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Interview

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With nothing but great ideas in his pocket and big plans for the future, Luciano Bonaria - the President and CEO of the company - has started his career in the field of electronics testing and even though it has been 50 years since then, he is not planning to stop. Along with his son Lorenzo, now CFO of the company, he is willing to introduce even greater ideas to prove that SPEA is an unbeatable leader till this day.

“Brain Company”
The company that was founded 43 years ago has a long history behind it. It has been going strong decade by decade overcoming a long international economic financial crisis while having to deal with powerful competitors – big American and Japanese moguls. There is a clear reason for still operating after all these years. SPEA invents their own products and makes them unique. Ironically, company’s origins make this whole thing more advantageous but at the same time more difficult. Italy is the country of many great inventors, thus the competition is strong. There is even a term ‘Italic Ingenuity’ that perfectly characterizes SPEA.

First steps in electronics testing
Before becoming a great part of SPEA, Luciano Bonaria took his first steps as a Test Equipment Design Engineer and Test Engineer at Olivetti between 1968-1969. He was the one that designed five Test Equipment to test the boards of the first PC in the world called the P101 invented by Olivetti. From 1969 for the next 7 years he was working with Luciano Marcigot on designing complex Test Equipment at General Electric to test the electronic boards of Main Frame Computers. Luciano Marcigot till this day holds the position of Director of R&D Department at SPEA. In 2004 Lorenzo Bonaria began his career within SPEA beside his father and was responsible for the finance and business organization. When thinking about the beginnings of the company, times were in favour in terms of the company’s business profile. That was the age of new technologies coming to life and that created perfect circumstances for SPEA to offer their services in new testing equipment. Favourable period was not the sole reason for the company’s quick growth and successful start. From day one SPEA had the qualities and the performance that put the company way ahead of the competition that even today remain unbeaten in the league. SPEA Tester has always been the fastest in running the tests. It has an incredible capability of doing the job of two to even four testers of the best competitors. It is not only the quickest, but also very cost-effective.

Key strategies
SPEA Testers have very unique methods and advanced techniques of testing called ‘In-Circuit Extended Testing’ that are able to detect many more defects when compared to the competition and are considered ‘Zero Fault Escape Testers’. The increased ability to detect defects greatly benefits the users because SPEA Testers reduce to almost zero any possible defects in the functional testing of electronic boards and the final product testing. The company offers the variety of test equipment for all types of electronic devices: MEMS and sensors, microchips, wafers, electronic boards, power modules and all types of other electronic products. Over the years the company has worked out many successful strategies. First one called ‘The Enhanced Test Competence’ strategy allows SPEA to have a comprehensive know-how of testing. The next one is ‘Complete Product IP’ strategy that allows not to depend on external IP, thus it gives the customer a product service guarantee of 20 years and more. Another key strategy is called ‘Financial Independence and Decision-making’. It guarantees quick decisions and depending only on their own financial resources rather than running financial risks typical for those who rely on bank loans. Beside amazing strategies that have proven to be the key to the successful wellbeing of the company, crucial element - very exclusive for SPEA - is the ability to quickly create new machinery required to test new technologies and new inventions. The company never stays behind. Innovative equipment and absolute reliability are the assets that always win the trust of the most prestigious clients and bring even more in. Enough to say that SPEA Testers are currently used by the most technologically advanced industries in the world. It is thanks to the constant investment in the research and development, but also keeping up with the frequently introduced new technologies.

Best in the league
Many factors contribute to the fact SPEA has been setting the highest standards for the other companies. First and the most important one is the quality. Nothing is more important than free from defects product that customer can trust. Building the name involves finding trusted partners and suppliers who play a crucial role contributing to the highest quality of the produced machinery. Etel and Tecnotion are only 2 names among the biggest and long-term suppliers that the company has been working with for many years and who are distinguished by their high quality and reliability, but also for the punctual delivery, so important for the customer. When it comes to the employees working daily on the successful performance of SPEA, there are almost 800 people worldwide, including about 650 in Italy. The majority of employees are engineers, senior technicians of the highest professional level. Nowadays SPEA is manufacturing approximately 300 to 500 testing machines yearly.

Continues research
SPEA R&D department is characterized as a permanent Research Centre, constantly engaged in inventing technologies and methods to test the new inventions and new technologies by the biggest global electronic companies. The most recent and very important developments are taking place in such areas as automotive, consumer, medical and industry. To mention some of them, R&D department is working on the sensors and other electronic forms that will make autonomous car driving possible or the functions related to so-called V2X (vehicle to everything), that combine IoT and Smart City, will be one of the next technological revolutions, acting as a boost to the 5G and the development of new infrastructures. There are also works in the pipeline connected with the face recognition functions and interaction with intelligent devices. Those are only a few projects, but the list is much longer and new ideas are added on a frequent basis. To make it possible, the company invests over 15% of its turnover in the technological innovation.

Highest quality compliance
Quality being the priority for SPEA is maintained in all aspects of production, from the initial phase of studies to implementation and delivery of the final product. The company is certified according to UNI EN ISO 9001:2015. It guarantees careful design, selection and control of suppliers and production processes and finally the execution of tests and inspections. Quality controls are performed at all levels. Continuous monitoring of process steps and products, the analysis of indicators and corrective actions are the tools that give the Quality Assurance Team the power to provide the highest standard of the product and to instantly implement improvement activities. It is all done to meet customer’s satisfaction across the world, from Europe through the United States to China and Southeast Asia.

Hand in hand with the current market trends
Because of a rapid evolution of microelectronics and sensor technologies, customers from different business fields such as automotive, industrial consumer etc. are interested in purchasing automated testing equipment to work alone without need for operators. Each technology introduced to the market requires new tools and testing methods. Everybody with no exception wants to have their product defects free therefore new equipment needs to have the ability to perform tests on the smallest possible components to eliminate any faults. The key to do so is the highest precision. SPEA is an expert in mechatronics and robotics. That and many more reasons make the company the leader in highly specialized area such as electronics testing and remain the pride for Luciano Bonaria encouraging him to work for the company for many more years.

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