For us, a company is a community of individuals. Together, these individuals develop and share operational know-how so as to work in a co-ordinated way and produce sure results.
Our community is founded on two basic principles: belonging and competence. These principles represent a duty and an obligation for every one of us, and are binding conditions for membership of our community.
“Belonging” means that every member of the FRIGERI community has the duty to make a personal – and measurable – contribution to the corpus of company knowledge that can be immediately shared with colleagues and thus benefit company processes and activities.
This means that community members must not simply draw passively on the existing corpus of knowledge but must actively contribute to expanding and improving it. And be seen to do so.
“Competence” for us means knowing how to act in a given situation. It’s a mix of knowledge and experience, of skill, and of behaviour and attitude. It means that all members of the FRIGERI community must constantly strive to develop their individual competence and thus contribute to the competence of the community as a whole.
Presenting some of the people who embody our principles and values and serve our Clients through their dedicated work at FRIGERI.
Secondo Frigeri founded FRIGERI in 1966 and together with his wife, the late Augusta Negri Frigeri, successfully ran the company until 1992, when Dr. Elisabetta Frigeri was named managing director. With more than 50 years’ experience in designing and producing dies, plus 10 years’ experience of toolmaking, Secondo can rightly be considered a pioneer in the sector in Italy, especially in the production of components for the home appliances industry. The early transfer systems used until the end of the Sixties gave way to complex aesthetic applications and high-volume production through until the Nineties. Then came simulated pre-production. Secondo was at first diffident, but soon welcomed the new methods. His unique way of thinking, his wisdom and mastery in taking key decisions attracted into FRIGERI the finest resources and the most lively energies. Still today, Secondo still watches daily over the work of “his lads”, with words of advice, examples, encouragement and suggestions and, if needed, a strict reminder of the responsibility towards customers. He used to say: “I feel myself very lucky to have found a group of qualified young people with motivation, open minds and far-sightedness, who wished to take over and put to good use my inheritance as a diemaker. Seeing them around me every day, fighting to raise company standards and working to improve the position of FRIGERI in the new, tough global market, brings me serenity. It makes me realise with pride that I have worked hard all these years for something important that goes well beyond myself.”
“Design has the first say, the press the last. All the rest is a dialogue between them.”
Augusta Negri Frigeri (1938-1992)
Augusta Negri Frigeri founded FRIGERI in 1966 with her husband, Secondo, and until her early death in 1992 was managing director of the company. Under her enlightened guidance the company was gradually transformed, and from being a local enterprise joined the ranks of the major European producers. Augusta showed the typical determination and fighting spirit of the Frigeris in her courageous operational decisions and strategic persistence. The market at the time was euphoric and fast-growing, and such decisions were the order of the day. Augusta’s gentle yet fighting spirit, her inexhaustible passion for the job and her willingness to listen are still today lovingly remembered by all those who had the fortune to know her.
Elisabetta is President of FRIGERI. Elisabetta entered FRIGERI in 1992, when after her mother’s untimely death the company’s shareholders unanimously named her managing director. She had graduated from Bologna University in Political Science, studying with a group of economists under former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. Her entry into the company was sudden and traumatic, but she demonstrated great resoluteness in FRIGERI’s most difficult moments, in the local crisis of 1993 and the ongoing global crisis. She tirelessly devised market strategies to consolidate or relaunch the company. In almost 20 years at the head of FRIGERI, Elisabetta has continued to implement her leadership philosophy based on rapid and shared information, cost awareness and above all continuing proactivity. “There is always a limit to the speed and suitability of our reaction to events, but there is no limit to our ability to foresee and anticipate them, and to start reacting before and not after the events occur. Anticipating an event means you can control it and direct it to your own ends. I always encourage my staff to develop and strengthen this attitude of anticipating, this is for me the most important meaning of proactivity.” Elisabetta is keen on skiing, tennis and swimming, adores cats (she has four) and is a cinema buff.
“The secret of company efficiency is seeking and achieving the zero-on-zero factor, the absence of “porosity” between actions. If, in a process, an action ends without the action that must follow is being immediately implemented, this is porosity. And it means not only a lengthening of process lead time but also a loss of economy and efficiency that will affect that process and all those connected with it. A small company that wishes to excel cannot afford process “transpiration” and must take every care and devote every effort to ensuring that preceding actions trigger successive actions with the precision and timing of a lock snapping shut.”
“Every day we must try to eliminate our existing self and create a new one. We must never stop running.”
Roberto Di Zitti
Roberto is Vice-President of FRIGERI. He joined FRIGERI in 1993. After five years working in administration, customer and supplier accounting and order accounting, between 1998 and 2003 he applied his great passion for leading edge technologies and knowledge of company management systems to restructuring and modernising the organisation of the company, thus preparing its positioning in the new global market. Roberto is currently jointly responsible for the quality management system and for supplier relations management, and is also in charge of R&D. Since 2004 he has been working hard on the SPEED (Self-driven Production Expert Environment for Dies) project. Its aim is to create an expert and de-skilled ZBE (Zero Base Experience) production environment in which raw materials and components arrive and finished products are manufactured without the need for human intervention. In 2007 he outlined his radical and unconventional ideas on diemaking in the third millennium in a long article for the leading Italian technical magazine COSTRUIRE STAMPI*. Roberto is a passionate and omnivorous reader (above all of technology, philosophy and literature). He admires William Faulkner (“a genius of human solitude”) and Ray Kurzweil (“his vision of the future produces the vertigo of truth”). He is also a keen sportsman and a National Master of the Italian Tennis Federation.
“The market positioning of a company does not generally come from its turnover, production volume or growth rate but from something more profound: the point in the future where its vision ends.”
“When faced with the toughest situations, the most sensible position for an entrepreneur lies between the extremes of reasonable scepticism and intransigent, lively incredulity. The pessimism of reason is the more useful, not just because it produces the realism a company needs, but also because it is a powerful driver of the optimism of will that the company feeds and lives on.”
“Success, which exists only in the opinions of others, is simply a form of credulity that passes unnoticed when it concerns ourselves. Anyway, success is always measured on the scale of failure: the only serious way to express it is by the amount of residual failure. The importance and meaning of success lies above all in the quality of the failure that survives it.”
“We feel we are, and we are indeed toolmakers in progress. The workshop of our knowledge, but above all of our willingness to learn, is always open. This is not modesty; it is just awareness of the incommensurable vastness of what there is to know.”
“We’ve always considered ourselves members of a community task force that is specialised and highly trained, with great capacity for mobilising and intervening and a tenacious will to adapt to the most impervious and harsh operating conditions. We don’t fear work or the place where we work. If there’s no time to sleep by night or eat by day, we don’t eat and we don’t sleep. Go, fulfil your mission and return. That’s all. But as far as we know, that’s everything.”
Technologist and Process Planner
Franco is FRIGERI’s Technologist and Process Planner.
He joined FRIGERI in 1967, after a brief spell with a manufacturer of industrial water pumps.
After invaluable initial training from the founder, for more than 35 years Franco devoted his growing experience and abilities to manufacturing, assembling and testing dies.
When the company was restructured in 2003, Franco became technologist and process planner, a vital link between the design and manufacturing processes.
Together with the founder and Bernardo Panisi, Franco is one of the icons of FRIGERI and a guarantee of continuity between the historical company and its modern reality. Franco is a keen fisherman and an expert cook.
He has been a partner in FRIGERI since 1983.
Assembly and Testing Supervisor
Bernardo is FRIGERI’s Assembly and Testing Supervisor. He joined the company in 1969; it was his first job.
He grew up in the founder’s school, like Franco Mora, and learned one of the most difficult of diemaking arts: “process and press defectology”.
Bernardo personifies, with his delicate and tenacious daily work, backed also by inventiveness, the mission of “management of residual project uncertainty” that self-aware diemakers, who are by definition producers of prototypes, rightly attribute to assembly and testing processes.
Still today, with his willingness and motivation unabated after more than 40 years in the company, Bernardo dedicates the toughest hours of his working day to those tiring, sometimes stubborn but always marvellous mechanical contraptions called dies. Together with the founder and Franco Mora, Bernardo is one of the icons of FRIGERI and a guarantee of continuity between the historical company and its modern reality.
Bernardo is a very keen motorcyclist and an active volunteer social worker.
He has been a partner in FRIGERI since 1983.