Discovering Stone’s machinery editor, Phil Ashley attended the opening of Biesse Group’s Sydney campus.

Biesse Group refers to its Australian showroom that opened in Wetherill Park in Sydney’s western suburbs recently, as a campus because it is considered a place of learning. Much more than a traditional showroom, the Sydney campus is a training facility for staff and its customers. Speaking at the official opening, Biesse Group subsidiaries director Federico Broccoli emphasised point: “We call them campuses for a reason – because you can learn”.

It covers 5000sqm of which 2000sqm is the showroom displaying over 20 of the group’s machines. The campus is equipped with classrooms for training, a dedicated software space, as well as a service and spare parts area.

The Sydney campus is Biesse Group’s third largest in the world, behind Italy and USA.

The company makes significant investments close to where its machines, and therefore, its customers are located. The opening of its Sydney campus is the result of a EUR7 million (AUD11 million) investment that has translated to over 50 service roles that did not exist before. This allows Biesse Group’s different divisions to offer a comprehensive, locally-based sales and service experience to its customers.

Cutting the ribbon

Opening the brand-new facility was The Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC. She congratulated Biesse Group Intermac on 25 years supporting Australian local businesses that she believes are “the backbone of our economy”. Michael Bullock, CEO, Biesse Group Australia and New Zealand was master of ceremonies for the event. He said, “We’re already developing training programs that we will present to our customers, but we’re also looking to develop the skill level of our own technicians and this will happen here in Sydney and in Italy.”

Group marketing and communications manager, Rafael Prati said, “One way we develop our machines is by listening to our customers. When they bring their own materials, their own ideas, prototypes and designs to our showroom, we start to see new applications and the campus becomes an extension of the R&D department.”

Biesse Group currently invests four per cent of its sales turnover in research and development.

Machines for stone

As part of the Biesse Group, Intermac produces machinery and equipment for the stone, glass and advanced materials industries. Its main products for stone production are the Donatoni bridge saws, Master CNC profiling machines (work centres), and Primus water jet machines. The Montresor edge polishing machines are a recent addition.

The machinery on display at the Sydney campus opening included the Donatoni JET625 Bridge Saw for cutting stone and similar materials. It has a level of automation that will help maximise its return for the machine’s owner.

The Master 33 for stone edge processing is considered the Intermac flagship machine. With a single operator and some light materials handling, this machine can produce two kitchens (or eight separate benchtops) per shift. The machine is extremely functional, easy to use and requires very little human intervention.

In the last seven or eight years, the industry has seen a solid move from mid-market machines to those that have some level of automation.

Latest to the market is Master One, a 3-axis machining centre dedicated to the processing of stone and sintered materials. The Master One series can perform the most complex and varied machining operations, providing users with superb finish quality when working with natural stone, granite, marble and synthetic and ceramic materials for bathroom unit tops, kitchen tops, construction and memorials.

Intermac has continually evolved the Master range by creating an entry level product with high end usability. The main challenge has been to achieve the machine’s target cost while increasing performance and reliability.

The machines on show at the Sydney campus opening had a sales value of three million dollars. In addition, there is around five million dollars’ worth of parts in stock, all available for dispatch to ensure local users can keep their machines running.

50th anniversary

The grand opening of the Biesse Group’s purpose-built premises in Wetherill Park coincided with the company celebrating 50 years of innovation and technology. “The showroom facility represents an opportunity … to train our customers’ machine operators on the latest technology Biesse Group has to offer,” said Carl Massey, service director of Biesse Group Australia and New Zealand

The Sydney campus follows closely on the heels of the Barcelona, Spain campus launch in October 2018 and the soon-to-open 13th campus in Ulm, Germany this year.