MFN had the opportunity to talk to Joan Samuel from Winoa, the world’s leader of the steel abrasives industry. As the Portfolio Director of Winoa, he manages the products and services that offered for the group and supervises the various developments related to Winoa’s global strategy “Agenda 2025”
(?) MFN: Joan, thanks for taking the time to allow MFN to have an interview with you. Winoa is global company enjoying a strong leadership position in a very mature market - steel abrasives. In such context, what are the main challenges ahead?
(!) J. S.: Being the leader in a mature market like steel abrasives doesn’t imply to be in a resting position. As a leader, staying on idle is not a viable option and, more than a necessity, it’s a duty to reinvent ourselves every day and push the entire steel abrasives industry forward. Winoa has always been recognized as a technological leader, with a proven track-record of innovations all along with its history. Just to name a few: premium products ranges, TCO software for the shot-blasting process, a global network of technological centers and applications experts to serve customers, WA CLEAN technology… and many more! Some of those innovations have become industry standards nowadays, and we are proud of it.
The world is changing faster than ever with the emergence of new technologies, new ways of doing business, new modes of mobility and new customers’ expectations, and Winoa needs to prepare for the future and address all those changes.
This is the backbone of our ambition strategic plan “Agenda 2025”: getting the company future-proof and preparing for the tomorrow with our customers.
(?) MFN: As you said, the world is changing fast, but also in a highly uncertain way. How can you then prepare for the future?
(!) J. S.: You are right, things are not always evolving in a predictable way but we can still take for granted some major long-term trends such as the servitization of product-driven businesses, the absolute necessity to move toward more eco-friendly approaches and the dizzying development of digital technologies.
The 3 pillars of our strategic roadmap are the echo of those long-term trends: offering expansion toward a comprehensive range specialty products and services, making massive investments in a neutral carbon emission program and digitalizing our business.
(?) MFN: We have thoroughly discussed your new maintenance and repairs offer with your communication director in our May 2022 issue. Do you plan to launch new services in the near future?
(!) J. S.: Yes indeed, we plan to do a major strategic step in the service area by opening our first shot-peening service center in 2023, which is a top-notch facility located in Pune (India), at the heart of the Indian automotive industry. Our ambition is to bring to the Indian market a unique shot-peening center able to meet the most stringent requirements of the industry. Beyond the pure shot-peening service, we will also offer advanced finishing solutions such as anisotropic polishing, as well as X-ray diffraction service and shot-peening training for customers and third parties.
(?) MFN: What an exciting news! Can you tell us more about your future capabilities in Pune?
(!) J. S.: Our shot-peening service workshop will cover over 1800m² and will be equipped with high-end wheel-blasting machines from renowned European brands and large air-blasting rooms, with one of which being fully robotized with a 5-axis robotic arm. Two anisotropic finishing lines will sit aside those machines. Quality controls will be performed in a state-of-the-art laboratory equipped with X-ray diffraction capabilities. The facility will also contain a large conference room able to welcome up to 25 participants for training purposes.
As per the digital agenda of Winoa, all the precepts of industry 4.0 will be pursued, and we will leverage IoT technologies to ensure the highest level of efficiency and control of our processes.
Finally, this facility will leverage the latest energy efficiency technologies to support the group strategy toward carbon neutrality, for instance, by using LED lighting, variable frequency drives on electric motors, high efficiency air compressor...
Obviously, our quality management system will meet a large panel of certifications: ISO9001, ISO9100, IATF16949, NADCAP, and any other proprietary certifications that will be required by our customers.
(?) MFN: Which markets will you address through this shot-peening center?
(!) J. S.: Our facility is designed to meet the requirements of all the major industries requiring shot-peening operations: automotive of course, but also aerospace, energy, biomedical, equipment goods, construction… We will be able to shot-peen large components weighting several tons, such as hydro-power generation turbines.
(?) MFN: Winoa is well-known for its strong expertise in steel abrasives. How can you so quickly transform into a shot-peening service company?
(!) J. S.: You are right, entering the shot-peening service field is not something you can improvise. Firstly, depending on our global network of tech centers, we are used to perform shot-blasting operations and fine tune the process parameters to reach the finest requirements of our customers and partners.
And more importantly, we don’t dive into the shot-peening service on our own. In stead, we have teamed up with a top-level company having more than 25 years of experience in this field: 2Effe Engineering in Italy.
2Effe Engineering began operating in the field of material analysis in 1997, and the experience it has gained over the years led them to offer surface treatment services (mainly shot peening, polishing and metallization) and develop advanced solutions for the industry. Over the years, research, combined with production, has made it possible to exploit interesting synergies, thus allowing 2Effe Engineering to reach a position of excellence in the field of metal surface treatments and metal improvement.
Nowadays, 2Effe Engineering operates two surface treatment service centers in Italy (in Soiano del Lago and Casarile) as well as a highly specialized laboratory, 2F Lab, involving in problem analysis and solutions design about fatigue life, residual stress and wear on metal and composite materials. They count in their customers portfolio highly prestigious companies engaged in automotive racing (formula 1), high-performance motorbikes, nuclear power generation, military and civil aircrafts…
(?) MFN: What is the shape and the perspectives of your partnership with 2Effe Engineering?
(!) J. S.: Winoa and 2Effe Engineering have signed a joint-venture agreement in July 2022, which has resulted into the creation a new company named Winoa-2Effe Surface Solutions. This company will open the first facility in India in 2023, with the primarily ambition to be a game changer in the Indian shot-peening industry by providing not only top-notch shot-peening service but also advanced surface analysis methods such as X-ray diffraction.
Thanks to the high experience and expertise of 2Effe Engineering Founder and CEO Mr. Gianpaolo MARCONI, Winoa-2Effe Surface Solutions will also provide full consulting service on fatigue-related problematics. We will not simply apply shot-peening specifications on customers parts, and we will define and design the right surface treatment processes to solve given fatigue problems.
After India, we have, of course, several other geographies in mind to position ourselves as a global player in the field of shot-peening services and fatigue problems solving.
(?) MFN: Thanks Joan for taking the time for this interview. A last word to share with our readers?
(!) J. S.: Firstly, thanks for giving me the opportunity of this interview! Winoa and 2Effe Engineering teams are extremely excited about opening this new chapter of their history. For Winoa, that’s a major step of diversification toward a global solution provider role for the mechanical industry, and for 2Effe Engineering, a strategic move to export its excellence about fatigue problems solving on an international level. Moreover, shot-peening will continue to play an instrumental role in reducing the carbon footprint of our transportation modes, by allowing to go even further on the downsizing of mechanical components and the development on light-weight vehicles as well as e-mobility. A powerful demonstration that technology can bring faster path to sustainability!
MFN would like to thank Joan Samuel for this interview!
528 Avenue de Savoie
38570 Le Cheylas, France
Tel. +33.4.76 92 91 27