Where there’s Japanese technology and Italic passion

Clean and orderly company, modern machinery, effective information mediums and... Future trust! These are - in brief - the strength points of D.G.V., in Lombardy. After years of professional visits to subcontractors and other factories, I know that once I step in the factory I must be psychologically prepared to face any kind of work environments. Well, just entered in D.G.V., my first impression was that of being in spaces where cleanliness and order predominate; from passages to the production areas extended for more than 1300 square meters. However, inside this Lombard company sheet metal in transformed, processes of cutting, bending and welding of various types are run. The objects are sent to the galvanizing treatment then assembled and packaged. "In order to achieve specific results is indispensable to start at a organizational level keeping in mind the company's purposes and the steps to reach them. Anyway, this attitude represent the indispensable premise but considered alone it's not enough. In fact, it's needed to equip the company with suitable methods and tools to operate in line with the strategies, being aware of what to do and how to intervene." According to the introductive concepts exposed by Giovanni D'Argento, it's important to add that our staff has already been to see D.G.V. in September 2001. At the time the company's headquarters was located in a 400 square meters establishment in Bareggio. In this establishment, not far to the current, there weren't the new CNC punch press and even the computerised vertical storage of raw materials. The laser cutting centers were instead of a previous generation. Only connisseurs of the sector can well understand what it means a jump in the organization in just five years!

A work started in 1965

41 years ago, Vito D'Argento, father of Giovanni, capitalizing on its experiences collected in some of the mechanical firms in Milan, decided to materialize his entrepreneurial soul founding D.G.V., that initially produced metallic carpentry. About fifteen years later, in the early '80s, Vito D'Argento realize that the development of technologies of deformation of the sheet metal is the right way to give more added value to his work. In fact it was in that period that D'Argento started, gradually, to manufacture parts of carpentry according to specific instructions of costumers, operating in sectors such as electronics, textile machinery and food . "During those years we had to do lot of manual work – says Vito D'Argento - but thanks to the sacrifices of that period in the mid-90s we had the possibility to make a great stride with the introduction in the company of the first numerical control machines and, above all, our first laser cutting." Today D.G.V. can offer quality metal objects based on design and/or specific instructions of the customer; cooperating, if required, to projects definition and, most frequently, to the realization of prototypes. Thus, we can say that all the stages are directly managed by EDC, which also supports the administrative parts and services as the management of the warehouse and the raw material. Anyway, we will have a more careful look on this aspect later.

Technological state-of-the-art

"Actually, I think I can easily say that our machinery inventory is a real kind of "flagship", resumes Giovanni D'Argento. "In the production departments are, in fact, operating two CNC punching, two laser cutting centers, shears with lengths up to 3000 mm, CNC press brakes with lengths of fold up to 3000 mm, punching machines for small quantities and even welders for all types of welding (tig, mag, etc.), drills and others various control equipments.
"As anticipated, D.G.V.'s factory has recently equipped itself with a modern automated warehouse for raw materials, composed by high shelves with coded shelfs. Moreover, a management software that allows you to control every aspect of the organization, from production to the warehouse, from administration to delivery, it now available. In particular, each operator has to use daily stations with bar code readers that can accompany any particular worked , so that without any possibility of error, the computerised system can control with dedicated softwares every single moment of the production process in real-time.
Finally, there are advanced computer programs that allow the digitization of technical instructions of orders and the subsequent processing CAD/CAM of all laser cutting and punching programs. "We are able to industrialize for our purpose every aspects of costumers documentation - says Giovanni D'Argento - whether it is a matter of mathematician files received from internet, or sketches and samples.
A next step could be to increase the automation, but for now, given also lots productive broadly split I admit that we are still reflecting on it also because of the very fractioned productive lots". And there's in addition the question of the "human factor". "The fact that our equipment, machinery and management systems have to be always the best - intervenes Vito D'Argento - will never make us forget the importance of man, his preparation and his belief in the "team work". The delicacy and complexity of the processes that we have chosen to be realized, requires the presence of highly qualified experienced and proactive staff, that we have formed over the years, literally turning the worker in a qualified man who can vouch for the qualitative specifications of the product that has been committed to him".
The description given above by the founder of D.G.V. is the true strength of a small business, by virtue of which a relationship of trust with workers can be established. This solid relationship takes to a rise in production flexibility, as well as the guarantee of quality.

Diversify to grow

"Until about a decade ago, could rely on a limited number of big customers; it's required to have lots of small costumers" said Giovanni D'Argento. "This's definitely a more difficult strategy, but only by the diversification of markets and the division of costumers in different industrial sectors, we can "relatively" escape from the various crises that cyclically affect markets. In conclusion, let me add that the Italian productive system of SMEs, especially the mechanical one, at the moment when it develops whit the costumer many and complex parts in synergy... has still much to say. It's necessary to belive it!".

The technology is the winning weapon against
the economical crisis.

D.G.V. Ltd. is a company specialized in sheet metal processing at high tech. An advantage that has allowed to keep balance sheet in the black and foreign orders even during the recession. No unemployment insurance, no layoffs and stable orders. The miracle comes from the world of small business and is branded D.G.V. . It is a limited liability company specialized in sheet metal processing. An activity that requires great precision and is performed with the help of last generation robotic equipment. This company, made up of only 10 people, produces even unique pieces for a price of 700 thousand euros. “If we have well faced the crisis that since 2008 have hit italian companies - says Giovanni D'Argento, owner of D.G.V. - it is due to the fact that we are equipped with the latest technology and we have a great ability to adapt to customer's demands. In fact we work for third parties, but

our company makes products that even mid-sized companies aren't able to produce, because they are not equipped with the same technology that our company has". The results are clear: about 35% of the production ends up abroad. The results are clear: about 35% of the production ends up abroad. A sign that the small company of Arluno manages to be competitive at a European level. So no crisis, unlike many other small companies gone out of business. "This year – asserts D'Argento - the results has been better than those of 2009 and 2010. Troubles arrived only in July, with the financial crisis. Instead, In the last six months, the trend was growing, we were recovering the lost ground with the crisis of 2008 and many companies like ours succeeded in doing overtimes". Setback came suddenly in September, when several companies have received no more orders. "We cannot complain - says D'Argento - although at the moment we can't make reliable predictions about 2012. If the financial storm of July and August hasn't took place, the results would have been better. The problem is that we have to deal with banks that have tightened credit with lower profit margins and with a government that did not make necessary reforms. The latest incentives for firms date back to laws Tremonti. "

D.G.V. Ltd., how to manage 60 thousand
different types of sheet metal.

From large batches to flexibility thrust. It is the successfully road taken by D.G.V. Ltd. of Arluno, looks to 2011 with orders planned for the entire year but cannot find technical staff to include in the production department.
"Our vocation is the sheet metal processing for third parties, based on the costumer's design. We started in 1963 as a small metal carpentry company. Then we have developed it in several areas, always at the service of customers that build other machines, systems, components, and capital goods. At first large batches for large enterprises were built.
Today the word is flexibility. In a nutshell John D'Argento, technical manager and son of the founder Vito, tells us how the market has changed for D.G.V., which today exports almost 40% of its turnover.

What are the strong points of your production?

"For us, quality is the key. One of ours strong points to offer our customers the highest quality and precision in every sector and field, whether it is about a prototype or a mass-production. We have machinery and people who can offer the best in terms of quality to the customer, delivering the product as perfect as possible. Furthermore, I consider our ability to collaborate with clients, meeting his needs, a further strength of our company.
We have operators, tools, and offices able to meet various needs, from prototype for the shipbuilding industry to prototype in large series for food industries. We always try to optimize our work from the early stages, trying to produce it with the utmost speed and the highest quality in precision, these are two factors inseparable for us".

What areas of your machinery inventory and company will be changed or renovated?

"About the machinery inventory we will work short-term on the aspect of finish and logistics, introducing, for example, more automated processes and machinery for the finish. Then we will be able to provide greater precision and quality product to the customer in order to satisfy the most demanding requirements of the market. We are also updating and taking care of the commercial side of the company, introducing new website and brochures".

How important is the foreign market?

"For us, the foreign market is exclusively concentrated in Europe, especially in Switzerland and Germany, but there is no doubt that, within few years, the foreign market will cover a large part of the production. Today, in fact, the foreign market covers about 40% of our production".

How behaves the internal market hit by the recent economic crisis?

"Unfortunately, the internal market is dismayed by a common uncertainty on the part of all. If in the past the internal market required a mass production today it requires more and more specialized high quality products and prototypes. However, we trust in an overall recovery of the internal market, where qualities never fall short”.

What was your reaction to the crisis? How did you faced it?

"The crisis was a defining moment for us but we believe that it has been a moment for everyone in which it was necessary maintain the costs and take full advantage of each single quality and potential in the attempt to provide our customers the same strengths that we have always guaranteed and that has always set us apart.
The workforce and the timings have been maintained. This is a reason for pride. Today we notice some signs of recovery and we are ready to restart stronger and more competitive than ever”.

D.G.V., high quality and fast execution

Founded in 1965, operates in the precision carpentry sector; technologically advanced, it meet the needs of different sectors.
D.G.V., continuing from DA.PI. founded by Vito D’Argento in 1965, is today a forefront reality in sheet metal subcontracting sector. It operates in the precision capentry sector, laser cutting, bending, punching, welding, fastener and assembly systems, ensuring a constant technological growth. The experience gained in the sector allows D.G.V. to satisfy the requests from many different sectors, from electronics to mechanics, from lightning system to hobbies. The experience and the use of CNC machines allow D.G.V. to be the leader in the most complex construction details. Various types of welding, fastener systems and finishing processes with the possibility to obtain a finished product.
The IT systems allow to elaborate in short times at the laser cut or at the punching machine the drawings received on magnetic support or by modem directly from the customer. Fast execution and high quality have always been the basis of D.G.V.’s production philosophy, as Giovanni D’Argento, the administrator, explained us.

A story begun in 1965

Vito D’Argento fonde the company, thanks to the experience he gained through the years. In the 80’s the company starte to produce precision carpentry parts for customers operating in the textile, electronic and food sectors. Thanks to the work developed in those years, in the 90’s the company had a real quantum leap, with the introduction of the first CNC machines and automated warehouse for the raw materials. Besides, thanks to a dedicated software, D.G.V. is able to control every single phase of management. This development made D.G.V. a company which is able to offer high quality products, distinguished by first-class raw materials.


As Giovanni D’Argento explained, the technological level achieved by DGV is one of the highest in the market, thanks to the investments made through the years and that are still made today to maintain the high levels of specialization achieved. “We are thinking to introduce in the future the 3D technology, to improve our productions.” Today’s customers want cutted, bended, turned, milled and treates pieces, so it’s necessary to have all the machines and the necessary specialization to front the various requests without problems. “Hard working and a good warehouse, with centre lathes, milling machines, drilling machines, tapping machines, laser cut, press brake machines, welding machines, punching machines, spot welders, is needed. You must be able to do everything and to be extremely flexible to be in the market. We have all of this and we produce high quality pieces."

Presence in Italy and abroad

In addition to the internal market, D.G.V. works in Swiss and German companies, but unfortunately with the introduction of the Euro, the high costs of labor led to a loss of competitiveness.

Relocation, an unforgivable mistake

Today all of our sectors have high technologies. Our small and medium companies, even if they are technologically advanced and high quality, are continuously losing market shares, because many customers, lacking of industrial policies, outsourced their productions.

Machine tools and formation

As already said, D.G.V. has a large and advanced machine tools. The investments made through the years and the continuous adjustment to the technological change allowed D.G.V. to have always last generation machines, able to ensure every type of machining needed to give finished pieces ready for use. As regards the preparation and training of employees, D.G.V. has an eye.
All of the employees are extremely qualified and able to produce high quality works and they are constantly uptdated, when is necessary. Another feature of D.G.V. is the average age of young employees, ranging from a minimum of 25 years to a maximum of 50.

A good start in 2012

The beginning of the new year was rather positive for D.G.V., that had a the first three months substantially in line with that of the previous year.
“The work’s not lacking” says D’Argento “the orders are always coming and they’re all urgent.” A downside, however, is affecting and will affect in the future the competitiveness, the decrease of the credit destined to the investments. The companies, until a few years ago, were able to invest costantly, remaining always advanced. It’s because of that investments that our companies can still be competitive today.

Exhibitions and communication

D.G.V. constantly participates to the main exhibitions of the sector. It’ll take part to the next edition of Bi-Mu in Milan, scheduled for October, it recently took part to Mecspe in Parma and participated to Swisstech in Basel.
“I believe that Milan and Basel are the most suited exhibitions for small subcontracting companies, because Lombardy and Switzerland are areas where small businesses can meet potential customers”. D.V.G. always had good feedbacks from the exhibition in which it took part.

D.G.V. Srl
via Enzo Ferrari n° 18
20010 Arluno (MI) Italy
Tel. +39 2 903 777 33
Fax +39 2 903 795 63

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