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
55 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.
“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!”.