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The old ways

By Guest Author,

Added 19 December 2016

A case study on how Italian company is using old ways to make best of it for the future.


Some of the most commonly employed manufacturing techniques have been used in industry for decades, sometimes centuries. Take,
for example, induction heating. The phenomenon was discovered by French physicist Leon Foucault in the mid-nineteenth century – ‘induce’ an alternating current in a conductive object, such as a ferrous metal component, and it heats up! The applications, especially in modern manufacturing, are myriad.

Based in Piedmont, Italy, Termomacchine Srl, has been perfecting induction-heating systems for industrial use for more than 40 years. The company is run by its founder, Bruno Gili, who, despite being camera shy, is never reluctant to take the spotlight for the sake of his business and its 80 employees.

“We try to do as much manufacturing in-house as possible,” Gilli says. “Quality is everything for us – and for our customers, most of whom are very well-known companies, in Italy and overseas. We have departments for engineering electrical and electronic systems, mechanics, metallurgy, and quality assurance, of course.”

Most of the company’s orders are for one-off, bespoke, turnkey machines and systems. So, there’s little call for large batches of parts or, therefore, three-shift machining.

“We need versatile, simple, reliable machine tools,” says Gili. “Speed is not particularly important. And, we’re not competing with China or low-cost countries; we have a great deal of expertise, which we apply at all stages of a project, from sales to design, through to service and support.”

Bruno Gili has worked with machine tools his entire professional life. In that time, he, like many of his peers, has seen the technology change beyond all recognition – from the advent of tape-based control, to primitive NC, to full multi-axis CNC. When he sings the praises of a particular piece of equipment, he doesn’t do so lightly or without good reason.

(Continued on next page)

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