A small Tuscany company, with foundry and mechanical workshop, relies on a range of over 2000 products, exported worldwide: it is FMV – Fonderia Metalli
Established in the Sixties as foundry, FMV – Fonderia Metalli Valiani – has afterwards coupled the casting activity with a mechanical workshop division. It was the first company in Europe that attained the certifications for aluminium pulleys, since the beginning the company’s core business for which it is renowned. The advent of the crisis in 2008 was lived as an opportunity and FMV started considering customers’ demands for aluminium castings, which today are supplied with mechanical finishes. The company carries out the entire process, from the design phase for the die implementation up to the machining operations required, like for instance drills, threads and tabs to supply a finished product, ready for assembly. Witnessing the great focus on the production quality, the foundry sector is equipped with a robotic isle, completed by shell mold casting machines and smelting furnaces. The workshop sector operates, instead, through broaching machines, column drills, NC lathes, NC machining centres and metrological room. The various phases of the entire process are managed by a barcode system that allows their planning, monitoring and assessment for a constant improvement.
Environment-friendly constant innovation
At the recent edition of MECSPE, we met Mrs Costanza Conti, Management Representative, with whom we analysed thoroughly some aspects of the company’s activity: «We have started implementing much heavier castings, not only of circular shape, with much bigger weights and thicknesses. We are introducing new products into our range, often upon customers’ demand, and we rely on over 2000 catalogue items. Despite its small sizes, the company is characterized by a highly automated production, with software that manages each single product since the early phases, in foundry, up to the mechanical workshop». Conti illustrated the direction the company intends to pursue with ever-increasing attention, the ambit of castings for renewable energies. Not fortuitously: the company is certified for the quality system and is strongly committed to the environment production, according to its motto that is “manufacturing in sustainable manner”.
«The environmental certification» explained us the Management Representative «is a precise choice of the company. It is a voluntary choice that concerns the entire manufacturing process. We work in a geographical area that is famous worldwide, Chianti, and we believe it is fundamental to preserve it and to keep it intact for our sons and grandsons. This concerns also the materials we use: when we buy aluminium, we want it is provided with a non-radioactivity certification. It is fundamental for us, since radioactivity is not dispersed but transformed: if I buy a radioactive aluminium ingot and I manufacture dozens of pulleys with it, radioactivity remains, damaging especially the people who work in contact with it. Non-radioactive aluminium is much more expensive than radioactive one, which is often dismantled by nuclear power plants and released on the market. The aluminium can be recovered, the material can be cast again, since it does not lose its properties».
From Tuscany to the world
The company is headquartered at Poggibonsi, in Siena province, a zone where in the past several manufacturers of building machines, especially concrete mixers, were set up. It is the sector where FMV is traditionally stronger, supplying its products to companies that export all over the world. Other important sectors, to make some examples, are the producers of agricultural and food machines, scaffoldings for garagists and fitness machines. The Siena company has recently started the production for multinationals that manufacture compressors. A very broad product range, intended for countless sectors, which, directly or indirectly, reaches foreign markets. Skills, creativity and competence today make FMV the ideal supplier for the majority of the manufacturers of building and agricultural machines, of electric motors and pumps and of several other mechanical machinery on the national territory and beyond the borders: its products have an excellent market in Europe and not only, since they have recently conquered the South Africa market, too.
A challenge that is also “geographical”
We asked Mrs Conti how the company succeeds in competing with big multinationals, considering also its distance from the most important industrial districts for its products. The answer is very interesting: «Thanks to our flexibility, with much dedication and passion, the best resource optimization and a very united family structure working in the company. We have hugely invested in technology and automation and our personnel is very qualified, starting from engineers and involving the production staff. We schedule around 30 hours of training per person yearly, so that all can use the new machinery and face new challenges».