Raphael Prati

In an exclusive interview with Wood & Panel, at the recent LIGNA Preview, Raphael Prati, the Director of Marketing and Communication, Biesse Group speaks to us on the company’s plan for the upcoming LIGNA, Industry 4.0, smart machines, new office and much more.

woodandpaneleurope As LIGNA 2015 puts the major spotlight on automation, where would you place yourself when it comes to Industry 4.0?

Raphael Prati:Biesse is ready to support this revolution, to make our customers more competitive and give them the possibility to take all the advantages of this revolution. So, we are ready for Industry 4.0. We are focusing mainly on software and automation which are the two pillars of this revolution.

The first thing concerning automation is that we developed automation several years ago, we have huge number of lines installed all over the world and we managed to bring the advantages of this solution also to smaller customers now- the downsize, the solutions without losing any performance making the smaller customers able to take advantage. Softwares with bSolid and bSuite are actually leading the marketing with those solutions and we will present the new modules at LIGNA in May. The new modules will concern the integration of machinery, the management of lines –so it’s really a full package that would be available.

woodandpaneleurope Talking about smart machines, how would you grade your products?

Raphael Prati: We do that through bSolid. bSolid is a software that is able to assimilate the production of the good and once it realises that there is any problem, it actually suggests another solution to the operator. So we are actually avoiding any incident on the machine, you don’t have to lose time because you have to test the machine before producing. We are actually testing the production without producing giving great advantages to the people using the machine. And we do it in a very simple way. Our challenge at LIGNA will be to take the first person walking by and ask him to manage a machine.

woodandpaneleurope Is it early to ask you your expectations from LIGNA 2015?

Raphael Prati:Okay LIGNA is the most important show of the world. It is the most important investment for a company like Biesse. We doubled the space that we had in Milan last year. We have 1500 sq m more that we had in 2013, so we have a total of 3700 sq m showing those integrated solutions at LIGNA.

woodandpaneleurope Any prominent new products and machineries we can we look forward to this LIGNA?

Raphael Prati: Yes for sure. Look forward to automatic handling with a Winstore range K1, K2 and K3, a new system to do the sizing- a sizing centre, something between the beam saw and CNC. Also we are coming up with a new boring system for smaller companies- very efficient and performing.

woodandpaneleurope How would the new headquarters in Malaysia benefit the Asian countries?

Raphael Prati: Yes, our complete subsidiary has now moved to Kuala Lumpur. We have annexed the subsidiary with technicians, sales people, spare parts, showroom etc. It is very strategic for us, also because it gives the possibility to the entire southern part of Asia to access very easily and may be in one day, see the demo. Now our customers can look forward to dedicated service. We have invested in people. The people are hired locally and also people are travelling from Italy to be the residents. However, for China, we have recently acquired hundred percent of the manufacturing company, we had a partner, but now it is completely Biesse- so the showroom would be renovated and we would be investing in service and spare parts and we will be ready for interzum Guangzhou.

woodandpaneleurope Air Force System has completely outdated the laser based technologies. How has been the feedback from your customers in this regard?

Raphael Prati: Very positive, the most important thing is that we are indeed very proud as well. This is because; normally laser technologies are for expensive machineries only. But AirForce is not. So more and more people are taking the advantages of producing high quality products and are having access to this incredible technology which is simple but very efficient.

woodandpaneleurope Tell us about your presence and demand in the US?

Raphael Prati: Well Northern America is very important market for us, we are performing very well. And I think that this trend is going to even increase in the coming months and we are very positive about that.

For South America, we do not have our own branch, but we are working with local dealers in a very efficient way and we are very happy with the results we are getting there as well.

woodandpaneleurope Are you planning to venture into any new market this year?

Raphael Prati: Yes, we are actually coming up with a new internal division dedicated to plastic. We will officially launching it this year in Milan, in the show, Plast.


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