The constant quest to improve products has always been one of Brugola’s most important driving forces. The company is known for its pioneering performances, for a distinctive innovative spirit resulting in technologically advanced solutions with huge impact on the fastener sector.
“My grandfather who founded the company in 1926 was a passionate, creative and courageous entrepreneur, a real artist,” emphasizes Egidio Brugola, today Managing Director and President of Brugola OEB. “Later, my father followed in his footsteps and propelled the company’s development by putting a strong focus on screws for car engines. Besides, he strengthened export activities which was not easy back then. Italy was known for fashion, cuisine and culture but not really for highly advanced technological products.”
After all, two generations of the Brugola family have left an extraordinary heritage. In 2007, Egidio Brugola junior joined the family business; in 2011, he became its vicepresident.
“My aim is to further continue our tradition to anticipate market trends,” says Mr. Brugola. “Italy has had difficult economic times in the past but we are able to master these challenges. Italian excellence is what Brugola has always been admired for.”
Brugola OEB was established in 1926 by Egidio Brugola senior who, according to his grandson, was “a genius who never went to university but nevertheless revolutionized the fastener market.”
His aim was to produce and commercialize hexagonal keys that were invented in 1910 in the United States. In 1945, the keys were patented. In 1964, the founder’s son Giannantonio became president.
Under his leadership, the company started focusing more and more on niche products such as hex socket bolts. In the 1980s, Brugola started cooperation with the automotive industry, namely with Volkswagen.
Soon afterwards, the principles of zero defects and total quality control were introduced – a milestone in the company’s history. With the introduction of the patented Polydrive® bolt in 1993, Brugola again set new benchmarks.
“The Polydrive® bolt is the evolution of the cylindrical head bolt with a hexagon socket,” Mr. Brugola sums up. “It is used for assemblies of critical parts in modern engines, especially for installing heads.”
Over the following years, Brugola has constantly grown along with the needs of well-known clients such as VW and Ford. In 1996 the company became the sole supplier of bolts for Ford’s 14 engine. Brugola’s ideas and concepts have always mirrored the company’s extraordinary market anticipation.
Constant innovation has significantly propelled the company’s outstanding success – even at difficult times. The company was able to increase its annual turnover from 16 million EUR in 1993 to 50 million EUR in 1998. In 2012 it generated 108 million EUR. In 2013 it was 121 million EUR and 130 million EUR in 2015.
Today, Brugola has 380 employees and exports 100% of its products. Global players such as VW, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Opel, Renault and Ford rely on the company’s competence and expertise. “Our aim is to be the number 1 partner for the most important automotive companies in the world when it comes to fastener components,” stresses Mr. Brugola. “And we are nearly there. Only Toyota and Hyundai are not yet customers.”
Brugola has four production sites in Lissone, one logistics center in Desio and eleven logistics centers in foreign countries such as Germany, North America, Mexico, and Spain. In 2015 the company opened its first facility in Plymouth.
“The United States represent an important market and open up interesting business opportunities,” says Mr. Brugola. “We are going to strengthen our presence over there although Italy will always be our most important production center. Opening our first production plant in the United States was due to the fact that Ford decided to move there. As Ford’s exclusive supplier we consequently adapt to this future-oriented decision.”
This distinct customer orientation is one reason why Brugola is the world’s top producer of fastening components for the automotive industry. “We are the smallest supplier among the big ones,” states Mr. Brugola. “We keep on working out innovative solutions to develop new materials and better products. We do not only produce according to specific plans; we put great emphasis on research and focus for instance on the concept of future engines. Currently, as engines become smaller on the one side but have improved performances on the other side, we work on screws that are smaller but provide better resistance. We consider ourselves as competent, reliable and innovative solution providers working closely together with customers. We strive to deliver solutions that are ahead of their times. We are proud that our company has a very special spirit that led to great satisfaction among employees and customers. And we hope that Brugola is a kind of role model for other Italian companies that demonstrates that it is possible to stand out for Italian excellence.”