High technology, advanced research, innovation and constant development, accompanied by competence and reliability, make for the success of Agrati Group – the leading Italian manufacturer of fastening systems.
Agrati Group, established in 1939, was at the beginning a small entreprise employing twenty people. But within years the company has learned to increase its productivity in an almost exponential manner and it has succeeded building on professionality and its proven experience. The constant development of Agrati enables the company to meet the growing demands of the market. The acquisition and integration of highly specialized production units has contributed to a vast diversification of the products offered. The range of fastening systems available from Agrati Group varies from standard to special high-technology products. Crucial for the company’s success has also turned out its strategy. Accordingly, the decision to enter into partnership with the most important European automobile constructors has proved beneficial, as did specialization in technical product development dedicated to specific requirements of the customers. Finally, continuous investment in improving its facilities has made Agrati into a technological leader in all branches of fastener production in the world.
Design and production organization
For more than seventy years Agrati Group has been present on international markets. Emphasis put on innovation and sensitivity to market evolution complete the picture of a company which never fails in its efforts to search for new solutions, and which does not content itself with what it has achieved so far but looks for new ways of development – as the key to further growth. The use of brand new machines and facilities, the exemplary quality level and focus on the know how in the design department, maintained within more than seventy years of the company’s history, are accompanied by the employment of the design and analysis instruments which can be regarded as the most sophisticated and up-to-date facilities from among ones available nowadays on the market. Today Agrati Group possesses six production units in Italy with more than 950 employees, over 110.000 square meters of surface area, the capacity of 80.000 tonnes per annum, as well as more than 500 machines used in the production of technologically advanced fastening systems. In the year 2006 a new factory in China was opened, and from April 2010 four production plants (ex Acument France), 2 technical and administration centers in France and more the 700 employes joined the group. The research and development department has introduced several recent technological advancements. Thus, the future projects of Agrati involve producing light-alloy screws, as well as aluminium and magnesium screws, with a view to reducing the weight of cars so as to make them more efficient and less dangerous to the environment. Moreover, designers are working on self-tapping screws, which should allow to reduce the costs of component manufacturing in that they eliminate the screw thread operation. The research and development department can also rely on powerful refined software packages for modelling and simulation performed with the use of the method of finite elements in order to check feasibility and define the most suitable cold forging cycle of particular machine components. Applying this method leads to two important results. Firstly, the behaviour of bolted joints becomes investigated, and more specifically the responses of the product to mechanical stresses are quantitatively verified. Secondly, simulation of the technological process of plastic deformation of various materials enables to analyze their behaviour during mould filling and to choose the most convenient stamping cycle. Important investments have been made with regard to the instruments used in chemical, mechanical, and metallographic analyses aimed at investigating new materials and the application of the method of surface treatments. Over the years Agrati Group has received testimonials and recognitions from the most significant customers in the world. Its quality system has been awarded internationally recognized certificates. Thus, both the reliability of production processes and the high technology which have been achieved ensure that products with Agrati’s trademark shall continuously meet the demands of the customers. In line with the project the objectives of which have been captured by a slogan “Zero defects”, the techniques of Statistical Process Cotrol (S. P. C.) have been implemented. Accordingly, characteristics of the products fixed automatically are controlled in 100 % by machines. These requirements are contained in a system of quality which has made it possible for Agrati to become Italy’s leading manufacturer of an assortment of nuts and bolts, and to be awarded the certification of quality in accordance with the ISO 9002 standards and subsequently in accordance with the standards of ISO 9001, QS-9000, AVSQ/94, ISO TS 16949 (Agrati was the first company in Italy to have received this certificate), ISO 14001 and ISO 9001:2000. Last but not least, the laboratories of Agrati have been accredited with A2LA.
Today Agrati is one of the leading companies on the world market as regards production of highly advanced fastening systems suitable for cars. In particular, the company operates in France, Germany and Italy, with more than 70 % of products destined for export. Remarkably, in the last year, the company was given a powerful impulse from the Chinese market. The range of the most important customers of Agrati comprises at present the main European automobile constructors such as Renault, PSA, VW, Daimler, Fiat, GM, and Ford. The development of Agrati has been determined, most of all, by the process of specialization which has led the company to become the leading group in the sector producing automotive components. The ever-growing and urgent demands for perfection in design and for manufacturing characterized by high quality standards, as well as by extremely effective logistic systems contribute to the fact that Agrati proves to be an organization wholly dedicated to satisfying the demands of its clientele. Especially important for the company are such tendencies on the market as decentralization of manufacturing to production sites in developing countries. This leads to the necessity of establishing units all over the world, which could offer both technical support and maintain production capacities. By way of conclusion – there are three main reasons for which customers choose the products of Agrati, and these are at the same time the company’s distinctive marks: competence, modernity, and reliability.
In the future, the company intends to pay ever greater attention to efficacy and consumption, and in consequence particular emphasis will be put on the employment of light but resistant materials. Efforts will be invested in issuing items at ever smaller production costs, though qualitatively excellent. From the part of the customers, there is a growing demand for collaboration with competent suppliers when it comes to development and design. This should be understood in terms of supporting the activity design from the very first phases of formulating the project to final-product realisation, and that managing to increasingly tight deadlines. Despite the recent economic crisis, prospects for growth and expanding the volume of production are very good. This implies that it is possible for Agrati Group to maintain and reinforce its position as a leader among other fastener manufacturers and suppliers present on the international market. Without any doubt it can be stated that Agrati has a right to take pride in the fact that for over seventy years it has sustained constant development, being able to understand and adjust itself to the requirements of the market.
Written by Anna Tomaszewska