The year 2016 will be crucial for Sandretto: after the management change from Romi Brasil to the Italian-belgian holding Photonike SA, 3 years ago, the time will come to put an end to the unemployment insurance.

After a few months, in 2017, even the 4-year license for the brand and some intellectual properties will be expired. The license was granted to Photonike by Finpiemonte, the financial company owned by Regione Piemonte that acquired the brand by Romi.

“The binennium 2015-2016 should be considered as a transition period – states Fausto Ventriglia, Sandretto’s CEO  - but we count to achieve some result between 2017 and 2018”.

- How is the situation of your new injection molding series?

We are going to complete Serie Dieci, aiming to replace every past model. Now, the range includes hydraulic versions from 30 to 80 tons in clamping force, and mechanical versions from 150 to 550 tons. We are still producing 170 and 210 t machines, and we are going to get ready for the prototype tests for the 450 t version, by the end of June, making it available for sale after summer 2016.

- What is going to happen to the other series?

Serie Dieci is not just a series, but a technological platform that grants more and more solutions dedicated to the larger machines, starting from TES models, from 600 to 1800 tons. In addition to the streamlining of the range, we updated many components, for example the motor-pump group with brushless motors and inverters, up to the new magnetic induction system inside the heating barrel. De facto, we just kept the frame, the clamping unit and the castings; now, we are going to renew the castings, too, in order to use the same alloy employed in Serie Dieci, that could reduce the overall weight by 30%, bringing a better balance among the moving parts. We are also fiddling with the former Mega H series, from 2000 to 5000 tons, but it will require more time.

At the end of the re-design period, we will have one brand, SERIE DIECI, that will include every kind of clamping unit (from 30 to 5000 tons) and the subsequent injection units. I think that Serie Dieci is, technologically speaking, 2 years more advanced than the competitors, at least on some feature as the induction barrel heating, the electronic control and the toggle.

- How many injection molding machines had been produced this year?

Not many: 2015 was mainly a transition period, in which we ran out of old Serie Nove models. It was a year of investments and re-organisation that will be useful for the company’s rebirth, allegedly happening in 2017. The 2015 incomes had been negative as predicted because of the reconstruction process, but the company has ten millions in reserves, enough to cope with the transition.

- Talking about the new series: how many machines are working and what is the quantity you foresee to sell?

Actually, we have 12 Serie Dieci in our portfolio, most of them are the mechanical version, and they are going to be shipped by the end of May: 8 of them are almost finished and the others will be sold by the end of June. Some of the customers are long-date partners that helped us with the reliability tests: at Plastic Legno (Sunino Group), a 300 Serie Dieci molded for 8 months non-stop. Until today, we produced 3 300 Serie Dieci, the same model we presented a Plast Fair 2015 in Milan: 2 of them are going to be finished. Furthermore, we are negotiating the sale of a 800 tons, a 1200 tons and 2 300 tons. We estimate to produce 120 machines per year. We are also waiting for a third-part report written by Ernest & Young about the market opportunities of the new Sandretto.

- In which world areas are you mainly interested?

First of all, the Italian market, but also many European countries such France, Spain and UK, where we are totally present, and also Far East and Latin America. The market that could represent the most important opportunity for Sandretto could be Africa, that needs hand-to-hand technologies and it’s destined to grow more and more. Another one is USA, especially in the automotive area.

- It won’t be easy to earn the trust in your company after the previous managemet…

We are aware that we have to overcome the distrust of producers , despite Sandretto is a brand with a long history. For this reason, we are planning to create a machine fleet available to customers to show live the effectiveness of the new machines; this requires a significant investment in working capital that we are agreeing with our parent company, Photonike Capital. We could take advantage of the summer to build between 30 and 50 machines to be used in testing and prompt delivery.

We believe we have the opportunity to position ourselves in the market as a manufacturer dealing reliable machines, energy-efficient profile, compact and versatile.

- What does it really mean?

Thanks to the new asymmetrical toggle, Serie Dieci has a column daylight wider than standard machines , that enables diesinkers to use machines with lower clamping force. We have customers that, keeping the same size for a mold, ordered a 210 tons instead of a 350. In addition, we reduced by 30% the number of components, simplifying the structure of the machine. In terms of energy , the absorption in the mid range is between 30 and 40% compared to standard machines, which can reach 50% in tonnage.

- How much did Photonike invest on Sandretto?

The investment of the parent company has been around 5 million Euros , in addition to the approximately two million of Sandretto resources, revenues and spare parts in stock. Approximately seven million Euros in two years, in line with the business plan presented in Regione Piemonte in 2013, with some variations on the investment target: 1.5 million Euros destined for redevelopment have been diverted towards the expenses of staff and in the design of the new Serie Dieci, since the Serie Otto and Serie Nove that we found on our arrival were virtually obsolete.

- Did you take action in the management of technical assistance and spare part division?

The sale of spare parts is getting good, and we started to produce them, including screws, columns and extruders. Today, our warehouses are well stocked and able to satisfy any need. The situation is more complex on the technical front, where in the last years were born many small operators, who have benefited from the large fleet of Sandretto machines that need to be retrofitted. We won’t refuse to support outsourced, at least at this stage.

- How are 3d printers going?

The production of the smaller version has begun and we have a production capacity of around 25 units a day. Now, two hundred printers are in stock, ready to be put on the market. We are also defining the network of Italian dealers. We have already sold the first machines,30, mainly abroad : our Russian distributor just sold a dozen printers.

We are testing the medium-sized models, which will be on the market next month, while the largest model is in the engineering phase.

- In the future, how much will be important to produce injection molding machines, and 3d printers?

We have two goals: 18-20 million income with injection molding, including spare parts / tech support, and 6 to 8 million with additive manufacturing, with more profit margin in injection molding.

Source – Written by Staff