Stamec: industrial tools with artisan soul

We have visited the green and industrious Irpinia to narrate an entrepreneurial story lasting for 40 years: the one of Giuseppe Nastasia, born in 1949, emigrated like many others to Piedmont in the Sixties to work in the ambit of Fiat induced activities, then become in time a successful entrepreneur in the tool sector with his Stamec in collaboration with his sons Stefania, born in 1974, and Michele, born in 1976, entrepreneurs of Nastamec.

Giuseppe Nastasia with his sons Stefania and Michele

Nastasia family’s story tells then a winning generational turnover (“because my sons are made with the right tool!” jokes the father) and, not fortuitously, we are welcomed by two opposite industrial sheds, witnessing the ideal handover between a generation of self made man entrepreneurs and one of sons committed to consolidate that business miracle, in much more stormy waters, where a handshake is not sufficient to establish an agreement, in a more and more global and volatile market.

Nevertheless, here in Irpinia, one of the most industrialized manufacturing processes (the production of tools for the suppliers of primary automotive companies) seems to have preserved a bit of that initial craftsmanship, with that all-Italian taste for beauty and a comfortable environment as only family-owned companies can create.

A tangible sign of this family soul and of the respect for the green Irpinia valleys is represented by the innovative design of Nastamec factory, by the aluminium stylized chimney and by the bent chairs signed by the designer Diego Granese that every day welcome to Stamec.

In other words, a company made of men, as stated by the business brochure, an entire world to be discovered in this interview with Giuseppe Nastasia and his sons Stefania and Michele.

Nastamec: machine department

Let us start from the beginning: how was your entrepreneurial adventure born?
Giuseppe Nastasia answers: “I was born in 1949 at Barile, a small town in Potenza province, in Basilicata, and like many other southern people, after the mechanical degree, I tried my luck in the North. In 1967, I immigrated to Turin and I started working in Fiat induced activities, doing an apprenticeship in the tool sector. During the day, I worked in the factory and at night I attended the prestigious educational school “La Piemonte” in Turin, where lab teachers were the department heads of Fiat: after three years I attained the degree of tool designer and fitter.

In 1970, I was engaged by SAT (Stola Group) as tool fitter and shortly after I returned to south, to Pomigliano d’Arco, for a long business trip determined by the commissioning of the tools manufactured by SAT and intended for medium and big presses of Alfa Sud. At the end of this mission, in 1974, I return to South, employed by the sister company of SAT, Tecnostampi, here in Avellino, with the role of department head. For two years, until 1976, I worked as employee at Tecnostampi, but I was already maturing the idea of setting up business on my own. In 1975, I establish my own laboratory, where I work at night, after the work shift in the factory.

This is my life for one year, until 1976, when I resign from Tecnostampi. In December 1976, my entrepreneurial adventure starts in a small shed with few workers, some of whom are still part of the present corporate team. Since then it has been an unceasing growth: I started with small subcontracting machining, tool components, small tools, then bigger tools, all tools for sheet metal components in the automotive and household appliance (TV sets and washing machines) sector, until when this last manufacturing field has definitively moved to China. Moreover, since 1989 we have set up Stamec factory, here in the industrial zone of Arcella in the Avellino commune of Montefradane.

Industrial press up to 2000 tons

How has this activity changed in forty years?
“When I started – answers Giuseppe – a handshake was enough to seal a deal, an agreement among gentlemen that has allowed me to obtain lines of credit from banks and full confidence from the various partners, suppliers and final customers. Today contracts come first, full of clauses and loopholes, and then a face, a person with whom to shake hands appears. Yesterday there were profit margins for brave entrepreneurs like me, today they pay attention only to price and the industrial world has increasingly become a jungle”.

The sons Michele, mechanical engineer who supervises production and Stefania, graduated in business economics, who works in the accounting sector, nod and add: “The tool making process has always been of industrial nature but in time it has become more engineering, the PC monitor has replaced models and the entire design phase misses that pragmatism and that discussion from which often stemmed new ideas and in which each work aspect had its precise specific weight. Moreover, today we must more focus on finance and partnerships, to seize new opportunities and new market spaces”.

View of the internal departments of Stamec

What is Stamec today and what is its relationship with Nastamec?
“Thanks to its forty-year experience in the tool sector, today Stamec represents an important reference reality in the field of the design of equipment for the cold sheet metal pressing. It is specialized in the production of small, medium and big tools of transfer, tandem, follow and conventional type and it can also supply control gauges and assembly jigs.

Nastamec, since 2004, has represented the bigger size of Stamec and it is the natural evolution of a business growth towards bigger and bigger tool supplies. In the last three years, in the middle of the global industrial crisis, we have made an investment of 10 million Euros in the two companies, involving an internal functional reorganization, still in course, and a corporate enlargement with new premises taking up 10,000 square metres, of which 5,000 covered (Nastamec), which have joined the plant of 5,000 square metres, of which 2,000 covered (Stamec), we have purchased new software, new milling machines, new instruments such as the 3D laser, the 3d optical scanning and especially a transfer press weighing 2,000 tons that allows us to test the tools in the real process condition in our headquarters and not at the tool user’s, as it happened until now”.

Blank holder (side)

Huge investments that allow you to achieve a cutting-edge compared to your competitors, is it right?
“The purchase of the 2,000 ton press certainly represents a strategic investment for us to stand out from the melee, and allows us the tool tryout in their process condition, emulating what will occur at the tool user’s, avoiding the production stop and then its loss of profit; this is an advantage also for Nastamec, which definitively fulfils the job order.

At present, no tool making company can deliver a functional tool to the tool user as we do in Nastamec today: generally, a tool test is always needed at the factory of the tool user that, to test the new tool, must temporarily suspend the ordinary planned production. Our company, instead, thanks to this investment in big sizes, can supply a tested and perfectly operating tool, with time and cost saving for all”.

Your work, anyway, does not end with the tool delivery.
“Our activity as toolmaker does not absolutely end with the tool delivery to the user that then materially produces the pieces for the automotive industries but we always grant them tool maintenance cycles, after sale service and also the production of spare parts and very often we have direct relationships with their final customers, too.

A machining phase

As toolmaker, what relationship do you entertain with tool users’ final buyers, i.e. automotive companies?
“The forty-year experience in the sector has allowed us to develop the right competences to constitute not only mere tool suppliers but also real partners of buying companies. We can in-house develop the simulation, the design, the implementation and the production of pre-series.

In other words, we start from the finished object at the virtual state and then we industrialize it, we establish how and in how many phases it can be produced, starting from a flat metal sheet. Therefore, we carry out the study of the method, then the tool design, the construction and the adjustment, the tryout and the testing and it is natural, for us, to be the interface not only of the tool user but also of the final customer (FCA Group, Volkswagen Group) and of the engineering and style offices of the primary car industries.

The logic of the automotive market, in fact, has changed over the years and charges also the engineering costs to the tool user: manufacturers are not interested in buying the tools but they purchase instead macro-assembled parts. In this scenario, our co-design activity with final buyers is normal. With our 3D laser, for instance, we can supply the first items rapidly and before the equipment accomplishment.

The automotive market imposes more and more performing vehicles that must also grant fuel saving, with increasingly resistant but at the same time light sheet metals and this influences the possible pressing processes of sheet metal themselves. Stamec and Nastamec manufacture tools to construct the inner components of the vehicle, its inner frame, both of medium and big sizes.

What is the tool for you?

“Each tool always represents for us a new challenge, the tool must exist where there is an industrial process and the tool lives and dies with the final product, with the success or the failure of a vehicle, of a determinate car model. We are the negative of the photography, to make a more immediate example, our investment in the enhancement of engineering software and of the 3D optical scanning, on one hand allows us to work at the product industrialization and on the other hand to work at the reverse engineering, i.e. at the possibility of digitizing the tool where the design is lost, the contrary of what 3D printers currently do, since they exclusively reproduce the component in small quantities and generally without a structural significance of it”.

About 3D printers, what do you think of them?

“3D printers are very useful for the production of plastic objects – answers Michele – perhaps in the future they might be useful also in our sector to propose again the culture of the study model dating back to my father’s time (there were resin or polystyrene models), recovering the object physicality and providing a support to the analysis of the various components”.

An unceasingly evolving sector like automotive requires constant investments in innovation and relationships with research centres. What are yours?

“Besides the already mentioned collaborations with the study centres of automotive companies, our enterprise has relations with Salento University for technological research projects regarding the hydroforming of the flat sheet metal and with Salerno University about industry 4.0 issues”. Moreover, we are member of the consortium “Sistema Campania Scarl”, representative of the major automotive industries headquartered in Campania and of Dattilo, the high-tech district about automotive and railway transports and logistics created to improve the competitiveness of member companies and to attract investments and community resources just in research and development”.

What is the current corporate organization and what are your future targets?
“In Stamec and Nastamec today are employed around forty employees, including the historical personnel who has lived the business adventure since the beginning and young engineers of the technical office. We are provided with the ISO 9001 certification while the environmental 14001 certification is in course. We reach an overall yearly turnover of around 5 million Euros that mostly (90%) come from the domestic market and minimally (10%) from the foreign one, with job orders that last on average from 6 to 12 months. Certainly, our target for 2017 is to develop the foreign market and a financial consolidation, after the huge investments of the last three years that are also determining a new managerial asset of the two companies”.

(Interview by Luisa Maradei)

 

Company identity card and machining cycle

Company: Stamec srl and Nastamec srl
Headquarters: factory and offices in industrial area of Arcella, 83030 Montefredane (Avellino).
Plant sizes: Stamec 5,000 sq. m., of which 2,000 covered; Nastamec 10,000 sq. m. overall, of which 5,000 covered.
Reference person: Giuseppe Nastasia with his daughter Stefania and his son Michele.
Tool typology: equipment for the cold sheet metal pressing: small, medium and big transfer, tandem, progressive and manual tools.
Activity: design, construction, map, tryout, prototype production, 3d laser cutting, pressing.
Machinery and equipment: presses up to 2000 tons, moving-column and gantry milling machines up to 10,000 mm, 3- and 5-axis machining centres, wire EDM, contact and optical scanning measuring machines.
Used software: Creo, Catia, Tebis, Autoform:
Used materials: steels and aluminium alloys.
Logistic: internal.
Job orders: from 6 to 12 months.
Reference market: 90% Italy, 10% export.
Employees: 40 workers.
Turnover: 5 million Euros both companies.
Phone contacts: tel. 0825 607 393 /204 – fax 0825.607394.
E-mail address:  info@nastasiacompany.it.
Website:  www.nastasiacompany.it.

 

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