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Quality and quantity in harmony


Somaschini is one of the major Italian manufacturer of gear systems for diverse industrial applications in the automotive, textile machines, machine tools, robotics, and other industrial applications.

The company’s product portfolio is comprised of cylindrical gears, beveloid gears, scissor gears, bevel gears as well as complete gear assemblies and spindles for machine tools. Somaschini is rich in tradition and was founded in Milan in 1922.

In 1942, the company relocated to Trescore Balneario in the Italian province of Bergamo. In the 1950s, Somaschini started to specialize in gears of exceptional quality.

“In the early years, our main customer markets were manufacturers of textile machines and tool-making equipment,” explains Dr. Andrea Scanavini, CEO Somaschini North America and Somaschini Group Business Development Director. “These sectors required relatively small quantities but particularly high quality.”

In the 1990s, Somaschini developed new markets, especially in the automotive sector. “We started manufacturing gear systems for commercial vehicles,” states Dr. Scanavini. Since its entry into the vehicle market, Somaschini has developed at a constant rate to become one of the leading providers of quality gear solutions in Italy.

Due to its strong, sustained growth in the automotive sector, part of the automotive-related activities were transferred to an independent subsidiary, Somaschini Automotive S.r.l., in 2007. The next milestone in the company’s dynamic evolvement is marked by the year 2012 when the Italian gear expert set up an overseas operation in the USA: Somaschini North America LLC.

Today, the Group employs a total of 260 people, including 185 at the main production plant in Trescore Balneario which fabricates gears and transmissions for all non-automotive applications, 45 at Somaschini Automotive in Entratico for all automotive products and 30 at Somaschini North America in South Bend, Indiana, which is also focused on gear systems for the vehicle industry.

The development of the automotive market meant a complete reorientation of the production philosophy for Somaschini. “We progressed from being a low-volume, highquality manufacturer to become a high-volume, high-quality supplier,” Dr. Scanavini describes the major change in strategy.

Somaschini has annual revenues of 65 million EUR and ships the great majority of its quality gear systems abroad. “The domestic market accounts for only 3% of our Group’s overall sales,” says Dr. Scanavini. “A quarter goes to the USA, and the rest to Western Europe.”

To further expand its international market presence, Somaschini is thinking about going east. “It is a feasible option for us to export to Asia, particularly to the fast-evolving automotive industry in China”, explains Dr. Scanavini.

In addition to offering superior product quality, the Italian gear manufacturer distinguishes itself by its close customer proximity at an international level. Another success factor is the company’s family management.

“Our Group is owned and managed by the third generation of the Somaschini family, which is a guarantee for stability and reliability,” states Dr. Scanavini who joined Somaschini in 2008 to advance the Group’s international business development. “The company has a very sound financial basis and a longterm orientation which is geared towards sustainable growth and development.”

During the economic crisis in 2008/2009, Somaschini suffered from a loss in revenue of 35%. Since 2010, however, the company has taken up its growth path again. “Today, our sales are significantly higher than before the crisis hit,” says Dr. Scanavini. “Since 2008, our turnover has more than doubled.”

Within the next five years, Somaschini wants to achieve 100 million EUR in annual revenues. For this purpose, Somaschini plans to double its investment in the USA. “We shall invest a total of 16 million EUR in Somaschini North America to grow our production capacity to more than 800,000 gears per year for the rapidly developing American heavy-duty truck market,” explains Dr. Scanavini. “Our US manufacturing subsidiary has recently been certified according to the ISO TS 16949 standard, which is another guarantee of the highest product quality. Our goal is to continue the internationalization process which we started in 2007 and build a global reputation as a reliable, quality supplier.”

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