Bologna, Italy — April 18, 2017 — When you want the best information, you have to go right to the source. Recently a group of AkzoNobel Sikkens customers and their guests spent a week in Italy. The primary purpose of the trip was to learn more about the Symach fast drying system.
The idea for the trip was initiated by Jenn Giocoli of Precision Autobody in Saskatoon after she and the Canadian AkzoNobel Process Centered Environment (PCE) group visited CSN-CARS Collision in Burlington, Ontario last year. Please see “CSN-CARS Collision boosts productivity with Fixline from Symach” for more on the equipment and processes put into place at CSN-CARS Collision.
Many of those who participated in that tour wanted more information about the Symach products, which the company says are designed to reduce drying time for refinish products by as much as 60 percent when compared to conventional equipment. The Symach headquarters and manufacturing plant are based in Bologna, Italy.
The trip was organized by Bob DuBreuil, Senior Services Consultant at AkzoNobel, with the invaluable assistance of Osvaldo Bergaglio, President of Symach and his assistant, Raffaella Censi.
The tour began with a dinner hosted by Koos Reineking, Technical and Services Manager at AkzoNobel Canada. Tour participants were treated to a classical Northern Italian dinner with local wines.
The next morning, the group was loaded onto a bus for a trip to the Lamborghini factory. At the factory, the group was able to visit the Museo di Lamborghini to see how the brand has evolved since its inception.
The most exciting part of the day was breaking into smaller groups for escorted tours of the Lamborghini Production line. The participants were able to view Huracan and Aventador models being built.
Many members of the group are heavily involved in PCE, AkzoNobel’s system based on “lean” principles. The Lamborghini factory tour gave them a chance to view many of these principles being implemented at the factory.
After the tour, the group travelled to the Symach headquarters located in Bologna. Members of the Canadian tour group were the first to visit Symach’s brand new product showroom. After a tour of the showroom, the group was treated to a catered lunch, followed by a presentation from Bergaglio on the science behind his company’s products and the Symach product line.
Osvaldo Bergaglio, President of Symach, outlines his company’s technology.
That evening the group was invited to a dinner hosted by Bergaglio. It was another chance for a great meal of local favourites.
The next morning, the group travelled two hours to the Italian city of Brescia to tour Ambra Car Service, a collision facility using the entire Symach system. Ambra is also an AkzoNobel customer. The group had the opportunity to tour the entire 30,000 sq. ft. facility and see the various drying systems and other Symach equipment in use. Everyone also had an opportunity to speak with the owners, production manager and employees to gain more in-depth information on Symach’s products and systems.
After a an incredible lunch, the bus brought the group to downtown Brescia, where they had time to tour this historic city and view structures built more than 500 years ago.
The next day was a free day so the tour members could explore whatever they wanted. Some stayed to tour Bologna, others took fast trains to Florence or Venice.
The following day the bus headed to Maranello, the home town of Ferrari. The group was treated to a guided bus tour of the Ferrari factory complex. One highlight of the tour was a chance to visit the Ferrari test track.
The group also toured the Ferrari museum, a large complex that details the history of Enzo Ferrari and the company he founded in 1939. In addition to displays and photos of the automobiles built by Ferrari, a large portion of the museum is dedicated to the company’s incredible history in F1 racing around the world.
There’s even a Canadian connection at the Ferrari museum. A special display is dedicated to Canadian race car driver Gilles Villeneuve, who won six F1 Championships with Ferrari.
Later that afternoon, the group travelled to the city of Modena to visit a smaller Symach customer, Modena Car Service. This visit allowed the group to see the Symach system in a shop more comparable to most of their facilities.
The day ended with a dinner in downtown Bologna. Giocoli of Precision Autobody and Censi of Symach were formally thanked for their help organizing the trip and were presented with gifts from the group.
On the final morning, members of the group who wanted more information about Symach returned to the factory. Two dozen repairers toured the production facility and then watched as Symach’s head trainer, Marcello Neri, performed live demonstrations of the equipment and system.
The trip ended with a farewell dinner in a restaurant in downtown Bologna. The building that houses the restaurant is hundreds of years old. It was truly a fitting farewell to a country so steeped in history.
For more information on Symach, please visit symach.com.