Interview with Settima Meccanica S.r.l.
- Company year of incorporation: 1978
- Year of association to the Consortium: 2012
- Turnover class: 25 mln €
- Products: three screw pumps for low and medium pressure applications, special gear pumps for high pressure with low noise and vibration level
- Industries: oil & gas, power generation, marine, elevators, wind, industrial and handling
- Foreign markets: EMEA, North America, Asia
We thank Luca Pellegrini General Manager of Settima Meccanica and Gaia Laneri of the Marketing Office, for having kindly answered our questions.
Good morning Drss. Laneri and Dr. Pellegrini, can you tell us about Settima Meccanica's growth path and how it has established itself on international markets?
The company was founded in 1978 with the aim to produce high-tech three screw pumps for the lift and hydraulic platform industry. At the time we had an external commercial structure based mainly on representative agents. We also had a further development by opening to integrators, but always relying on an external sales force. The export markets throughout the 1980s were mainly Italy, Germany, Switzerland and neighboring countries.
Subsequently in the 90s we took a further step forward by developing an internal commercial structure and increasing the range of products for industrial applications.
In particular this was achieved with the three screw pumps dedicated to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) for lubrication applications (like rotating mechanical parts such as gearboxes, power transmission systems, turbines, ecompressors) or for cooling systems.
During those years we then expanded our production always using the three screw technology in accordance with the API specifications required in particular by the world of Oil & Gas. Our geographical target at the time was still focused on Europe, but we were already present in North America and East Asia (Japan, Korea, China and India), in other words in those countries that were industrialized or in the process of industrialization where our products perfectly fit the OEM production.
We then come to the 2000s when a real technological leap in our products and in the quality of the whole company occurred, namely the invention of "continuum®" helical pumps, a technology that revolutionized the hydraulic sector.
Settima Meccanica invented, patented and produced the helical rotor pumps, opening the doors to a very wide range of industrial applications and allowing us to penetrate many more productive sectors with a technology that has no rivals. The continuum® pump in fact has the great advantage of being silent and having better efficiency. If we consider how noisy the garbage vehicle is, we can understand the loud sound we are talking about. If we imagine an industrial context where multiple machines use old technology pumps, we can figure how important the introduction of a silent pump can be for workers health and quality of life.
The range of industrial applications benefiting from this "revolution" in the world of hydraulic pumps was really wide: beyond lifts and elevators also garbage vehicles, agricultural machinery, handling machinery, electric and hybrid industrial and commercial vehicles, plastic injection machines, compactors, machine tools, etc.
The ability to respond to the specific needs of customers led in 2014 and 2015 to such a company growth that required the opening of two branches, one in the United States of America and the other in China to serve the Asian market.
Arriving to the present day, and after years of research and development, we hence come to the new revolution signed by Settima Meccanica: the 4Q®Continuum®.
We are talking about a real break from the past because from the evolution of Continuum® pumps we invented a "hydraulic machine" which, starting from a bi-helical rotor, allows use on 4 quadrants. Basically the new hydraulic machine can work both as a pump and as a motor and in both cases bi-directionally.
This means that the 4Q®Continuum® is not only silently, ultra-compact and allows you to work bidirectionally, but above all it allows you to recover and generate energy exactly as an alternator would do.
The scope of this innovation is enormous because saving and energy recovery can considerably increase the autonomy of battery-powered vehicles (e.g. forklifts) or can reduce the size and weight of the batteries installed.
It is already an internationally patented technology and we expect that once industrialized and on the market it will have a really significant impact, we would say revolutionary, in the hydraulic pump sector.
This product will open new frontiers in the design of electrohydraulic systems.
In this excursus emerges the importance of technological development and the competitive primacy in international markets of Settima Meccanica.
Today the problem of many SME's, that have good ideas and products with high potential, is precisely of protecting the value of their research and development and avoiding that their technologies are readily copied. How do you tackle this crucial issue?
The protection of the brand and the product of the company's ingenuity is certainly an issue that requires constant attention and vigilance.
The key points of our strategy can be summarized in: the registration of international trademarks and patents, the choice of reliable partners (who give guarantees and undertake to respect agreements and contracts, protecting Settima's know-how), the legal protection and therefore also the possibility of act against any counterfeiting or contractual breach.
But above all, we rely on an attack strategy: the continuous evolution and technological innovation of our products in response to customer needs.
In other words, we aim to always have the leading product that cannot be rivaled in terms of performance and efficiency, so that innovation allows us to give optimal answers to the highly specific demands of the industries we serve.
Let's talk now about the relationship with CEPI: to what extent has the Consorzio Esportatori Piacentini been supporting you in recent years?
The relationship with the CEPI Consortium was of undoubted utility, especially for international trade fairs. In fact, CEPI has provided us with organizational support by facilitating our registration to trade fairs and in particular to collective participations in the Italian system.
The possibility of relate to the Consortium to identify the most suitable events to explore new markets was also of great importance, also because it allowed us to do scouting, significantly reducing economic costs and the commitment of the staff of the export area who must attend many events worldwide.
Also noteworthy is the interpreting service that has been useful to us at the fairs and on the specific occasions requested.
What are the other marketing and promotion tools you plan to develop?
For the near future (in reality it is already under development in the present) we have a digital expansion plan for the presence on the various social channels dedicated to the world of work and OEMs. The digital marketing activities, accompanied by a CRM and lead generation system, will aim to create a communication that is less and less generalist and more and more specific and targeted to customer targets: as well as in production, also in communication
Closing this pleasant chat, would you like to tell us your objectives for the future?
The recent start-up of the new owned headquarters and the investments in production capital made in recent years push us towards "lean" manufacturing. The ability to have greater efficiency in production will allow us to increase volumes, but above all it will give greater flexibility and therefore better service to customers.
This will allow us to give quicker responses with reduced delivery time and above all a greater ability to satisfy the specific and articulated technical needs of the customer.
In addition, we have also strengthened the entire Research and Development area in order to continue and increase the innovative and competitive capacity of Settima Meccanica's products.
Finally, the company will continue to invest significantly in Human Resources training and development. The "Human Capital" jointly with the ability of innovate anticipating future trends will made the difference in order to win the next years challenges in the international markets.