In a year without fairs, Campetella Robotic Center, an industrial automation company from Marche, decided to open the doors of its factory, inviting customers, partners, suppliers (as well as employee families) to visit the factory in Montecassiano. The Campetella Robotics Calling 2020 event lasted throughout October to provide an opportunity to organize visits in full compliance with safety protocols: so not large groups, but one-to-one meetings to get to know the company and your approach to the market better.

On the occasion of one of these days, we also had the opportunity to visit Campetella Robotic, accompanied by Carlo Campetella, who has been running the company for forty years. We interviewed him.

Can you tell us your company story?

Our family business, founded by my great grandfather in the late 1800s, then run by my grandfather and then dad and uncle until the 1980s. That's when I took over. The company was making machines for the agricultural sector, but the sector was in decline at the time, and when I decided to take over the company, I turned to automation, which led to the company specializing in robotics. I started with three employees, today there are about a hundred of us, and our factory area is 8,000 square meters. For several years my children have been working with me. With their arrival, the company took a more international course. If earlier foreign countries accounted for 20-30% of the turnover, and Italy for the rest, today the percentage has changed. However, the Italian market remains good (around 7-8 million euros).

In which countries are you present?

Our market is truly global: we have distributors in 30 countries around the world. The United States is growing a lot now: we have an importer in Boston, but word of mouth works in our sector too. We are approached by companies with a huge turnover compared to European ones that do business in various industries around the world.

What characterizes your approach to the market?

We are very flexible in accepting our customers' requests, from one robot to a complete line. We are an "abnormal" company because we operate in different fields and have experience in different industries. Our goal is to build as many lines as possible using our machines. We design individual parts and manufacture them in our mechanical workshop or using 3D printing to get exactly what we need in a short time.
We realized that this is a great benefit for the end user because they can turn to one person for help or spare parts. this approach brings us great satisfaction. Managing the entire production process helps us to be flexible and respond quickly to requests.
Today the customer is looking for a good product, but above all, excellent service, and by observing the entire production of the plant, we can guarantee this.

How important is food to your turnover?

Highly. This large sector includes many of the segments in which we operate. From the production of complete lines for disposable cutlery to packaging. From coffee capsules to fruit and vegetable boxes ...

The backbone of the Italian food sector is mainly small and medium-sized companies. Is automation available to them or is it too expensive?

Automation is essential today to be competitive even in the food supply chain.
In my opinion, automation can be abandoned only if it is produced in small quantities, for direct sales, or a little more. If you think you want to go into a more structured distribution scheme (even if it is limited at the local level), “it's all done by hand” is unrealistic. Without some degree of automation, hundreds or thousands of products cannot be produced at an affordable price.
Of course, automation can be very strong (if you want to produce the numbers needed by the market nationwide) or just support predominantly handicraft production. In this case, automation can be simpler and cheaper and will allow you to occupy wider market niches, but certainly not for mass consumption.
In my opinion, there is a tendency in our country to extol craftsmanship and less positively assess industrial production in many sectors, including food. I believe that handicraft production is a great value for our country, but it is industrial production that can satisfy the market and create jobs.