Established in 1988 from the fusion of two steelworks – Officine Bertoli with a history dating back to 1813, and Safau which was founded in 1934 – ABS joined the innovative Danieli Group in the same year, creating the platform for the company to become one of the world’s most renowned suppliers of special engineering steels for a multitude of different applications.
Heavy investment – 500 million EUR during the last six years alone – has financed extensive development: equipment for the manufacture of cast products with a diameter of up to 850 mm – the largest in the world; and the Rotoforgia mill, used for the rolling of long products. July 2020 will see the opening of a new plant for the production of wire rods. The company’s top three markets are the automotive, energy and construction industries respectively, but it essentially serves customers in a diverse range of sectors.
“Our product portfolio is extensive and unique in Europe,” says Chief Business Development Officer Dr. Stefano Scolari proudly. “We have focused heavily on broadening our product range. Our overall business strategy is based on diversification, not only in terms of products, but also in respect of customers and markets. The continual development of new technologies is a key factor in our ability to enter new markets.” The concept of service, including logistics, is also very much a priority and, over recent years, ABS has made huge leaps in efficiency.
Direct exports currently generate around 50% of ABS’s one billion EUR annual turnover. Germany, Spain and France are the European manufacturer’s main export regions, but up to 10% of its products end up further afield, for example in South America, the Far East, and India - a market which is currently very much in focus.
“Our aim is to create a strong worldwide presence so that we can follow our customers and deliver our products wherever they are required,” stresses Dr. Scolari. Headquartered near Udine in northeast Italy where its main manufacturing unit is situated, ABS operates additional production facilities in Croatia, a research center in France, and sales offices in Germany, Spain and Sweden.
In a competitive market, what differentiates ABS from the competition? “The size and breadth of our product portfolio is decisive,” Dr. Scolari points out. “Another key factor is our innovation relating to products and processes, which is inherent in ABS’s DNA and also a result of the Danieli Group’s influence. It allows us to offer customers specific product development services, for example, for the car of the future.”
While ABS is a leading reference in terms of the quality of its products and services, the company also boasts an important pillar: Sustainability, in both an environmental, economic and social sense “We are aiming for long-term positive results, sustainable growth and continual improvement,” Dr. Scolari underlines. “Our aim is to make our steel products as environmentally friendly as possible and, in line with the European Commission’s Green Deal, emission free by 2050. We also consider sustainability in terms of social paths: we feel connected to our local region and want to improve life in the area for everyone”.
As part of a successful group, this company has unique potential, and my role as CBDO, together with my colleagues, is to develop this potential and create even more value for our customers.”