team and production bases are the key steps of our localization process. Mr. Fernando said we are fortunate of having a very strong team in China to support our customer service in Asia, which is also an important force in the future to push us to go further.
Draw a new development blueprint for the Chinese market with strong strength
In recent years, Corob has grown more and more rapidly around the world and has been accepted and welcomed by more and more markets. Mr. Fernando has enough confidence to believe Corob’s digital color dispensing technology is really catering to the current needs of the Chinese market, and in the near future, the Chinese market will be a benchmark market where the technology will blossom here. Smart color technology is the benchmarking market for results in this area of Asia. "Based on the potential of this market, and our strong local team, I believe our growth targets are totally achievable. And for the future, we have clear goals and strong faith, besides, we have a unique local team to get us there. "
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