Printing and Motors
A company in the middle of the Motor Valley, 5 km away from Dallara’s plant. "We all have the auto-racing industry in the blood", says Michele Antolotti, the young co-founder of Beam-It, a company that produces parts using 3D printers. "We finished last year with 15 employees and a €3.5 million turnover. This year we expect a growth of about 40% and as a human resources goes, we have added 10 new employees to our staff in the past 6 months. In September we will be 25 people in total. "In short, this is a success story of a young company that aims to innovate in the manufacturing production system. A company that won the competition of the Digital Fair on Saturday, July 2nd, during the BBS Reunion 2016.
Welcome to BBS
"We as a company participated in an event titled "Innovating to compete", where we won a scholarship offered by BBS. The Master started soon after. Michele is perhaps the youngest student, just 26 years old, of the VI promotion of the Executive Master in Technology and Innovation Management class [EMTIM]. "At that time, the company produced rapid prototypes and 3D printing. Back then I was in charge of production. Meeting a group of professors and professionals much more experienced and knowledgeable than I was a very strong emotional impact". A team project that remains in Michele’s habits. At BBS you have to possibility to find contacts with whom to collaborate and maintain friendly relations even outside of work.
After the Gold Rush
"The company has noticed my growth during the experience at BBS. I left the field of production to a co-worker and I moved up to a managerial role. It has been a great launch for me". The goal for the company became to have the 3D printer that develops new processes, new materials and make them available for production. But not mass production because "our systems and our technologies do not allow the development of large numbers, but rather lower volumes with high added value. We work within 4 sectors: aerospace avionics, biomedicine, motor sports, and industrial gas turbines. Sectors that have the economic and technical possibilities to take in such disruptive evolution, because it changes the concept of production in such a new way that can revolutionize the system".
The reasons for an award
To find a reason for which he earned such recognition, Michele can only look back to what has happened from his experience in BBS until now. "A few years ago, while studying at the EMTIM, we were going from the industrial prototyping to parts production". A decisive change of identity. "We decided to push on the research and development of metal, increasing the number of materials available. We opened a new plant with new machines and initiated important collaborations, such as that with the University, focusing on design”. Yes, but why a company that produces precise and complex parts won a competition about digital transformation? "3D printing conceptually starts from a digital file. We produce only what we need, insert it precisely in the part of the product where you need it to be". In terms of chain production and assembly, it is a revolution. "And this is the disruptive concept that I was referring to before", urges Michele. "With traditional technologies we used a lot of material to get a piece of a few grams, and with limited functionality, but with these printing processes we are freed from all current manufacturing constraints. This way we are able to, for example, care more about design or function optimization to enhance performance". To sum up, the lesson is that you can win in the digital sector by knowing how to innovate ("disruptively" as Michele would say) and redesign the rules of industrial production.
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