In this Ask the Expert Igor Riccardi, Sales Director from CEPI breaks down the technical aspects and benefits of a bulk-handling system, with a look at automation and circularity
Igor Riccardi is Sales Director at CEPI. He has a two decades experience in working with the global food markets and coordinating with engineering and technical teams to develop customised bulk-handling solutions. His customer-first approach prioritises the optimisation rather than subversion of the working model of food manufacturers.
What is bulk-handling for you and what is your approach to the design of a bulk-handling system?
We say this a lot, but bulk-handling isn’t just about silos. As important as they are, storage operations are only one part of systems we build. Our goal is to provide turn-key, highly customised solutions that manage the production line from storage to dosing. Turn-key is one crucial characteristic of our installations, and the other is organic: storage, dosing, conveying and their automation must be regarded in their totality, and in the way they interact with each other. This is crucial to achieve effective customisation, which in turn is what makes installations very durable.
We take a long-term view when we design a bulk-handling system, in order to create the most flexibile solution for each food manufacturer, one which does not preclude any new path they may take in the future. The design is based on a close analysis of the user’s process, based on information that goes well beyond the purely technical. Our method involves all departments from warehouse, to production, technical, purchasing and marketing, to include projection of future productions. This is what makes our installations very easy to adapt to future developments.
One of our strengths is the ability to bring new life to installations that would otherwise be decommissioned. This activity, known as revamping, makes it possible to extend the useful life of the plants indefinitely: systems that we built 30 years ago are still functioning efficiently.
The choice of basing our working model around being turn-key has been strategic. It makes users independent and meets their specific needs, and very importantly, it ensures that their process is efficient and sustainable, providing them with a durable installation that fits with the circular economy model.
What is a circular product and how does CEPI achieve circularity?
To gather more detailed information about the circularity of our product, we have commissioned a study from an agency that applies the method identified by the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation, one of the most authoritative international organisations in the field of the circular economy.
The circular economy model is rapidly establishing itself both in international policies and in consumption models, as an essential element of the transition towards sustainable development. It aims to enhance the recycling and reuse of raw materials and products, in order to reduce the consumption of primary resources. The Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation has developed an indicator that aims to measure the level of circularity of a product, evaluating information about the origin of materials, information about the characteristics of the product and its use, and information about the end of life of the product.
CEPI has been the first company in Italy to commission the evaluation of a bulk-handling system (as opposed to a single application). Our circularity indicator for the average system right now is 0,7 on a scale between 0 and 1, which is considered pretty high…
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