Innovation: a growth opportunity


Cropelli Srl Unipersonale (BS) designs and manufactures plastic injection moulds and die-casting tools, intended for the Automotive, Household products, Outdoor, Nautical industry, Ecology sectors.

Interview with Elena Cropelli, owner of Cropelli Srl – Unipersonale

Cropelli Srl Unipersonale (BS), on the market since 1980, designs and manufactures plastic injection moulds and die-casting tools, intended for automotive, nautical, household products, outdoor and ecology sectors. In recent years, the company has undertaken a process of deep internal upgrading, organizing and optimizing all of its manufacturing processes according to a “logic 4.0”. From the use of forefront control modalities of operational courses and of communication with customers and suppliers to the adoption of a Business Process Management system based on Lean Production, for a more functional and simpler management of workflows. Elena Cropelli, owner of Cropelli Srl – Unipersonale, explains the potentialities of these strategic choices for a toolmaker called to face Industry 4.0.

Innovation: experimenting new industrial applications or choosing new technologies?
Innovating is a great growth opportunity for a company. The possibility of starting a process of change and improvement on manifold fronts. It means full renovation, starting from people and the mentality with which they approach work and the used technologies, from the management activity to the workshop. The Mould&Die sector in Italy is constantly evolving. Let us just consider the Automotive field where the production of a toolmaker, to be competitive, must always keep pace with market trends, in very short times. For this reason, it is fundamental to be able to establish sound and fruitful relationships with customers, which provide the most important innovative boosts. To make this target concrete, besides creating unceasing dialogue opportunities with our partners, we have decided to adopt in our inside a method for a better definition and implementation of decisional processes in team, Lego© Seriour Play©.

Industry 4.0: how making it concrete and with what future targets?
Cropelli is already a “technologically” 4.0 company. However, what matters is turning into efficiency what new technologies and new work methodologies offer us. Therefore, we unceasingly operate to collect and to use the enormous quantity of information produced by our system 4.0, to improve our activity. Concerning this, another example was the adoption of BPM (Business Process Management), platform on which converges our entire internal and external communication, allowing us to optimize the management of corporate processes and the exchange of information with customers and suppliers. BPM is enhanced by the use of systems targeted to a real 4.0 planning, permitting us to monitor in real time each production phase while keeping costs, machining operations and their times under control. An indispensable but certainly not simple change: I had to commit personally to the acquisition of new work modalities, together with my collaborators. However, with a common goal: improving the quality of our life, not only of our work. The optimization of corporate processes and a more effective communication allow achieving better results in shorter time. The saved time is a heritage to be spent with our families.

Brescia company has adopted in its inside a BPM (Business Process Management) system, based on Lean Production, for a more functional and simpler management of workflows.

[su_box title=”Company’s identity card” box_color=”#89b9de”]Company: Cropelli Srl
Reference person: Elena Cropelli, Owner
Products: Design, Co-engineering and making of tools
Technologies: 5-axis machines, drilling and boring machines for Undercut machining, Roughing, Finishing, 2D mechanical machining, Deep and axial drilling of bars.
Software: Work Plan and BPM Smart Operation production system by Becom
Sectors: Automotive, Household Products, Outdoor, Nautical Industry, Ecology
Average delivery terms: 7/8 weeks on average
Export: 30%
Social networks:
Contacts (phone – email):  – +39 030 73 00 423[/su_box]

Italy, abroad or both? What market strategies cannot companies underestimate?

Cropelli is getting closer and closer to the core of Europe, accompanying – and being accompanied by – Italian partner enterprises, to spread together, in the world, the skills and the quality of the Made in Italy. We suggest to those who, like us, have created their success from scratch, to keep what we call “professional humbleness” always alive. We must hugely invest in activities of control and assessment of competences and manufacturing flow but also in the attention to our staff and in the relationships with customers, which are the real witnesses of the company on the market.

European funds, incentives to internationalization and business networks. An added- value or an opportunity worth seizing?
We have exploited and we are befitting from public funds, even if they provide for tortuous processes that are not easily accessible without the support of agencies and bodies entrusted with their management. The incentives allocated are an excellent starting point to undertake new commercial strategies. Such funds, however, should not become just a facilitation to make technological investments but instead a development opportunity supporting a well-consolidated business strategy.

The Tool sector in 10 years. What markets, products and technologies?
It is hardly foreseeable, because the market changes so suddenly, even if, in my opinion, fortunately it is still growing strongly. If we think of automotive – from diesel to hybrid and electric – we will have to work hard. Moreover, as toolmakers, we will have to adapt ourselves in some ways. Plastic and carbon fibre will be the masters. This means new tools and more demand for innovative equipment. Then, new work. We believe that technology and process optimization, combined with a new higher demand for technical professionalisms, will determine future toolmakers’ choices. The evolutionary jump at professional level, occurred in industrial ambit in the last three years, might summarize what we have lived in the previous ten years. Moreover, the depletion of raw materials and the consequent rise of labour costs will require even more efficient and wider planning and manufacturing skills. The investments in a never-ending technological and training evolution, made by Cropelli, are consciously aimed at meeting these requirements.

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