The R&D Department is the heart of the company, the engine of innovation. This distinctive asset of IFI is made up of a team of around thirty professionals including thermodynamics and electronics engineers, designers, specialist technicians and researchers who develop projects independently or in collaboration with industrial designers. The continual research activity and the addition of young talents to build on the over fifty years’ experience continue to bear fruit in innovations which, since 1962, have each time dictated new benchmark standards in the sector.
The prototypes made undergo functional testing in temperature chambers, to test performance in extreme temperature and humidity conditions.
Raw materials, components and semi-finished products are stored in the warehouse, listed with over 40,000 codes that can be identified by barcodes and radio-frequency terminals. They are managed and organized using the SAP management system.
The production process is based on the Kaizen method aimed at the efficiency of the production factors related to the corporate microeconomics and at containing production costs. Kaizen is an approach for Quality Management Systems that involves activities like:
• Lean manufacturing
• Total Quality Management (TQM)
• Just in time (JIT)
• Kanban (method for constant reintegration of raw materials and semi-finished products)
• BPR (Business Process Reengineering)
• Statistical process control
The display case and refrigerated cell structures are made at the IFI 2 facility. IFI carries out various types of insulation, by injecting low- and high-density expanded polyurethane, according to the insulation needs.
The production lines are located in the IFI 1 facility. Each assembly line is used for one product family (gelato display cases, pozzetti, bar counters, snack display cases, refrigerated cells).
The condensing units fitted in refrigerated products are of various types, from the more simple (for example, those for pozzetti counters) to the more complex (for display cases). The motors also vary according to the destination markets, to meet the various climate and market requirements.
Every single display case produced is tested for 12 hours at 35°C and 60% humidity in special temperature chambers. Only if they pass this test do they undergo electrical and functional testing.
All products undergo electrical testing; all products with refrigeration and/or heating functions also undergo functional testing.
At the end of the production stage and after undergoing testing, products are transferred to the logistics facility, IFI 3 to be shipped to their respective destinations throughout the world. Before shipping, the finishes are added and the furnishings assembled to check that there are no imperfections. They are then dismantled again for shipping.