From Novi to South Africa: Andreoli Engineering’s agricultural machinery travels the world
No one has yet ordered a car to take to the moon from them, but with a little effort, the Andreoli family would probably also succeed in doing so. “Our typical day – he explains Giovanni Andreoli, 75 – usually organized like this: due to different time zones, buyers from New Zealand and Australia call us in the morning. During the day, Europeans look for us, especially Germans, French and Spaniards. Late in the afternoon, Americans, often Californians, start calling. With 90% overseas sales, Andreoli Engineering from Novi di Modena confirms its leadership in agricultural machinery. A family business where the passion for technology and innovation has been inherited from generation to generation over the years. “Here – the engineer continues” there is no manager who picks up the phone and says “let’s tell you”. If they call, I or my children answer and speak directly to the customers. As we are almost all foreigners, we have learned French and English really well over time.
The foundation and the first handover of the relay
Andreoli Engineering has not always been the name of the company. Established in 1954for twenty years the factory was called Jockeyer, from the last names of the two founders Mario and Felina. The spouses from Novi started their business in the trade of agricultural pumps, and then quickly moved on to the construction of towed and towed sprayers. That first handover of the relay it happened in 1980 when Mario asked his son-in-law Giovanni Andreoli to enter society. Engineer Andreoli and his wife Velma thus began their adventure in the world of agricultural machinery, a 42-year journey that has led to their great success in the world market.
Returns to 1980, in that year the first series of Atom self-propelled sprayer, equipped with fiberglass bodywork and pressure cabin with air conditioning and filtered. A real revolution in phytosanitary treatments of orchards and vineyards, which is still the company’s flagship today. “Our priority,” says Giovanni, “has always been human protection. The worker can enter the cockpit dressed as a party and leave after six hours in the same order as when he entered ».
In 1981, the company designed and produced the first computer for automatic dose control, the Dosatronic. “We were the first to invent it – Velma admits bitterly – now everyone has it. We sold many of them and some buyers are still returning to us to repair them today. At that time it would have been necessary to make a separate line and we had neither the money nor the energy to take a quality leap, but I was sorry to give up the project ». On the other hand, with three small children, it was difficult to keep everything going. During the 1990s, Fantini-Andreoli began producing the UT Series multifunction tracked tractors and the Tracatom Series multifunction wheel tractors.
In the 2000s, Andreoli Engineering was born
With the death of Mario Fantini in 2000, the company definitely changed its name and became Andreoli Engineering, an international name known for years on all continents. In America, specifically in Tulare, California, the family business has one of its most profitable markets. “There – says Giovanni – the largest agricultural fair in the United States takes place. We went there a few months ago. The customers were very satisfied, some of them called their Australian colleagues to confirm the efficiency of our machines. This is the key to marketing: If you produce something of excellent quality, then the word smokes out ».
The company is always projected towards the future, both to satisfy customers’ specific needs and for personal calling. A real mission – if it can be called that – carried out by the Andreoli couple’s three children. All three mechanical engineers, Francesco, Federico and Enrico they share the same passion as Grandpa Mario for innovation and creativity. It is no coincidence that all the machines produced today by the family business are unique pieces, invented by them. “My kids enjoy inventing because it’s a real satisfaction to see a car created here plowing through New Zealand’s fields. We often visit our buyers, after 20 years of working together we are now friends.”
No to moving
“We Italians are good at doing special things, done well,” smiles Giovanni. This is one of the reasons why the family has never wanted to relocate the business. Not that they have not thought about it. “We did some checks,” explains the engineer, “but if I had to build machines in California, for example, it would cost me more.” Novi is in the center of Motor Valley, within 30 kilometers I have all the components I need ». Not to forget affective substance. “We were born here,” he says enthusiastically, “and my father-in-law founded the company.” My kids work there, and who knows, maybe my grandchildren too. It makes sense to stay here, we are proud of our country. “
Needless to say, Andreoli Engineering plans to expand in the coming months by adding six more assembly lines. Currently, 25 employees work at the factory, and the owners hope to be able to hire almost twice as many. Recruitment is a sensitive topic for Giovanni, who has been involved for years difficult to find labor. “Looking for welders is like looking for gold – he reveals excuses – especially Italians. Through the technical schools in the surrounding area we have only found one or two, and for us it is already a miracle. In this way, we are obliged to apply abroad ».
A space family
The earthquake that struck Emilia in 2012 did not cause serious damage to the Novi family’s shed, built in 2009 according to the anti-seismic rules. Not even the pandemic has affected the company, which has never stopped productivity. “Due to the health emergency,” Giovanni concludes, “we were unable to visit our South African customers. Now that the situation seems to have improved, I think it will be our next trip. “
South Africa will not be the Moon, and the Atom2000 will not be a spaceship, but the Andreoli family and their projects appear to be from another planet.
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