Buongiorno all blog lovers,
We have just got home from one of our notorious activity weeks (we actually do more than just travel, I promise). The destination was Italy with several eventful company visits.
GKN Sinter Metals Milano
We opened the week strong with a visit to GKN Sinter Metals Milano. We were welcomed by Massimo Sala, Production & Plant Engineering Manager, who offered us everything from candy to stories from all his years within the company. This was our first visit to a Sinter Metals site, so some of us (myself included) had what you might call “a limited knowledge” of the sintering process. This was no match for the experienced Massimo who really gave us a comprehensive yet very detailed overview of the entire Powder Metallurgy Division and sintering process. Sinter Metals Milano has more than 50 customers in more than 20 countries and delivers metal parts to e.g. the automotive industry. For those who are not familiar with sintering it is, very simplified, a process of forming metal parts from powder with the help from pressure and heat. First, you squeeze metal powder into a mold, then “bake” the part in an oven to lock the material properties.
After the presentation we got a tour of the factory where we in true LEAN spirit followed the flow of the product; from mixing of metal powder to shipment of finished details. In addition to compression molding and heat treatment, the details can go through milling operations, tumbling and seizing. Massimo also showed their interactive touch-TV screens which they have in production. You can check everything from the weather to who is working in production to machine capacity. Something we graduates think we should introduce at our site. The white board era is over!
Avio Aero Turin
On Tuesday we drove about two hours west of Milan to a rainy Turin to visit our customer Avio Aero, one of General Electric’s Aerospace companies. We met with Guilia Marti who works as a buyer where GKN Aerospace Sweden is one of her customers. We received a presentation of the entire Avio Aero and we discussed customer-supplier relations. Guilia who, in comparison to many other hosts we met, was quite young, and she told us how it is to work at GE. She told us that a big difference since GE bought Avio Aero is that it has become a more transparent business environment which promotes rotations within the company to spread knowledge. A very interesting meeting which put our own company in relation to a complete-engine manufacturer.