“The right sense for innovation”

STAUFEN MAGAZINE 2021 | No. 4 | Autec | Lean Management, Lean Management


Managing Director
AUTEC S.r.l.
AGV radio controlled by Autec Dynamic systems

The Italian company AUTEC, based in Caldogno (Vicenza), has gradually strengthened its global market leadership in the technically challenging sector of radio remote controls with safety functions. Since its foundation in 1986, AUTEC, together with the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Telecommunications, has been a pioneer in the field of standardization of long-distance radio systems. Specifically, the focus was on defining standards for the safe introduction of the first remote radio systems for mobile or stationary machines and obtaining the necessary approvals. The first Italian law on this topic was passed at the end of the 1980s and was the first of its kind in this field throughout Europe. It defined the technical requirements and specified the use and handling of industrial radio remote controls. “We were the forerunners in a business sector that until then was not subject to any regulatory framework, and we contributed to its recognition and regulation,” says Antonio Silvestri, CEO of AUTEC. “Thanks to this innovation, numerous work applications have greatly benefited in terms of safety and productivity through the use of remote control devices.”

with legal standards and the development of products that are becoming more and more technically advanced. “AUTEC,” confirms engineer Silvestri, “has always actively participated in defining the sector’s legal standards.”

“With the support of Staufen consultants, we initiated a Lean Transformation. We paid great attention to the optimal management of communication between various functional areas and the different hierarchical levels (…).”

The radio remote controls are characterized by a wide range of applications in construction, industry, material handling and intralogistics. The use of these technologies became necessary in the 1980s to more efficiently coordinate the activities of different people and eliminate accidents. “From the very beginning, radio remote controls,” Antonio Silvestri points out, “have provided various advantages, both in terms of productivity, since a single device covered all functions that were previously performed by several people, and in terms of safety, as it was possible to work from a less dangerous position. Over the years, radio remote controls have evolved and taken on many new functions: Today, for example, we are working on a very wide range of applications – from simple devices for small tracked vehicles for vegetation pruning to systems for controlling machines for exceptional transports such as NASA’s launchers. Our radio remote controls must be able to move vehicles in risky conditions on land, in the air and in the water, or those carrying dangerous loads or materials such as explosives or highly flammable materials.”

AUTEC’s success is based on product quality, employee competence, and the services it offers. “One of the aspects we have perfected,” explains Antonio Silvestri, “is product development and delivery speed. With the support of Staufen consultants, we initiated a Lean Transformation. We paid great attention to optimizing management of communication between the various functional areas and the different hierarchical levels, giving greater responsibility to all employees. With the help of Shop Floor Management, we changed communication in production. Our short-cycle regular communication allows deviations to be resolved more quickly. Employees are encouraged to constructively solve problems that arise, fostering their sense of responsibility and participation.”

Furthermore, AUTEC became active in the area of Lean Product Development (LPD) and was able to optimize the allocation of resources to the various steps of product planning. Shop Floor Management visualizes performance indicators, progress of activities, allocation of resources, priorities, action plans, etc. on display panels. “One of our strengths,” emphasizes Antonio Silvestri, “is that we fully plan our products, which allows us to be fully autonomous and to satisfy the exact requirements of customers without having to resort to other tools dedicated to other functionalities. By doing so, we gain full control over the development of various processes: from order receipt and the production of individual components to delivery and after-sales service. We continue to invest in our global facilities to provide customers with immediate solutions and ensure the availability of products and components manufactured in our plant.”

Today, in addition to “simple” wireless controls, AUTEC manufactures more complex devices that allow operators not only to control
machines remotely, but also to control and monitor everything that
happens around the machine. The new generation of radio remote
controls, soon to be launched, will provide users with a video control
panel that will allow them to evaluate graphics and presentations or
monitor cameras connected to the machines in a safe environment.

AUTEC therefore looks to the future with great optimism. “In our sector,” says Antonio Silvestri, “technological progress is vital. That is why
we are working on both the simultaneous management of multiple
signal types and improved integration of radio remote controls into
the data processing network, sensor technology and machine diagnostics. Our systems are increasingly developing into complete “cockpits” for overall machine control, offering the advantage compared
to stationary devices that optimum and safe remote control is always
possible even under the most adverse working conditions. By working
with machine manufacturers, we can guarantee ever-increasing levels
of productivity and safety.”

“Employees are encouraged to constructively solve problems that arise,
fostering their sense of responsibility and participation.”

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