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Recent technological breakthroughs made in the automotive adhesives and sealants markets

Automotive Industries spoke to Ernesto Angelo Cullino, president of NKE S.p.A and Piercarlo Collini, technical manager at NKE Automation

The Turin, Italy-based NKE S.p.A, manufactures adhesive and sealing application plants, fluid dispensing plants, test station and leak test systems as well as electronic components for the automotive, aviation and other industries.

NKE got the ISO 9002 quality certification in 1998 and in 2004 was awarded the ISO 9001-2000 quality certification

According to the company website, NKE’s mission is to contribute to the success of its clients by supporting them with the design plans and then the construction of innovative and high tech automation. Its activities are mainly geared to the body shop and to the final assembly operations in automotive industries – the gluing is dedicated to any type of metal sheets and glass gluing. The company’s filling equipment can provide delivery of any type of fluids – from oils, coolant, gases, petrol and diesel.

NKE says it plows back 5 per cent of its annual turnover into research. NKE’s research centre has highly qualified staff that specialize in the chemical, electronic and mechanical fields.

Automotive Industries spoke to Ernesto Angelo Cullino, president of NKE S.p.A and Piercarlo Collini, technical manager at NKE Automation.

AI: Who are some of your automotive clients? And could you please give us examples of what kind of products and services you sold to them?

NKE: Our main Customers are Fiat Auto, Maserati, Ferrari, IVECO, SAAB, Avtovaz all over the world wherever they have any manufacturing facility. We delivered and installed assembly, gluing and filling stations and/or lines either manual either fully automatic.

AI: Are you focused solely on the European market or are you making forays into the North American market as well? Please give us details about your presence in both these regions.

NKE: Currently we are focused on the European market where we set-up in each involved Country local service facilities with properly educated personnel. We should be interested in expanding our market into North America but we have first – due to the distance – to establish good relations with a local dealer or representative.
AI: What are some of the recent technological breakthroughs made in the automotive adhesives and sealants markets and how was NKE Automation incorporated these changes?

NKE: The gluing technology has been conservative in the last years; what changed in the while is the process itself with special care to the cycle time. NKE paid a lot of development efforts in the glass handling in order to get better accuracy in the glass’ indexing and manipulating. In the same time we did design a new gluing head with integrated the delivery valve and a very short pass-through of adhesive: that means high efficiency and very low maintenance. The new single column barrel pump offers as well a great space saving.

New environmental regulations force to change the currently used glues with new ones solvent free. Precision Standards require continuous improvements to guarantee reliability and repetitivety of the different process’ phases. All these (and others) needs stay behind NKE’s development activity.

AI: What are some of the trends in the automotive market that you feel will change the nature of your industry? How much of your revenues come from the automotive industry?

NKE: Globalization and close cooperation between various Automotive Industries require to keep very close relations with different Manufacturers’ Departments in order to harmonize all suggestions and requests: NKE’s staff is properly trained to follow-up such opportunity.

As average, we can say that the NKE turn-over with cars manufacturers is 85% of the global.

AI: What are your plans to increase your reach – do you plan to open subsidiaries in other countries? If so, which ones?

NKE: We are focused to set-up a new structure in Far East: we consider India as the best Country where to establish a commercial and production subsidiary that could serve the whole eastern area. Of course the development and main designing operations will continue to be managed from the head quarter in Alpignano.

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