Worldwide, many companies supply scrap metal shears, but only one literally tailor makes each shear for each customer. This approach sets Vezzani S.p.A. apart from other industry suppliers and delivers a unique quality of shear that provides unmatched efficiency, production and reliability.
“We are not suppliers,” says Mario Pastorino, managing director of Vezzani. “We are partners. We are totally focused on our customers.”
Since 1962 Vezzani has been building scrap processing machinery. The company offers a range of ferrous shears and balers, but it is famous worldwide for its incline shear, which the company invented and introduced in the late 1970s.
Vezzani began as a manufacturer of horizontal shears, primarily serving customers across Italy. The shears were a great success and, by the early 1970s, the line had expanded to include Vezzani’s unique basket press that allowed steel mills to substantially increase their production.
By the late 1970s, the craftsman in the Vezzani shop were looking for a better way to process scrap. The idea was to increase production, reduce wear and tear on the shears and decrease power consumption.
By fundamentally rethinking the shear’s operation, they began to see they could lower their customers’ operating costs, extend the life of their machines and increase production all at the same time. The birth of the first gravity-fed incline shear followed.
In 1977, Vezzani introduced the world’s first incline scrap shear, it was a truly revolutionary invention.
As scrap processors and steel mills across the globe became aware of the tremendous efficiencies these unique shears offered, demand grew. Vezzani first began selling shears across Europe and then to the USSR in the mid-1980s.
International demand for Vezzani shears grew rapidly, however, and by the early 1990s the company was supplying machines to Korea, China and North America. Today, Vezzani shears operate in more than 50 nations.
Because of their unique quality, precision craftsmanship and superior designs, some of these shears have been operating for 50 years, still producing high-quality scrap for their owners day in and day out.
A different approach
“We do not have standard or production machines,” says Gabriele Merlo, Vezzani’s commercial director. “Each shear is designed and built around the customer’s requirements. It is literally tailored to their needs and specifications. It’s a totally different approach than other suppliers.”
Vezzani has never been focused on mass production. This allows the craftsmen and engineers at Vezzani to take the time to understand customers’ requirements and the nature of the scrap they will process and to design and build shears especially for their operations.
This approach also has allowed the craftsman at Vezzani to continuously increase the production and capabilities of their shears. “Today, we can do with a 1,200-ton shear what used to require a 1,600-ton shear,” Pier Luigi Sambolino, Vezzani’s sales manager, says. “It’s the result of continuously refining the hydraulics and the interaction of the shear blade with the material.”
“Our engineers are continuously looking for new ways to increase the efficiency of our shears. In the early days, we had a movable side wall that coaxed scrap down into the throat of the shear,” Merlo says. “Today, the box is so advanced that is not required, and even the lightest of scrap will slide right into the shear.”
He adds, “We have also added a transversal ram and unique clamping system that ensures all scrap easily clears the box while also enhancing density. Steel mills love the density of the scrap that comes from our shears, with some even creating a specification for ‘V’ grade material.”
In response to customer requests, Vezzani also has engineered and delivered downstream systems that clean the prepared scrap and remove contaminants. “Steel mills, in particular, love these systems because they reduce slag production in the furnace while also reducing the tap-to-tap time in their production schedules,” Merlo says.
Over the decades, Vezzani has continuously refined its hydraulics and operating systems to deliver maximum efficiency.
All the hydraulic cylinders and manifolds are custom crafted by seasoned tradesman and their apprentices in Vezzani’s Ovada, Italy, factory.
“We have developed proprietary ways to enhance oil flows and pressures that enhance the shear forces while reducing the power requirements of the equipment,” Merlo says. “This delivers a lower cost-per-ton processed, which gives our customers a unique advantage.”
Vezzani also has incorporated state-of-the-art electronics and PLC controls. This allows autonomous operation, and each customer can create specific recipes for the various grades of scrap processed.
Each machine also has remote-control operation. “There is no longer the need to have a control tower and a dedicated shear operator,” Sambolino says. “The machines are fully automatic, truly operating like robots. The crane operator feeding the shear is armed with the remote control and can address any issues that may arise during production,” he adds.
Even the infrastructure requirements of Vezzani shears have been modernized. While significant civil works and footers used to be required, many of the company’s shears can be installed today with minimal requirements.
“Eliminating the need for much of the civil work while also increasing the shearing ability of our machines has reduced the capital requirements for our customers,” Merlo says.
Old world craftsmanship accessible to all
Like all equipment manufacturers, Vezzani has evolved tremendously over its nearly 60 years serving customers. This has resulted in high-production machines that are more efficient and available for a lower capital outlay than used to be required.
The unique quality, precision and true old-world craftsmanship with which they are built, however, has not changed.
“Because we view ourselves as long-term partners with each of our customers, we take the time to build each machine with exacting care,” says Pastorino. “It’s an obligation we take seriously. I have been with Vezzani since 1967—a long tenure like many of those working at Vezzani. Therefore, we will always take an approach based upon the long-term success of our customers. Our approach is perhaps different than other equipment suppliers, but, then again, we are Vezzani.”