Take a close look at one of Caldaro’s joysticks. The seemingly simple design holds hours and hours of ideas, weeks or even months of prototypes and testing. Grab it, and you will notice how fine and ergonomic it feels – the safely hidden tech inside is the result of many years of careful exploration of multiple alternatives.
Yes, of course, Caldaro also designs and manufactures pedals and marine controls. They do that for all kinds of applications, from tiny medical equipment to enormous mining machines, oil rig equipment, advanced forest machines, excavators, and even luxury boats.
That means that every customer benefits from their broad experience. Sometimes a solution they have used for one application suddenly becomes useful when they build a new product for another application. Caldaro’s vast background is one of their greatest strengths.
Caldaro likes to solve customers’ problems
Caldaro started as a sales company selling tailored control and sensing products produced by the Japanese manufacturer Sakae. They still continue this fruitful partnership, but in 1992, Caldaro designed their first palm joystick. Now they have been designing and developing industrial joysticks for thirty years and have a wide selection of premium products, including pedals and marine levers. Their philosophy is not to profit from development and prototyping but just to cover the costs.
”We work closely with our customers and listen to what they need for their machines,” says Claudio Talamo, CEO of Caldaro. ”Our job is to ask questions, listen and make a real effort to precisely understand what challenges they face regarding their individual requirements for joysticks and pedals.”
Subsequently, Caldaro engineers add their innovative magic, which consists of a curious, constructive, creative approach combined with broad experience and deep knowledge gained from working with several industries.
”It’s vital that the customer feels it’s easy to contact us and try out ideas,” explains Claudio. ”This relationship is essential for building a superior development climate.” He continues:
”Our mindset is to solve the customer’s problems. Therefore we are open to discussing alternative ways to get the desired result. With such a mindset and optimal circumstances, we have recently been able to deliver a functional prototype of a new advanced joystick feature just one week after a customer’s request. That joystick is a clear example of cross-applications benefits.”
During the pandemic, Caldaro started to experience a lack of components and materials. It got worse with the war in Ukraine. That’s when the strength of having a comprehensive business network showed its advantages. Somehow, they have been able to keep up production with only a few delays.
Fredrik Lundin Sales Engineer, Emma Lindhagen Sales Support, and Thomas Plahn Sales Engineer, proudly posing with some of Caladro’s premium quality products.
Caldaro has a project model with specific steps to follow for more complicated design projects. The participants in the project group are the salesperson who got the request from the customer, a technical project leader, and, if required, one or more specialists. Then they work through the steps of transforming the request into a project description, turning the description into a plan, working according to the plan, and finally delivering the product.
The FMEA (Failure Modes Effects Analysis) is an integral part of the process. The Caldaro team tries to foresee all possible problems that could occur and then find a way to reduce each potential problem until they have a product that is not likely to fail at all.
Caldaro makes sure the products will also function in extreme conditions. All products are designed based on always choosing the best possible solution. That means that the best performance of each component and technical solution is the primary driver, not the cost.
For example, the P09 pedal is made from aluminium, which is anodised to obtain the best corrosion resistance. But on top of that, it is also powder coated to get a second protective layer that will also make the pedal look good longer.
”You can’t see all this when you look at one of our joysticks, but you will feel it when you start to work with it in your hand,” Claudio points out. ”Jony Ive, who was the chief designer at Apple, once said: ‘I think one of the things you get a sense of is the degree of care, how much did this group of people care to make this right.’ I hope the experience of how well our joysticks work is what he describes.”
Caption: Petter Löfgren, Technical Manager at Caldaro looks over a Viper joystick