The company FerroČrtalič, a traditional, family-owned supplier of air-blasting equipment under the FerroECOBlast brand, has embarked on a new exciting journey – to become part of the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry revolution as a key player in the specific, highly demanding post-processing segment.
More about the reasons and goals behind this strategic move were shared with us by Mrs. Mojca Andolšek, Managing Director, and Mr. Benjamin Hlebec, Sales Director of the company.
(?) MFN: Mrs. Andolšek, can you share with us how you came up with this idea and what were the main reasons for it?
(!) M. A.: To be honest, this really isn't something totally new for us. For many years we have collaborated with a partner operating in broader application industries as their supplier. During this time, we came into contact with – and kept abreast of – this new industry, its challenges and fascinating possibilities. In this sense, from there on just a small but important step had to be taken – making the decision to build our own product line for post-processing under our proprietary brand name.
(?) MFN: Mr. Hlebec, correct me if I'm wrong, you were part of this process from the very beginning. Would you please share some insights with us?
(!) B. H.: You are right, I was involved in the development and marketing & sales activities right from the start, as I usually am. My colleagues working in this particular field and I came up with the idea to develop a new product line for post-processing in the AM industry. It was based on our decades-long experience in traditional air blasting and the experience we gained since the time when AM was still in its early stages. Of course, an extensive market analysis was carried out, based on which we concluded that there is a gap and a need in the market for a new provider of specialised tailor-made solutions, specifically post-processing machines under our brand name Addiblast.
(?) MFN: Mrs. Andolšek, building a new brand name and launching a product line during a pandemic period was quite a bold decision to make, wasn't it?
(!) M. A.: Yes, it was, but this is what we do and what we are all about – always trying to keep in touch with the latest developments as an active contributor. In this specific case, we took things a step further: we want to be, are and will one of the key, or preferred developers/providers of post-procesing solutions for the AM industry.
(?) MFN: Mr. Hlebec, are you satisfied with your sales and marked achievements so far?
(!) B. H.: To be honest, yes, very much so! Despite entering the market later than some of our competitors, we were able to practically eliminate the time lag thanks to an intense R&D and marketing push.
We first presented our offerings at FORMNEXT 2020, virtually at the time, and then continued with a very successful attendance at the last FORMNEXT 2021 event.
Since we work and focus a lot on digitization, we constantly build our global presence across our ADDIBLAST digital channels like the web, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, e-mailing, and more.
Just to prove we mean business and have big expectations, we registered our Addiblast brand and are currently in the process of expanding the registration/protection to all important territories around the globe.
Due to marketing and sales channels specifics, we decided to develop a largely new sales network for this particular product line – and we are doing great.
Last but not least, we attended a big trade fair in the USA in May – RAPID+TCT, in Detroit.
…and the "beauty" from the photo is not coming back home with us. It is staying with one of our most valued customers from the USA.
(?) MFN: Mrs. Andolšek, to wrap up, how do you envisage future business developments – within the AM industry and, more broadly, as a traditional provider of air-blasting solutions?
(!) M. A.: The vision of FerroČrtalič is to become one of the preferred global providers of specialised surface treatment solutions. This is the driving force behind everything we do, and it drives our entire team!
As for the Addiblast product line, for the time being, we can foresee some important next steps to be taken in development terms, mostly related to process automation, AI and UX. We are fully committed to this important project – you know the saying "Where there's a will, there's a way".
We are going back to our "roots", specialised air blasting solutions, as this is our heritage. We are here to stay, following the needs and meeting the challenges of our valued customers from the most demanding industries such as aviation, medical, automotive, metal casting and more.
MFN would like to thank Mojca Andolšek and Benjamin Hlebec for this interview!
Sela pri Dolenjskih Toplicah 47
SI-8350 Dolenjske Toplice, Slovenia
Tel. +386.7.38 45 100