In 1967 Antonio Biffi, age twenty, was still a minor with potential who had finally decided to start his company. At the time one had to be 21 to be considered an adult, but this didn't stop him from making the jump from his position as carpenter's assistant - a job he had started at age ten - and as an apprentice for a successful entrepreneur in the nearby town of Bellusco, to create the carpentry shop that is now celebrating 50 years in business. To start the company, Mr Antonio would need his father's authorisation through a notarized document, but it was a mere formality for the Biffi family: a family that has lived for a long time in Brianza, surrounded by the fields of Mezzago. Theirs is a carpentry shop that has made a name for itself in the sector, thanks to a marked professional attitude and the reliability they offer customers.
Falegnameria Biffi is truly a family company. Antonio, the owner, has the support of his wife, Rosangela, who handles the management and administrative side of the business. His sons, Roberto and Luca, are already co-owners in the business and a testament to the company's achievements, as it keeps up with the growing economy and workforce in Brianza. "From an individually-run, family-owned business, we have grown into a company with a workforce of nearly thirty people," says Antonio. "Our employees have contributed to our growth. Right from the start, most of our workers have come from Mezzago, and over the years the company has strengthened its ties with the town".
Biesse has always helped us understand our needs, an enormous help as we moved from traditional machines to more innovative machines with greater performance.
A review of the company's first fifty years is equally fascinating: "From the production of wooden shoes and rustic chandeliers to the creation of office furniture, we constantly expanded our range of machining operations", Antonio continues as he narrates the company's history well into the new millennium when his two sons, Roberto and Luca, joined the company and brought a fresh wave of technological innovation. The company's new array of automated machines includes a full seven machining centres and 8,000 square metres of production space. "In recent years we've specialised in the creation of display cases, storefronts and technical furniture for our customer's shops. We have entered a market that has deep ties to the advertising and sales sector and demands rapid delivery times, limited costs and middle to high quality products.
In a company where the smell of wood mingles with authentic passion, one key word is never far from anyone's thoughts: flexibility. It's a goal Mr Antonio always keeps front and centre: "The market we are working is characterised by having several competing operators who offer apparently similar products in terms of features and final outcome, but who are actually quite different in terms of the materials they use, the construction techniques they employ and their prices. For our part, we are constantly working to achieve the proper balance, limiting costs without sacrificing quality".
Products are developed on the basis of the customer's projects/designs and we handle every phase of production: technology plays a crucial role in the optimal completion of projects. By having the latest CNC machinery as well as automated and manual painting, and by owning the vehicles we use for delivering the merchandise, Falegnameria Biffi is able to offer a complete service, and is even able to meet requests that would be unusual for a traditional carpentry shop, including the machining of methacrylate, the creation of stands and exhibition spaces for trade shows and events, and the completion of semi-finished products. "We continue to refer to ourselves as an artisan company, a place where people still play a very important role", Antonio points out: "We are bound to our workers' manual skills and experience, which are especially important as they give that extra touch to each item, converting a simple semi-finished wood item into a product that is pleasing to the eyes".
And while the manual touch is irreplaceable, the increasingly exciting contribution of technology is also crucial to guaranteeing the flexibility demanded by the market. That's where Biesse comes in as a technological partner for the company's inevitable growth. "We firmly believe that the greatest advantage offered by wood machining technology is the productivity in terms of work hours and workloads. Biesse technology has helped us reduce machining times considerably", Antonio explains. "Add to that the flexibility of the Rover series, which can handle everything from boring a single hole to creating complex shapes, and you get quality as well as quantity", he says.
The array of machines owned by Falegnameria Biffi includes a sizeable range of Biesse machines. The most recent purchase, in 2017, was a Brema Vektor 15, but to list them all we would have to go back to the first Rover 36 purchased in the '90s "which was the undisputed star of our transition from a traditional carpentry shop to what we are today", Antonio recalls. Others include the Selco WN200 and the Rover 342 and 321, extending to the modern Selco WNAR and EXCEL, the last of these was created as a "joint project" with Biesse: a machine truly tailor-made for the customer. "Their technicians have always helped us understand our needs, an enormous help as we moved from traditional machines to more innovative machines with greater performance".
These days Falegnameria Biffi can handle every machining operation in carpentry: cutting/sectioning, routing, boring and edgebanding. Furthermore, the company has a cutting-edge sanding and painting department and a large warehouse for storage and logistics: these solutions, Antonio explains, "have helped us guarantee a great degree of autonomy in production. We only rely on third parties for raw materials and very specific machining operations (powder coating of metal parts, pairing and gluing laminates and films on panels, etc.)".
The technology adapts to a wide variety of needs, an advantage that Antonio Biffi is particularly proud of. "We are capable of machining wood and plastic materials on the same machine by simply changing the tools and adjusting the machining cycles". Flexibility, by definition.
A new way to discover the company, the thought of the driver, the technological innovation that gives prestige, the testimonies of those who choose to grow, the events that animate it and the stories of those who make it every day with competence and dedication.
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