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FROM AUTOMATION TO TECHNO-MEDICS: THE CHALLENGE FOR MASMEC
The password to success is diversification: moving, for example, from industrial automation to the field of techno-medics. This was the step taken by the Masmec company of Bari (www.masmec.org), a firm boasting a turnover of 12 million Euros, a staff of about one hundred, and thirty years experience in the management of software and high-precision machinery. As well as its new techno-medical business, now running for about three years, Masmec employs much of its workforce in the automotive sector, designing and producing assembly lines for petrol-pumps, diesel injectors and valves. In 2009, the company from Puglia was one of the twenty finalists for the Confindustria “Businesses for Innovation” Award.
Underlying Masmec’s new initiative was the idea of translating the technology and expertise it has acquired in industrial automation into the techno-medical sector, a market now in rapid expansion worldwide. Indeed, the name of Masmec of Bari is well-known internationally: nowadays 40% of its turnover is generated by export sales. The company specializes in designing and manufacturing assembly systems. It was established in the industrial environment of Bari as the result of a business initiative by the engineer, Michele Vinci. The firm competes in international markets and its clients include some of the automotive industry leaders. Machines produced by Masmec are installed in a range of countries from Germany to Turkey, Great Britain to Mexico, and the United States to China. Every machine and production line is devised to suit the specific needs of the client, and supplied as a “tailor-made” solution.
In order to diversify into techno-medics, Masmec had to approve an investment plan for more than 10 million Euros. However, this was an investment which produced an early and important result. The first product to come out of Masmec was the “Sirio” appliance for tumour diagnosis which is currently undergoing the approval procedure. This is a machine which comes into play when a traditional CAT test shows a suspect nodule or lump and the doctor then decides to undertake a biopsy to ascertain its nature. Sirio carries out a sophisticated analysis based on mathematical models and three-dimensional images which assist the doctor by indicating the exact point at which to insert the needle. The doctor operates, following his movements on a monitor, while Sirio uses a system of sensors to direct the needle, thus guiding the surgeon’s movements in relation to the patient’s body. This technology totally avoids the possibility of human error and ensures an enormous saving of time and money. Above all, however, it eliminates the need to expose the patient to potentially damaging radiation.
Sirio is just the first of a series of products that Masmec intends to develop for the automation of medical laboratories and which exploits the valuable expertise acquired in 30 years of working in the field of forecasting equipment. In the medium term, the company aims to create an autonomous company, a branch of its business dedicated to the techno-medical field, with its own strong growth potential.