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A journey back in time

Flavio Cincotto, born in 1981, has been working in IMESA since 2001 without interruption, except for the break due to military service in the Police force. 
Today Flavio is Production Director of semi-finished products. “Geographically speaking” is responsible for the construction processes that take place in IMESA 1 and IMESA 2.
We make it clear to readers that IMESA is divided into 3 production areas, all under the same roof and IMESA 3 is the assembly area of finished products and its management is entrusted to Giovanni Buratto, colleague of Flavio.
We “stopped” Flavio for a chat, yeah, literally “stopped”, because Flavio is everywhere around IMESA, he keep moving continuously, from morning to night.
That’s his story.

My first day in IMESA was October 1, 2001, hired by Ing. Miotto with the role of welding robot programmer for material loading/unloading operations.
At that time IMESA was installing two new welding islands, one mig mag and one point, respectively for robotic welding of semi-finished products and of the tumble dryers boxes.
IMESA had planned to industrialize the welding processes and my role was part of this project. A couple of years later, and after enlistment, I became assistant to Production Director Stefano Pavan, spending a period in the technical office where I learned to use the Ad Hoc management system.

The “my islands” in the meantime became bigger and as a result my work also grew, encroaching on carpentry.

Can we say that there is no IMESA production space that you don’t know about?
I definitely don’t know how to use all the machinery, but I’ve seen the areas of carpentry change over the years, a bit like watching your kids grow up. I have taken several courses in order to increase my professionalism and I have acquired the qualification to certify the conformity of the rollers of the MCM steam drying ironers.
But I don’t spend my day measuring myself only with machines and robots… I also have relationships with suppliers account work. Some specific operations are outsourced to third parties, so I organize these operations, also from the logistic point of view.

How many hours is your day?
My day has a well-defined beginning, but you can’t say the same of the end…. If I consider that I often take home my thoughts, I know I shouldn’t, but it’s part of me.
After all, with the growth of IMESA, the areas of my competence have been proportionately increased; we can add the painting department and the area for the construction of tank groups and baskets of washing machines and dryers.
It is here that we carry out the edging and seaming, it is here where we realize the components that characterize the washing machine and the dryer.
Tanks and baskets are the stomach of our products.

Excuse me for asking, but what are the edging and the seaming?
With these two operations all the steps through which to hermetically close a container are realized. Do you understand how fundamental it is?

You give me the assist to get to the credit of this new project that you’re following and for which I’ve been chasing you for days.
Just like that! The project I’m following is the result of an investment that IMESA first made with the aim of buying a machine that was back up to the existing one and that has seen many over the years….
Then it became something bigger and we focused on the process and the system of supply to the new washing and drying assembly lines.

The output of the new work area must be aligned to the planning system of the new assembly lines, both in time and in the ways, being it considered a branch of the lines themselves.
I should talk about product, cost center, supermarket… but I would risk getting too specific and is easier to show than to explain.
I therefore summarize by saying that the design of the new machining area is in line with the Lean production method that IMESA has embraced for a couple of years now.

Have you given yourself a dead line for the realization of the project?
The project is currently underway… we have passed most of the steps planned, but not all yet.
I stress that the project came to life during the lock down, we never stopped.
I also add that to the initial design has been added the purchase of an additional longitudinal welding machine tig.

I can think of a giant octopus… it’s a bit monstrous, I know, but that’s what I see when I try to figure out the project.
Sure! During the design and drafting of guidelines I was assisted by expert consultants, during the implementation I collaborate with my colleagues on quality, maintenance and of course assembly lines.

You mentioned the Lean system, how much has your job changed?
My work has changed mainly because my role in IMESA has changed.
Through Lean I have learned to see beyond my experience, measuring myself with new production systems.
Let me explain. Born in IMESA, professionally speaking, I learned everything I know here. I have always stolen the craft with the eye” as they say, through the Lean philosophy I learned that I can achieve the same results by reducing waste, often due to the enormity of my work.

Obstacles?
Sure! The closure of the project is still subject to an obstacle that we are “crumbling”, but I’ll tell you when the project is over.

Challenges?
Surely a great challenge was to want to reuse recovery material present in IMESA to create some tools or improve some work situations. Some tools and components are the result of our ability to give second life to an object. We can not say that in IMESA we do not recycle!

When you’re at home, do you apply your work methods?
Not in a fanatical way, but the Lean method is advantageous even in everyday life.
I don’t do PROBLEM SOLVING with my wife and children of course, but I try to apply what I can best.
Lean teaches you “a place for everything and everything in its place”.

Give me an example.
During the summer holidays I set up the garage, reusing a closet abandoned by my parents to make a point of decoupling the kitchen storage. This way I should no longer be without beer, for example…. Do you know how to be without beer during a dinner with friends?
I’ve seen that if I keep, say, two bottles of beer in the same place, I use both, and when the second one’s over, I have to run and stock up. Instead, using the closet in the garage as a decoupling point, when I take that I immediately go to buy two more. That way I won’t go without it.

When you don’t do kitchen storage decoupling points … what do you do in your spare time?
In my little weekly free time I dedicate myself to the family.
A little by will, a little also for a broken knee. I can no longer play football, or make a run.

What role did you play?
I was captain of my team, and I was a defender, very stern and marker.

You mean aggressive like Materazzi?
I understand that you are Inter fan…then I tell you, as a Juventus fan, like Chiellini.

Have you ever been expelled?
So many times. You know, I wasn’t captain because I was the strongest, but because I put my heart and soul into it and I was an example to the team. Except for the red cards.

Best win you can remember?
The year I played in Third Category was the year I won the championship. For the sake of sport I had made an unpopular choice, that is to demote from the Promotion in Third Category, going to play in the team of the fraction of my country.  It was a great satisfaction that cost me my knee… around the same time, I found out I was going to be a dad, so I hung up my shoes.

Well, come on, a knee and a third grade in exchange for paternity isn’t so bad.
I would say no. Now I dedicate myself to my twins, Petro and Maria, 7 years old.

Wow, twins. Was it tough at first?
It was good. Working is hard!

They look a lot alike?
They’re not monozygotes, but they look alike. They’re inseparable. Sometimes I look at them and envy their relationship and tell myself that being born with a best friend is a great fortune.  They are accomplices in everything and they make up a lot.

Before saying goodbye, you have the chance to rub the genie’s lamp …… what comes out?
I rubbed my lamp and my wish will come true in the beginning of next year.
Already planned, it’s my return to origin.
I’ll tell you about it. I was born in Italy but at 40 days my mom and I joined my dad in Nigeria where I lived until I was 3 years old. I can’t say I have a trunk of memories, I was so small, but I have Africa inside, I feel that.
So next year I’m going on a trip to Africa, South Africa to be precise, and I can’t wait to get back to breathing the air of that land that cradled me for the first three years of my life.

Have a nice trip, Flavio.