Piaggio and its production sites

The Piaggio Group has a strong international presence.
At its Italian site in Pontedera (in the area near Pisa), the Group has three facilities, one for the manufacture of commercial vehicles, one for the manufacture of scooters and engines for two-wheeler vehicles, and one for the supply of aluminium and steel components for vehicles and engines. In addition to the latter, which comprise the most important industrial complex of the two-wheeler segment in Europe, two other sites operate in Italy for European production (Scorzè and Mandello del Lario). In February 2013, Piaggio &C. decided to move the production of Derbi brand vehicles to Italy, and gradually close down the production facility in Martorelles.

The Group also has its own production sites in Vietnam (at Vinh Phuc), with a site for the manufacture of two-wheeler vehicles and a site for the production of 3V engines, and in India (at Baramati, in the state of Maharashtra) with a site for the manufacture of commercial vehicles and engines, in addition to a production site for Vespas for the Indian market.

The main operations taking place during the first half of 2013 at these sites, to develop and make production capacity even more efficient, are outlined below.

Pontedera Sites  

Specific software to map and control work sites contracted out to external companies, for an even better visibility/control of activities, went into operation.

Two-Wheeler and Engine production sites

As part of mechanical processing, the mass production of the 1400 Moto Guzzi and 1200 Caponord integral drive shafts began and in-company production of drive shafts for Aprilia Racing started. The Rosler vibrofinish plant for buffing integral drive shafts and the Makino work centre for processing the LEm engine crankcase were installed, tested and started up for production. Activities began to acquire a new robot unit for the processing of unassembled drive shafts.
Improvement activities based on Quick Kaizen, 5S and PPS methodologies are underway.
The 1200 Caponord went into production, while activities are ongoing to upgrade the assembly line and test benches for the new Batteryless system for the LEm 3V engine, which is scheduled to go into production in July.

Pressing at suppliers got underway to produce sheet metal components for the body of the new Vespa Primavera, for production start-up at sites in Italy and Vietnam.
In the welding area, the new welding line for the Vespa 946 body was installed and production started, and a new automated welding line for the Vespa New LX body is being installed. Production should start before the end of July to produce the first bodies for the assembly of pre-mass production vehicles.

The painting process for the Vespa 946 was industrialised, with the introduction in particular of new equipment (for painting the body in a horizontal position).
During the first half of the year, activities prior to the development of the new painting system began, which will involve long-term investments and is scheduled for completion in 2015.

As regards vehicle assembly, the new Vespa 946 went into production, with the development of the vehicle assembly line, comprising AGV devices (an innovative system for the assembly of radio-controlled trucks with the cable below the floor). The construction of the new Vespa 946 assembly line led to the movement of some vehicles to other assembly lines at the Pontedera site, while assembly of the SRV850 vehicle was transferred to the production site at Scorzè.
The second assembly line for the front suspension for the Vespa GTS and Lx went into production.

Lastly, activities are currently underway to update the assembly and testing line for the new Vespa Primavera to go into production.

Commercial Vehicles Plants

In June, the Ape City Europa (the new Calessino) went into production.
Final testing on the Porter BTC was consolidated, with the introduction of a Drive Aid control system on test benches.
A system to control and fill brake oil for Ape vehicles was installed, replacing obsolete equipment.

Polo Meccanica Site

At the new Polo Meccanica site, which was acquired in 2012 following the insolvency of Tecnocontrol, some Vespa 946 components and the lighter cylinder blocks of the 1000cc engine for Aprilia Racing went into production. Non-routine maintenance included, in particular, redevelopment of the cylinder head assembly lines.

Work Times and Methods Analysis

In the first half of 2013, the analysis programme of work duties based on OCRA and NIOSH methods continued at all Italian sites. The method evaluates and minimises the risk of occupational disease caused by repetitive movements and strain on the spine.

Property management

Building 62, built to house the canteen for the former Foundry departments, was renovated and turned into company offices for around 100 staff. A total of 2,000 m2, comprising a ground and first floor, were renovated, and the outside area was cleaned up and redeveloped.
The area, previously used as the paper and furnishing store, now houses the company's International Front Office and Back Office for all customers of the Parent Company Piaggio & C. S.p.A., as well as Credit Management and End Product Logistics.

The new Worldwide Spare Parts Centre, serving all Piaggio Group brands, was completed in April 2013 on company property in Pontedera, in the area of the former airport.
The new site is a large and ultra-modern logistics base to receive, pack, store and dispatch after-sales spare parts: the warehouse covers a total surface area of 37,000 m2 and has an independent porter's lodge, 10 loading bays and new outside areas with transit perimeter, for a further 32,000 m2.
The building has an innovative technological transfer system for storing and picking materials (automated miniload system), with a storage capacity of 100,000 different codes, served by 8 automated shelf handling systems, and a final transport system for preparing kits to dispatch.
The high number of spare parts at the new warehouse meant that other logistics warehouses, rented in Italy and abroad, could be dismantled.
At present, rentals of the Spare Parts warehouses in Bientina, Arena Po and Vatry (France) have stopped.

Scorzè Plant  

All the panic push bars on the fire doors and fire exit doors were replaced and extinguishing systems were upgraded, as part of activities for safety management and fire prevention control at the site.

During the first half of the year, assembly of the SRV 850 line transferred from Pontedera was completed, with the transfer of all Derbi models (GPR 50, Senda 50, DRD125) from the Martorelles sites, and vehicle roll-over prevention devices installed on line 3, where the SRV 850 model will be worked.

Production of the Aprilia Caponord 1200 got underway.

Noale Plant  

Main actions in the first half of 2013 refer to maintenance for fire prevention and control.

Mandello Del Lario Plant  

In conjunction with competent public authorities (the Local Authorities - Arpal (the Regional Agency for environmental protection in Liguria - the Provincial authorities), the company is continuing the project to classify industrial land inside the plant, in order to remove and clean up the subsurface after previous industrial production.
At the same time, an application was made to the Regional and Provincial public authorities (the Regional Agency for State Property and the Province of Lecco), to eliminate state ownership of the former irrigation ditch which runs through the site, mostly underground and is prior to future expansion of the site, with examination of the application now ongoing.
As regards vehicle assembly, the system serving the “MILK RUN” lines based on logics of the Piaggio Manufacturing System project is now permanently operating, and industrialisation of all versions of the Moto Guzzi California range has been completed.

Baramati Plant  

At the Baramati engine plant, installation and start-up of the second rapid test bench for the Ape Pax 200cc engine for the Ape Passenger, petrol, LPG and CNG versions, were completed in February, along with installation and start-up of the cylinder sanding line for HE and Ape Pax 200cc engines, and the production line for HE and Ape Pax 200cc engine cylinder heads, including processing and assembly lines.

Vinh Phuc Plant  

In May, installation of an additional 4 machines to process LEm 3V engine coupled crankcases was completed, increasing installed production capacity from 120,000 coupled crankcases/year at the end of 2012 (7 processing machines installed and 1 washing unit), to 200,000 coupled crankcases/year (11 machines installed and 1 washing unit).
Activities are ongoing to upgrade the assembly line and test benches for the new Batteryless system for the LEm 3V engine, which is scheduled to go into production in July.

As regards production of the new Vespa Primavera, activities to expand the building and install plants and systems for the new welding line were completed at the Two-wheeler Site. The installation of welding equipment will be completed in July, and production start-up is scheduled for September.

To assist R&D functions, a test track inside the site has been constructed, along with dynamic stress testing paths for vehicles, with paving and cobbles.

As regards general plant improvements, the installation of an engine assembly cooling system and a 5th medium voltage transformer is nearing completion.