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MP Filtri S.p.A. is an Italian multi-national company specialising in filtration products for the hydraulic fluids sector, founded by Bruno Pasotto in 1964, with its headquarters at Pessano con Bornago (Milan).
Most production is carried out at its Italian facilities in Lombardy. It currently has eight trading and operational subsidiaries in Germany, France, Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Russia, India and China and a global network of retailers and distributors in over 100 countries.
The group’s total turnover in 2014 was 50.720.000 euro, a 10% increase on the previous year. Over 300 highly qualified people are employed across the world. There are two production facilities in Italy and one in Great Britain. Production is intended 30% for the Italian market and the remaining 70% for the international market.
During the economic boom years, MP Filtri began by asserting itself energetically in a sector, industrial filtration, with many competitors who were often world-renowned manufacturers.
In order to take on this now global market, from its earliest days MP Filtri had to take on an international dimension, opening sales, assistance and customer support subsidiaries outside of Italy.
All of this was possible above all because one of MP Filtri’s main assets, product quality, was immediately recognised by customers and as it became company strategy more and more, it enabled the company to open its first overseas subsidiaries. Its presence in Italy also enabled MP Filtri to provide a better logistics service to local customers, a product more in keeping with its local environment and greater security when taking on local competitors.
With over fifty years in the market MP Filtri has provided the hydraulic fluid filtration sector with products capable of meeting the requirements of manufacturers in every sector.
This fortunate position is not based on complex corporate and sales strategies but on fundamentals imposed from the beginning by its founder Bruno Pasotto, the head of a family entirely devoted to MP Filtri.
Today the company operates with a staff of 200 who research, develop, produce and market a wide range of filters for hydraulic operations and a complete line of power transmission components and accessories for hydraulic control units, pursuing a philosophy of product customisation based on precise and changing market requests. In the 80s and 90s the history of MP Filtri involved the construction of a foundry for aluminium die-casting and shell-casting and the purchase and resulting merger of a machining workshop to treat and process semi-finished products.
With these acquisitions, MP Filtri is able to control the entire production chain, from purchasing the aluminium to the finished product and has become a structure capable of following and monitoring all the manufacturing processes of its products, an essential condition for guaranteeing one of the company’s inviolable principles, product quality, out of respect for its customers. The series of tests, checks and controls to which MP Filtri subjects its products is an eloquent example of that desire for quality that has always characterised the company’s approach.
The strong sensitivity continually shown with regard to quality has enabled MP Filtri, in the last few years, to obtain ISO 9001 certification for its quality system and all company functions meet the standards of the more recent Vision 2000 certification.
For MP Filtri’s customers, this constant control from source to packaging and shipment of the final product represents the best guarantee of quality. In addition, at our CMP Division research centre at our British subsidiary, high-technology products to control fluid contamination are designed, produced and continuously updated.
Around two-thirds of turnover is produced abroad through a commercial structure that currently has eight subsidiaries operating in Germany, France, Great Britain, USA, Canada, Russia, China and India. Service and distribution in the remaining geographical areas are covered by leading organisations in the respective regions or nations.
The sectors that MP Filtri’s products are aimed at range from industry to mobile operating machines, especially earthmoving machinery, wind turbine generators and plastics machinery made by the most high-standing global manufacturers.
The capacity to fuse and boost the energy that flows from diversified manufacturing companies has enabled MP Filtri to improve its performance considerably: in production cycle management by increasing efficiency and reducing production costs; in the company’s technological know-how, removing dependence on suppliers; and in the products and services offered to customers, in terms of expanding the production range and of the possibility of customising the product.
These successes provide the framework for a strong, compact group which is still flexible: this latter feature is increasingly appreciated by the market.
The Pessano con Bornago facility is based in a brand new building opened in 2007. As well as housing the central departments, the building is also the location for moulding plastic components, production of filter elements and assembly of complete filters.
The second stage of the production process is carried out by the MP Machining Workshops, which subject the semi-finished products from the foundry to a series of processes performed by a work centre and digitally controlled machine tools.
The third and final stage is the assembly of the filter element known as the “core of the product”, which is also produced by MP Filtri at its main facility. The use and development of innovative technologies in the production process is definitely one of the factors that contribute to the continuous improvement of MP products. The series of tests, checks and controls to which MP Filtri subjects its products is an eloquent example of that desire for quality that has always characterised the company.
The controls start from the selection of suppliers, which must guarantee perfect quality of the materials and reliability of deliveries. Each year, the Purchasing Department and the Quality Department update the register of official suppliers if the required parameters are not met or are replaced with more effective ones. Special attention is paid to the filter elements and they are subjected to meticulous tests to check their pollutant accumulation capacity. Size controls are performed on the mechanical parts of the filter at the end of each processing stage to establish their total conformity to the drawings. Standard finished products are subjected to careful percentage conformity checks so that any batches that do not meet the technical specifications can be accurately identified whereas all special products are checked.
For MP Filtri’s customers, this constant control activity represents the best guarantee of quality. Creating a good product is important but is not sufficient for success. Attention to quality is a strategic choice for MP Filtri. It involves not only the production process but also, and especially, the relationship with the customer: before and after the purchase. Beforehand, the company provides specialist customised advice on the choice and definition of the product based on the actual application requirements. Afterwards, it provides high quality and effective assistance with a full line of accessories and original parts.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The innovative component that characterises MP Filtri’s products is part - so to speak - of the company’s genetic heritage. Since it was founded, MP Filtri has paid almost obsessive attention to the research and development of cutting-edge technological solutions, allocating substantial resources to these activities each year. Its research and development laboratory is considered one of the best in Europe. In this “creative forge”, a staff of technology experts responds to requirements originating from the market, making new high quality products, capable of meeting the strict standards set by international regulations.
All the design stages are carried out using sophisticated CAD computer-aided design systems, which make it possible to reduce the product development period while improving quality at the same time. If MP Filtri has become, in just a few years, a fundamental benchmark for those operating in the sector, both in Italy and abroad, this is in good measure due to its research and development laboratory because it is from here that the development process that will give life to increasingly innovative and reliable products starts.
Of course, the capacity to meet increasingly demanding and specific requests requires an extremely flexible structure, capable of producing to demand and guaranteeing a tailor-made service.
Thanks to this flexibility, MP Filtri has been able to build a very prestigious image for itself in the market: the image of a serious and reliable partner, of a party that is always willing to understand and meet its customers’ needs.
To do this, MP Filtri is continually committed to improving and increasing its “customer response” capacity, understanding that this is the only possible route to being truly competitive.
The first operation is to make the outer parts of the filter, which can be made of aluminium or cast iron: MP Filtri develops the technical design and entrusts the production of the moulds to specialist companies.
The majority of aluminium casting is done by MP Filtri in its own foundry, whereas other components are produced by specialist and certified suppliers.
The MP Filtri production range has 4 divisions: fluid cleaning filters for use on suction and return lines, in-line for medium-pressure with single and duplex bodies or battery installations; structural components for coupling the motor to the pump using bell housings and drive couplings.
The line is completed with aluminium tanks, feet for mounting electric motors in the B3 mounting position, inspection doors for tanks and damping rings for vertical mounting of the motor/pump assembly on the tank cover; hydraulic circuit accessories such as filler and breather plugs, optical and electrical level indicators, pressure gauge switches, pressure gauges and pipe and hose mounting brackets and clamps; products for monitoring contamination for the production of particle counters and accessories.
One of the strengths of MP Filtri’s new headquarters, opened in 2007, is the new automated warehouse which the company built in conjunction with the Jungheinrich Systems Division. This warehouse was designed to make the entire company supply chain more fluid, from raw materials procurement to finished product distribution, and including internal logistics and storage. The aim was to rationalise and optimise the goods flow and, at the same time, to increase the company’s flexibility and reactiveness to the dynamics of a vast and highly segmented market.
The new warehouse has become an important reference point for all logistical activities and has provided added value to the various stages of the production processes. Thanks to the automated warehouse, the filter element assembly department and the filter assembly department are supplied as necessary. In addition, the warehouse is responsible for what comes out of these departments at the end of the processing and prepares it for storage and subsequent distribution. During the goods inward stage, the company communicates with suppliers and its machining workshop in Lurano (BG). Outgoing goods are sent directly or through distributors to customers across the whole world.
When semi-finished products arrive from the Lurano factory, they are placed in a special area where the new warehouse was designed to rationalise and optimise the goods flow and, at the same time, to increase the company’s flexibility and reactiveness to the dynamics of a vast and highly segmented market.
After this stage, each reference is provided with a barcode label and sent, on roller conveyors, in special pallet-mounted containers to one of the four automatic pallet fork-lift trucks that, as instructed by the Warehouse Management System (WMS), will place it in the storage location intended for it.
Based on size and needs, however, instead of the standard process, incoming goods may take different routes and be stored in one of the two Kardex vertical warehouses, sent directly to the line or positioned on the ground in pre-established locations.
However, the internal flow is generated from production and shipment orders.
For production orders, the system associates picking lists of semi-finished products and components to send to the assembly departments for the production of the finished products.
For shipment orders, the system associates picking lists of finished products to send to the packaging and despatch department.
The automated warehouse, which contains components and finished products, as instructed by the WMS, identifies the location, selects the pallet and takes it, on roller conveyors, near to the preparation workstation.
Here the picking staff pick the quantity required, put it in the parcel associated with the work order or shipment order and put the pallet back on the roller conveyor circuit to go back to the racks.
When the picking list is complete and the card with the assembly instructions has been inserted in the case of shipment orders, the pallet is sent on the roller conveyor to the unloading bays where the internal handling staff, through the order picker, pick it and take it to the destination department: the assembly line or despatch area.
When assembly is complete, some finished products are sent to the automated warehouse for temporary storage before being removed, through the shipment lists, and some are sent directly to the despatch department.
A company’s leadership is also shown through the professionalism and experience of the people who work for it.
For MP Filtri, seeking quality is a continuous process that involves all its staff and encourages them to increase their professional capacity and effectiveness.
Since it was founded, MP Filtri has always offered its best workers firm career prospects, developing their skills and training with continuous updates.
The work environment is stimulating and enables the best to express and develop their talents.
The decision to reward and promote its own workers - who already share the company philosophy and aims - testifies to the desire to create a strong corporate culture, based on a continuity of values that all workers recognise in themselves.
In the coming years, research and development will be decisive in dealing successfully with an increasingly aggressive market.
MP Filtri is aware of this and this is why it will continue to invest substantial resources to improve the quality and innovative content of its products.
Moreover, the company has always been committed to this and it has enabled it to maintain a leading position in a sector that is constantly growing.
However, future challenges will not be able to be met - and overcome - only with reliable and technologically advanced products, but also with an increasingly significant presence in global markets.