Health, Safety and Quality with Ambrovit
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In such breakable moment as the one we have been experiencing in recent months, the common goal is to defeat the Coronavirus. While still operating, Ambrovit has adopted every necessary tool to safeguard the health of its employees, submitting them to virological tests to check whether Covid-19 is present or whether the antibodies have developed.
The ongoing production is essential to guarantee the best quality of service to all National and International customers. This is the reason why, with market demand primarily focused on product diversification, it is paramount that Ambrovit is ready to meet customers’ needs through a vast stock of quality articles available upon request. That’s why the company continuously adds new products to its catalogue and constantly invests in procedures to guarantee quality.
Expanding its product offering to customers has been a long-term strategy for Ambrovit. Recent additions include rivets and concrete screws, with the latter available with ETA Option 1 certification and with REI 120 fire resistance certification. The anchor screws are also available with Enduro finish for more than 1,000 hours corrosion resistance, making them ideal for use in highly corrosive outdoor atmospheres. When looking at what products to introduce, Ambrovit also pays particular attention to the latest regulations, such as those that impose severe constraints on the use of hazardous substances that are harmful to people and the environment. “We have certainly been a pioneer in this respect. For instance, we began as early as 2017 to adapt our stocks to require all finishes and treatments to be free from hexavalent chromium (Cr6),” mentions Mattia Sozzè, quality manager at Ambrovit.
“Quality products are what set us apart from our competitors and this is deeply rooted in every one of our departments. This allows us to offer quality products and provide a controlled value chain.”
In order to maintain its high-quality expectations, and to ensure products are controlled and certified, Ambrovit hand picks its suppliers using a three-phase selection process.
Phase one – suppliers are evaluated and certified by the purchasing office under the supervision of the head of purchasing. “It is important to us that we know our suppliers personally, in order to be able to evaluate and familiarise ourselves with the quality of the products supplied. We therefore evaluate their suitability and carry out a thorough audit,” mentions Mattia.
Phase two involves a request for the product – Ambrovit will send a supplier documentation outlining procedure that must be strictly adhered to. The supplier is then required to carry out inspections and tests and provide reports to guarantee standardisation.
Phase three takes place in Ambrovit’s in-house laboratory, which has been equipped with the latest generation of instruments for quality control and sophisticated software to guarantee operative reliability. Equipment includes a metallographic micro cutting machine, Rockwell hardness tester, Vickers micro hardness tester – coating thickness tester, as well as a Corrosionbox for salt spray tests according to ISO-DIN. All instruments used are subject to regular calibration tests as stipulated by management procedures to conform to UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 norm.
As part of the quality control procedure applying to incoming products, Ambrovit also carries out various tests in its laboratory in collaboration with the University of Trento.
For the Russian market, the company also possesses GOST-R conformity certification, which testifies to conformity, safety, and other essential requirements.
“We are constantly working with our partners to find new products with better services. It’s critical for Ambrovit to make our customers aware of the importance of quality. They can see for themselves the developments we have made and what we’ll continue to make,” comments Mattia.
These developments include the introduction of automated storage for incoming goods, which has been operational for just over a year. This has enabled arriving pallets to be quickly added to the system and automatically transported to the automated high bay warehouse – resulting in the flow of products becoming even faster and more efficient.
“It is important as a business you are able to be flexible, so it is easier to follow the needs of the market and customers. After doubling the size of the automated warehouse in 2016 to 44,000 pallets, we soon realised that whilst we could quickly and efficiently send out orders, there was a bottleneck at incoming goods and getting the pallets into the system. That is why we decided to invest and automate incoming goods, so we could streamline the overall process,” explains Mattia.
The automated system is managed by eight stacker cranes. There is a buffer area with 170 positions (equivalent to 5 containers per day), dedicated to incoming goods management, as well as relevant quality control on 3 operating bays. Here the operative, supported by a specialist program, carries out all the necessary inspections against product standards (UNI-DIN-ISO-EN) rather than in accordance with internal specifications and/or client requirements. This new operating system ensures a very high-level of quality and sustainable product standardisation, which Ambrovit states are important market relevant factors. “We also have a Miniload warehouse, also fully automated, which manages and handles small loads. This enables us to prepare orders for small quantities, which may involve many articles in a very short space of time. Even in this situation, we can guarantee ultra-fast processing within 24 – 48 hours,” comments Mattia.
To further guarantee the quality of products when arriving at their destination, Ambrovit’s automated system also includes an automatic stretch-hood pallet wrapper to provide proper protection for products during transport. This packaging is waterproof and protects the contents while keeping the integrity of the cartons. “We pay attention to the detail, and that includes putting procedures in place to ensure our products arrive in the correct condition. We’ve invested heavily in our packaging and believe it plays a fundamental role. We therefore want to ensure quality standards in this area,” explains Mattia.
Further to this, Ambrovit recently replaced its packaging with customised boxes of various sizes – suitable for any type or length of product. All products are packed in standardised packaging, which enables material to be sorted and received in accordance with its own storage requirements. Moreover, all Ambrovit products are identified by special labels conforming to the standards set down by the regulations currently in force. In addition, its new labels all feature a QR code, enabling technical documentation to be easily downloaded. “Providing this essential documentation easily is an absolute requirement of our industry. The screws, bolts and fastening systems market is expanding all the time and has been growing at a constant rate of approximately 6% since 2010, placing Italy among the world’s leaders in the sector, second only to Germany – we must grow with it,” points out Mattia. “The European market is particularly important to us, and to date we have worked with 54 different countries, but in Europe there is still plenty more scope for action. That is why our constant aim is to expand into new markets, which is why we make sure we have a presence at all the trade fairs and international events for the sector. This means that we are known and able to exhibit all the latest innovations and catalogue products, as well as offer high-quality professional technical support.”
“Nevertheless, 2019 has been a period of crisis for many Italian businesses. By diversifying our market and widening our range of products and their range of use, we have experienced growth and success. In the future we plan to continue along the path we have followed so far, investing in development, quality and all-round support for our clients. We are also putting the finishing touches on a B2B platform to optimise business process management,” concludes Mattia. “We must continue to work with our partners and continue our ongoing research into innovation. By continuing to promote the importance of quality we can also inform the customer on the latest regulations and advances that Ambrovit strives towards.”