The Italian Technology Awards, organized and sponsored by ITA (Italian Trade Agency) as part of the Machines Italia project, included the participation of some of the most capable university students from the US who visited the manufacturing plants of major Gimav member companies.
To compete for the awards, students from the most prestigious US universities submit projects that develop innovative solutions designed to solve specific problems in glass processing. Selected from among the best proposals, the winners were offered a one-week study trip in Italy to participate in an advanced-level seminar program at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (private research university) and get a close-up look at Italian manufacturing plants, visiting their facilities and checking out their successful production models. The award trip, which took place November 12-17, also included a cultural component with guided tours of several Italian museums.
The tours of Gimav-member-company facilities began with a visit by the participants from Robert Morris University and Lehigh University to the Milan headquarters of Ocmi-Otg SpA.
“As a hollow glass company, Ocmi was thrilled to take part in the Italian Technology Awards program again in 2019, hosting the students and their accompanying professor from the United States,” remarked Alessandro Crescentini, Spare Parts Manager of Ocmi - Otg SpA. “They were shown the lines for producing borosilicate glass tube pharmaceutical containers, and the machines’ optional tools, then we analyzed samples of the finished products (specifically, ampoules and vials) to further enhance the presentation.
The group continued their visit in the company’s production department, viewing machines being assembled and the various stages the systems go through as they’re constructed.
The tour ended with demonstrations of the stemware sealing machines, Ocmi’s core business in the tableware sector”.
The delegation was also hosted by Neptun Srl in the province of Como on the same day.
“We were excited to be a part of this initiative again this year,” stated Anna Van Orshoven, coordinator of Neptun’s Marketing Office, “because we believe in the value of supporting, in our own small way, the development of future glass professionals.
In the first classroom session, we illustrated the life stages of plate glass, from its creation to various ways it is used, and the machinery utilized in processing it.
We then moved on to floor demonstrations, with examples of drilling, milling, straightline grinding and, finally, washing operations. We also delved deeper into the importance of automation, demonstrating our BRAVOLOAD anthropomorphic robot system.”
Over the next few days, the group went first to Romagna and then to the Marche to visit two Biesse Group divisions: Diamut in Ravenna and Intermac in Pesaro.
“It was a pleasure to open the doors of Diamut to the Glassworking Group” commented Annalisa Mazzotti of the Marketing Department. “The American delegation got to explore the Diamut operation, specialized in the production of utensils and complete solutions for processing glass, stone and ceramics. We introduced the vast array of tools for the various processes and the main markets in which the company is present.
Then, along with Product Manager, Andrea Ragazzini, the group toured the production area, observing all the steps in the manufacture of our tools, from selection of materials to final assembly.”
Then the group visited Intermac, the brand through which the Biesse Group designs, manufactures and sells glass, stone and metal-processing machinery for companies that process flat glass and stone for the home furnishings, construction and automotive industries.
“The Biesse Group was extremely happy to host the delegation of university students as part of the Italian Technology Awards 2019, to help represent the excellence of Italian-made glass industry products”, stated Franco Angelotti, Sales Manager G&S Division.
“We were excited to welcome the students from the Glassworking Group” continued Raphaël Prati, Biesse Group Marketing and Communications Director. “The students were given a tour of the entire Intermac production line, led by Petrusca Gentile, Lean Production Coordinator. After that, Carlo Strappa, Intermac Academy Manager, explained the Academy project and its objectives of developing technical skills and the standardization of training processes. Afterward, there were demos of different machines for straightline and shaped cutting, edging, beveling and engraving”.
“We believe it was a constructive undertaking for both parties”, concluded Federico Broccoli, Wood Division Director/Sales and Subsidiaries Division Director. “These projects are key opportunities to bring Italian companies into contact with talented young people, with a view to strengthening the network and to possible job placement through direct involvement with the universities”.
While in Pesaro, the group paid a special visit to Villa FIAM, a private home with an impressive collection of glass art by the company from which the villa takes its name, that – in partnership with some of the most famous international designers and architects – designs, develops and produces curved glass home furnishings, thanks in part to Intermac technological solutions, with which the company has worked since its inception.
The aim of the project is to offer the winners an insider’s view of Italy’s glass machinery sector, sharing with them special applications that can enhance their engineering training. The Italian Technology Awards are a gateway to promoting product engineering, the most innovative glass processing technologies and applied design solutions, not only to university professors, but especially to North American graduates and undergraduates, future industry professionals.
A pivotal opportunity for suppliers of glass processing machinery and equipment for which the United States is the number-one global customer with an 11% share of total revenue in 2018, up over the previous FY.