Top-notch Italian artisanal SME goes 100% digital

Feb 21, 2021 |

An historic drive for quality paired with vanguard high-tech

By Federico Piazza

 

MGG in Conegliano, specialized in producing machinery for paintbrush and roller manufacturing, is increasing turnover, staff and investment in R&D by implementing a short supply chain and augmented reality for technical assistance and customer training.

A small Italian company, located just an hour away from Venice, is the global leader in the production of paint-brush industry technologies and is moving quickly towards complete digitalization.

“We’ll complete the process this year”, affirms Loris Maestrutti, CEO of MGG Srl, which is at the forefront of machines and plants for the production of round and flat brushes and rollers used in sectors such as construction, restoration, DIY, woodworking and the nautical industry. A niche market that calls for quality technology.

MGG’s case is a fascinating one. It started out as a typical artisanal business in the late 80s and has always maintained low output but exceptionally high quality, with a completely in-house design and manufacturing supply chain.

In 2019, in order to increase the growth objectives, without compromising on the quality of either products or customer service, founder and president Gianfranco Marcon decided to entrust the organizational and strategic transformation of the company to a top manager from big industry.

As a result, Loris Maestrutti, with over thirty years of experience at Danieli and Camozzi, is now taking on the challenge of the culture and requirements of a typical Italian SME.

Over the last four years, MGG’s turnover has grown from 2.9 to 5.0 million Euros and it has expanded its workforce by 60%. It has also increased its annual R&D investment ratio by three-and-a-half times since 2017. This year, projected growth is no less than 20% with pre-scheduled orders and others currently under negotiation.

Production capacity has to be ramped up in order to achieve even more ambitious results, but quality remains paramount.
This calls for a complete reorganization according to individual goals, accelerating the transformation of processes such as: full automation, advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, transversal application of IoT, unique data culture with digital management of internal and external flows on a cloud platform, and market diversification through specialized product lines.

“Full digitalization will take place through partnerships with companies specialized in the supply of robots and quality/vision control systems, but also with sustainability in terms of worker safety,” explains Maestrutti, “With a focus on quality, to be understood as a measurable concept through constant innovation to maintain a level of excellence.”

Marcon emphasizes the strategy of an internal manufacturing chain and short component supply chain to ensure a fast and uninterrupted supply, “MGG has always followed this business model from its inception back in 1989” adds Marcon.
A vision that has continually showcased the company’s strength, even more successful in this particular moment that has affected business across the globe. MGG has four specialized product lines.

“MGG Paintbrush Innovation designs and produces for the paint brush market, it represents 70% of our revenues. MGG Meccanica, with its 18 latest-generation CNC machines, performs in-house machining and also offers contracting services. MGG Plant supplies industrial equipment for furniture assembly and wood palletizing. MGG Robotics designs and manufactures quality/vision control systems.”

This latter division is at the IT heart of the digital revolution. Firstly, it serves the core business — paint-brush machine manufacturing — where complex data about production lines, composed of 16 pieces of equipment and capable of an hourly production rate of 1500 pieces, need to be elaborated and analyzed.

In addition, MGG, has just launched the web-based Service on Site platform, thus becoming the first company in the sector to offer such service. Technical assistance and training for the client can be carried out through augmented reality applications with direct chat.

MGG Robotics is also diversified in three other sectors. “Medical physiotherapy, with software developed for muscular rehabilitation; the sports industry, with machines used for various types of training; the steel industry, with automated systems for separating ferrous from non-ferrous elements in industrial waste recycling, which reduces the amount of human work and fatigue while maintaining constant precision in this type of activity.”

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