From design to manufacturing, Athena represents a reference partner for the development with its customers, in co-design and in co-engineering as well, of high-tech parts and components intended for the most various industrial sectors.
Established in 1973 thanks to the entrepreneurial farsightedness of Gianni L. Mancassola, Athena has developed from small artisan laboratory to international Group with 10 factories spread worldwide, of which 5 in Italy. At the Headquarter at Alonte (Vicenza, Italy) we met the founder and President in charge, to outline the state-of-the-art and especially the future vision of a reality that today can rely on a staff of over 700 people, scoring a turnover that in 2017 is expected to reach about 115 million euros. A context that allows the company, specialized in the design and production of standard and highly customized parts and components, to play a unique hardly repeatable role in the international survey, thanks to the broad and diversified range of proposed solutions.
«A production – underlines Mancassola – that ranges from metal blanked and formed components to industrial seals, from rubber moulded items to valves and metal plugs. Parts and components featuring high technological content intended for the most various sectors: from the most exacting automotive, earth handling and powertrain, to the complex ambits of the professional household appliance, of Hvac and general industry, too».
Key factor of the company’s mission is the possibility of representing the sole reference reality for the entire manufacturing chain. A single partner able to grant product and process quality, to permit its customers to rationalize times and resources, to reduce wastes in order to favour the highest competitiveness level.
«We can develop products – adds Mancassola – performing all implementation phases, from the initial design to logistics. Providing the great added value of supporting our clients with co-design and co-engineering activities, through a “cross competence” model based on the transversal know-how and the extreme rapidity in turning requisites into innovative solutions».
As differentiating is the broad availability of high-quality raw materials, besides a research and development division currently employing fifteen engineers.
Keeping pace with innovation
Supported by its organization, also this year Athena participates in CTI Symposium in Berlin, event dedicated to the innovation of power transmissions in automotive ambit.
«Athena’s decision of taking part in this important event – underlines Mancassola – springs from the awareness that CTI represents a reference event for the specific international “powertrain” field. In this showroom, all primary world players present innovative studies and solutions concerning the new automotive powertrain standards. Therefore, it becomes mandatory for us proposing the solutions that today Athena can offer. At the same time, it will be decisive to intercept even faster the future sector evolutions, to identify new technological trends that will constitute a benchmark also for the definition of our future strategies».
Future strategies that for the company currently result in a wide enlargement that will be accomplished in 2018, with a new highly automated and integrated logistic hub for the entire Group, taking up almost 8,000 square metres, at Alonte headquarters (VI).
«A further step – underlines Mancassola – towards even stronger internationalization that will enlarge our Alonte plant to a total surface of almost 30,000 covered square metres. Widening that will make our manufacturing capacity even more efficient, prevailingly for the European market. To full benefit of higher competitiveness».
Logistics play an essential role as well and are managed through a job order coordination towards OEM that can take advantage of the Kanban method, too (lean production method whose target is avoiding the overproduction, to full benefit of the performances of the entire production system), adopted by the company long time ago.
«These operational dynamics– ends Mancassola – currently drive the Group’s growth, supported by undisputed financial soundness, an increasingly widespread international presence, by the critical mass performance in case of partnership agreements with some big raw material manufacturers on a world scale».
Over 40 years of constant growth
Athena was born over 40 years ago from an important industrial and commercial experience in the electromechanical field, sector from which they learn the importance of high quality, adopting such value in the seal world. This happens by pursuing the growth target since the beginning, first national and then international, with a broader and broader range offer. A challenge that in 1979 results in the production extension to metal components. In 1987 was established BlueTech, division specialized in sealing elements for industry, maintenance and resellers; two years later they takeover Igea, Milanese enterprise that produces motorbike spare parts (division that today accounts for around 30% of the whole Group’s turnover). In 1994/1995 follow the setup of Athena Sud at Erchie (BR) and the takeover of Agir, specialized in components for boilers and heating systems. The 1998-year, however, marks a fundamental step towards internationalization, with the penetration into the South American market with the subsidiary Vedamotors, in Brazil. Astride the new millennium, the company starts the production of cylinders for endothermic motors, thus widening the proposals and the solutions for motorbike spare parts, enhancing its know-how in the aftermarket and OE sector. In 2001/2003 it further enlarges its production capacity with the takeovers of R.P.M and Sealglass, acquiring an acknowledged leadership in the production of rubber fabric membranes and glass-to-metal plates. In 2007, two decisive events take place for Athena motor division. On one hand, the approach to international markets with Athena India, Athena Motor Iberica and Athena Usa; on the other hand the takeover of Get, forefront company in the sector of electronic gearcases for motorbikes. The last company that joined Athena Grup is Nostrali, since 1967 reference reality in Europe in the design and production of hydraulics and pneumatics components.
SEE ALSO THE VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXTNP-aPGF0