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Innovative automotive solutions on a global scale - Gruppo Proma

Gruppo Proma is one of the leading groups in design and manufacturing of automotive solutions, working for the biggest Italian and international automotive industries. Due to the constant investments in research and development Gruppo Proma contributes to the success of its Clients – leading companies operating in the field of automotive industry. The main fields of operation of Gruppo Proma are: metal body subassemblies, chassis systems, seat frames and operating modules of automotive vehicles. During a long period of its existence on the market, the Group managed to expand on a global scale. Nowadays it is present in 10 countries on 5  continents, operating in 16 production units and running projects of innovation in two R&D centres. Currently the Group employs more than 2500 people, 70% of whom work in Europe. „Everything what our team do is done with passion and commitment put in everyday work. This is one of our keys to success” – enhances Mr Luca Pino, Commercial Director of Gruppo Proma, who has given an interview for Manufacturing Journal. The Company acts according to its motto: „Product innovation gives our Customers real value”.
A long experience
Gruppo Proma was created in the 80s in southern Italy, in the town of Caserta where the first production plant was built. It entered the automotive market pointing at manufacturing of metal stamped components. Afterwards the Group started to produce car jacks and obtained necessary patents. In the 90s the Enterprise enlarged its Client portfolio and market shares; four new stamping and assembly plants were created with a wide production capacity. The same period witnessed the establishment of a new production plant – in Morocco – which was the sign of global expansion of the Group. Year 2001 was very important in the Group’s development – the metal structure business division was largely expanded due to the acquisition of metal production plants of Pozzilli and Melfi of the Lear Corporation. In the same period other manufacturing units were opened in Spain (Zaragoza), France (Gien) and Poland (Tychy).  To tackle the innovation challenges in 2007 the Group opened a new Research & Development centre in the Group’s Headquarter in southern Italy (Caserta). This brought added value to product design and development.  In 2011 the stamping and assembly plant in Serbia (Kragujevac) was opened in the Fiat Group industrial park. In 2012 the Group entered the Brazilian market in Betim and Mexican market in Saltillo. Due to this step Gruppo Proma had a possibility to mark its presence on one of the fastest growing automotive industries of South and Central America. During more than 30 years of Gruppo Proma’s history the Company managed to gain solid know-how, which now bears fruit.
Paving the way to success
Gruppo Proma succeeded due to few principal factors. Above all, it has always been focused on Customer’s needs while making decisions regarding the product and service. This attitude, supported by stable and equilibrated business growth as well as by constant innovation and reasonable cost management, allowed the Group to gain success. In a wider perspective it can be stated that in Gruppo Proma responding to the needs of the Client, which means responding to the needs of the market, has always been strictly related to diversification of the product offer. Specializing in core skills as well as in know-how of the products and production process bears fruit at present. This attitude is adopted also in the competition on the global market. Choosing reliable suppliers is not of minor importance, considering them partners of one’s own development. Gruppo Proma chooses its suppliers very carefully. It requires from them maximum effort and trustworthiness, constant improving in implementing innovative solutions as well as the highest quality of supplies.
Design and production
Gruppo Proma has always put attention to innovation, taking into consideration evolution of the market. This attitude doesn’t allow the Group to rest on its laurels but encourages it to make bigger effort to find new solutions, which is the key to future growth. In the field of design and production the most important thing for the Group is to look for simple but efficient specialized solutions based on the Customers’ needs. Gruppo Proma’s production is based on the practice of lean manufacturing and on up-to-date technology in order to provide high quality products. Gruppo Proma’s production is divided in two mayor units: Body&Chassis parts and Seat Frames, operating on 4  continents. Among 16 production plants 7 work on stamping and forming of metal sheet and tubes. The production is structured vertically in: stamping,  welding, painting, assembly and just-in-time delivery to the final Client.
Technological improvement due to R&D efforts
Among Gruppo Proma R&D the innovations very much remarkable are  the impact absorption systems for the vehicle pointing at functionality as well as at product’s cost and weight reduction, which has lately become a major subject of concern in the automotive industry. A very important achievement has also been the introduction of a unique spare tire winch as well as the intensive use of High and Ultra-High Strenght Steels in cold forming stamping . R&D’s efforts are focused on constant simplification of the projects by eliminating everything which does not give the Client real added value. This attitude orientated towards innovation requires constant investments in up-to-date technologies and involvement of all its associates. Particularly, Gruppo Proma implements the most innovative systems of welding, as well as up-to-dated laser trimming which has been recently adapted to production of rear and front axles. Furtherly Gruppo Proma has been one of the first Companies to have implemented in its production processes in line quality controls by the means of new generation optical vision systems.
Quality control
In order to maintain sustainable and increasing quality levels with its customers, Gruppo Proma  has adopted robust preventive analysis procedures at  product design stage and implemented up to date quality solutions throughout its production process . As an example robust products are designed by intense use of D-FMEA techniques and numerous poka-yoke and vision systems, as before mentioned, are frequently used as quality gates in production. More important  the Group believes that behind every machine stands a man who  greatly impacts on  end product quality. As a result in the Group constantly develops training programmes for the whole personnel with the aim to improve their skills and competency.
Principal markets and Customers
Gruppo Proma is firmly consolidated in Europe, with considerable presence on the markets in the following countries: Italy, Poland, Serbia, Germany, Spain and Turkey. It is also present in North Africa (Morocco) and recently in Mexico and Brazil. Among the most important Clients of Gruppo Proma there are: Fiat-Chrysler Group, Opel, Renault, Lear Corp., JCI and Grupo Antolin. Gruppo Proma is chosen by the Customers because it gives them real added values, i.e. immediate response to Customers’ needs in project development, and innovation of technological solutions and service.
Evolution in the automotive market
Globalization has strongly affected the automotive industry, giving the opportunity to expand the operations of the companies like Gruppo Proma on a global scale. Due to the fact that OEM manufacturers could directly approach their Customers with their products and services. In the automotive industry a successful partnership between the Clients and the suppliers is based on always bigger specialization of suppliers in complex products and solutions. Not of minor importance is the balance between costs and service offered. Current challenges on the market regard above all innovation and specialization of the product and Gruppo Proma is prepared to face them. The automotive business is more and more demanding to its players a robust balance between the offered levels of their products and services and the associated costs. The Company is already paying attention and will further commit to face this market tendencies.
Future perspective of growth
Gruppo Proma looks into the future with hope and believes in growth. The project of expansion currently regards Cina (2013) and Russia (2014). Gruppo Proma is planning to launch automotive solutions in these countries, contributing to the growth of their automotive industry. In the period of next five-ten years the Group’s aim is to expand, develop and become even more innovative. The expansion and improvement regards services and sales volume. In the next three years Gruppo Proma predicts 60% growth of its turnover and in six years – aims to double it. In conclusion Mr Luca Pino would like to enhance that Gruppo Proma has always been orientated towards the market and towards its Customers, looking for new solutions and for innovation and adapting  itself very fast to the changing  markets. Due to this approach Gruppo Proma is likely to continue positive trends in its business also in future. 
Gruppo Proma is one of the leading groups in design and manufacturing of automotive solutions, working for the biggest Italian and international automotive industries. 

A long experience
Gruppo Proma was created in the 80s in southern Italy, in the town of Caserta where the first production plant was built. It entered the automotive market pointing at manufacturing of metal stamped components. Afterwards the Group started to produce car jacks and obtained necessary patents. In the 90s the Enterprise enlarged its Client portfolio and market shares; four new stamping and assembly plants were created with a wide production capacity. The same period witnessed the establishment of a new production plant – in Morocco – which was the sign of global expansion of the Group. Year 2001 was very important in the Group’s development – the metal structure business division was largely expanded due to the acquisition of metal production plants of Pozzilli and Melfi of the Lear Corporation. In the same period other manufacturing units were opened in Spain (Zaragoza), France (Gien) and Poland (Tychy).  To tackle the innovation challenges in 2007 the Group opened a new Research & Development centre in the Group’s Headquarter in southern Italy (Caserta). This brought added value to product design and development.  In 2011 the stamping and assembly plant in Serbia (Kragujevac) was opened in the Fiat Group industrial park. In 2012 the Group entered the Brazilian market in Betim and Mexican market in Saltillo. Due to this step Gruppo Proma had a possibility to mark its presence on one of the fastest growing automotive industries of South and Central America. During more than 30 years of Gruppo Proma’s history the Company managed to gain solid know-how, which now bears fruit.

Paving the way to success
Gruppo Proma succeeded due to few principal factors. Above all, it has always been focused on Customer’s needs while making decisions regarding the product and service. This attitude, supported by stable and equilibrated business growth as well as by constant innovation and reasonable cost management, allowed the Group to gain success. In a wider perspective it can be stated that in Gruppo Proma responding to the needs of the Client, which means responding to the needs of the market, has always been strictly related to diversification of the product offer. Specializing in core skills as well as in know-how of the products and production process bears fruit at present. This attitude is adopted also in the competition on the global market. Choosing reliable suppliers is not of minor importance, considering them partners of one’s own development. Gruppo Proma chooses its suppliers very carefully. It requires from them maximum effort and trustworthiness, constant improving in implementing innovative solutions as well as the highest quality of supplies.

Design and production
Gruppo Proma has always put attention to innovation, taking into consideration evolution of the market. This attitude doesn’t allow the Group to rest on its laurels but encourages it to make bigger effort to find new solutions, which is the key to future growth. In the field of design and production the most important thing for the Group is to look for simple but efficient specialized solutions based on the Customers’ needs. Gruppo Proma’s production is based on the practice of lean manufacturing and on up-to-date technology in order to provide high quality products. Gruppo Proma’s production is divided in two mayor units: Body&Chassis parts and Seat Frames, operating on 4  continents. Among 16 production plants 7 work on stamping and forming of metal sheet and tubes. The production is structured vertically in: stamping,  welding, painting, assembly and just-in-time delivery to the final Client.

Technological improvement due to R&D efforts
Among Gruppo Proma R&D the innovations very much remarkable are  the impact absorption systems for the vehicle pointing at functionality as well as at product’s cost and weight reduction, which has lately become a major subject of concern in the automotive industry. A very important achievement has also been the introduction of a unique spare tire winch as well as the intensive use of High and Ultra-High Strenght Steels in cold forming stamping . R&D’s efforts are focused on constant simplification of the projects by eliminating everything which does not give the Client real added value. This attitude orientated towards innovation requires constant investments in up-to-date technologies and involvement of all its associates. Particularly, Gruppo Proma implements the most innovative systems of welding, as well as up-to-dated laser trimming which has been recently adapted to production of rear and front axles. Furtherly Gruppo Proma has been one of the first Companies to have implemented in its production processes in line quality controls by the means of new generation optical vision systems.

Quality control
In order to maintain sustainable and increasing quality levels with its customers, Gruppo Proma  has adopted robust preventive analysis procedures at  product design stage and implemented up to date quality solutions throughout its production process . As an example robust products are designed by intense use of D-FMEA techniques and numerous poka-yoke and vision systems, as before mentioned, are frequently used as quality gates in production. More important  the Group believes that behind every machine stands a man who  greatly impacts on  end product quality. As a result in the Group constantly develops training programmes for the whole personnel with the aim to improve their skills and competency.

Principal markets and Customers
Gruppo Proma is firmly consolidated in Europe, with considerable presence on the markets in the following countries: Italy, Poland, Serbia, Germany, Spain and Turkey. It is also present in North Africa (Morocco) and recently in Mexico and Brazil. Among the most important Clients of Gruppo Proma there are: Fiat-Chrysler Group, Opel, Renault, Lear Corp., JCI and Grupo Antolin. Gruppo Proma is chosen by the Customers because it gives them real added values, i.e. immediate response to Customers’ needs in project development, and innovation of technological solutions and service.

Evolution in the automotive market
Globalization has strongly affected the automotive industry, giving the opportunity to expand the operations of the companies like Gruppo Proma on a global scale. Due to the fact that OEM manufacturers could directly approach their Customers with their products and services. In the automotive industry a successful partnership between the Clients and the suppliers is based on always bigger specialization of suppliers in complex products and solutions. Not of minor importance is the balance between costs and service offered. Current challenges on the market regard above all innovation and specialization of the product and Gruppo Proma is prepared to face them. The automotive business is more and more demanding to its players a robust balance between the offered levels of their products and services and the associated costs. The Company is already paying attention and will further commit to face this market tendencies.

Future perspective of growth
Gruppo Proma looks into the future with hope and believes in growth. The project of expansion currently regards Cina (2013) and Russia (2014). Gruppo Proma is planning to launch automotive solutions in these countries, contributing to the growth of their automotive industry. In the period of next five-ten years the Group’s aim is to expand, develop and become even more innovative. The expansion and improvement regards services and sales volume. In the next three years Gruppo Proma predicts 60% growth of its turnover and in six years – aims to double it. In conclusion Mr Luca Pino would like to enhance that Gruppo Proma has always been orientated towards the market and towards its Customers, looking for new solutions and for innovation and adapting  itself very fast to the changing  markets. Due to this approach Gruppo Proma is likely to continue positive trends in its business also in future. 
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