It operates at Cortiglione, in Asti province, Mista S.p.A., enterprise that for over 40 years has been producing small metal parts, thermoplastic pieces, insert moulding of bi-material components and electromechanical assemblies. Luigi Costa, CEO and co-owner together with his brothers Mario and Guido, shortly tells its history: «Mista was established in 1971 as enterprise operating in FIAT induced activities; in the Eighties and Nineties the production was extended to the household appliance sector, in particular thanks to the takeover of another company, Fire, operating in the ambit of electromechanical components. At the beginning of the new millennium, the enterprise bought another company, Stars, which allowed it to develop its activity also in the thermoplastic moulding and insert-moulding ambit». Today Mista produces its manufactured goods (sensors, probes, supports, keyboards, badges, connectors, lamp holders etc.) for the most important component manufacturers for the automotive industry and for the household appliance and electric low-power energy sectors. «We implement complex components, with high added-value, designed together with customers to satisfy the most challenging requirements, in order to stand out on the market and to succeed in being a reference partner for the international industry». Among Mista customers, in fact, there are enterprises of great relevance, we mention only some of them: Valeo, Denso, Magneti Marelli, Johnson Electric in automotive ambit; Danfoss, AristonThermo Thermowatt, Riello in the white good sector; ABB, GE, Gewiss, as far as electrical engineering is concerned. Luigi Costa explains: «In Cortiglione factory work around 150 employees. Here we find the technical office, where we design tools and equipment together with customers, the departments for small metal part stamping, thermoplastic moulding and assembling, besides the mechanical toolshop». In the stamping division are installed mechanical eccentric presses of 50-100 tons, working strips with a thickness included between 0.2 and 2 mm made of copper and steel alloys, etc.; in the injection moulding department are present presses from 50 to 320 tons, with 2-4-8 cavity moulds and cycle times from 12 to 60 seconds; presses are equipped with robots that allow the transport of pieces on belt until the assembling department. Very interesting are then the bi-material applications, thanks to bi-injection presses from 75 to 220 tons and vertical presses for the manual insert-moulding, in particular thanks to the IMD (In Mould Decoration) technology. The mechanical workshop deserves mentioning, too, as Luigi Costa explains: «Our toolshop makes available for our customers a long-term experience in the design, implementation and maintenance of equipment for the stamping and electric welding, as well as in the production of injection moulds for the moulding and insert-moulding of thermoplastic materials. From this point of view, one of our strong points is an efficient and fast repair, maintenance and modification activity of moulds themselves». The company is also always in search of new products, materials and solutions and for this reason it has undertaken precious collaborations with Piedmont technological poles, in particular Proplast at Rivalta Scrivia. Costa: «Research and development constitute for us essential principles and for this reason we always try to introduce improvements in terms of products and machining processes. For instance, we have recently devised particular types of low-rate stamping dies able to automate plastic moulds by replacing the so called “intermediate warehouses” of semi-finished products and streamlining, actually, the entire productive line».
A “global” vision
Since 2007, Mista has relied on a foreign branch, MST Sarl, with headquarters at Menzel Bouzelfa, in Tunisia, where over 300 employees work, as explains Luigi Costa: «In the Tunisian factory we carry out moulding and manual assembling activities, besides a part of maintenance operations. The investment has allowed us to increase our productive potential and to enhance our competitiveness. The North-African area is notoriously “hot” and not only from the climatic point of view but this has not discouraged the Piedmont Company: «They are – underlines Costa – situations that I would define “normal” for Countries that, slowly, are trying to free themselves from the oppression of dictatorial regimes and to approach democracy. They are long and not always easy courses. In any case, we have immediately trained and engaged local workers, in order to adopt an approach as “close” as possible to the local culture and habits, without affecting their delicate balances». One of the most evident examples of how much has been important the setup of the Tunisian office concerns the extension of working shifts. Luigi Costa illustrates the details: «Today our moulding department works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which allows us to optimize production costs. We started testing this sort of new working hours precisely in Tunisia and, after assessing that work methodology could be successfully implemented also in Italy, we have adopted it here at Cortiglione, too». That is not all, anyway: «The company – adds Luigi Costa – intends to establish soon a new factory in East Europe and to start manufacturing activities there already in 2017». The reasons for that new investment are easily explained: «Our Groups aims at growing, without stopping. We have already several customers in that zone, therefore we intend both to approach the production to Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Serbia, thus reducing logistic costs, first of all, and to conquer new local customers that, perhaps, turn to German suppliers». Luigi Costa ends with an optimistic remark: «Our most cautious estimates foresee, from now to 2020, the 3% growth every year in all the three sectors where we operate, in particular in the automotive one. This makes us confident and encourages us to invest and to look at new horizons».
Company name: Mista S.p.A.
Region and City: Piedmont, Cortiglione (AT).
Foreign subsidiary: Menzel Bouzelfa (Tunisia).
Foundation year: 1971
Certifications: ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/TS 16949:2009.
Activities: stamping and welding of small metal parts; injection moulding and finishing of thermoplastic components; plastic-metal and plastic-plastic insert moulding, IMD; development and production of electromechanical assemblies.
Products: small metal parts (inserted electric contacts, threaded and drawn components and so on), technical and aesthetical thermoplastic components; electromechanical assemblies (switches, custom connectors, lamp holders, probes and sensors etc.)
Available machinery/equipment: 50-100 ton eccentric mechanical presses; injection moulding presses from 50 to 320 tons; bi-injection presses from 75 to 220 tons; vertical presses for manual insert-moulding. Wire and plunge EDM, CNC machining centres, grinding machines, a tryout press; a coordinate measuring machine.
Average delivery terms: from 1 month to 3 months.
Logistic organization: shipments through local and national freight forwarders by road and by ship, from and to Tunisia, with two containers per week on average.
Reference markets: Automotive, household appliances and electromechanical.