Ten-million-euro revenues, sixty employees, one third of them in the engineering department; 70 percent export share, a subsidiary in Germany and one in Spain, plus an extensive network of resellers and agents. In short, this is TWT, based in Rovereto, one of the best-known woodworking tool brands.
“The story of TWT is deeply rooted in the window industry, that’s always been our vocation”, says Filippo Pellitteri, managing director of the Rovereto-based company. “We have always believed in specialization, in the necessity to identify a specific scope of action if you want to achieve certain results through constant commitment to research and innovation, from materials to cutting profiles, up to fastening systems or coatings using advanced materials and processes”.
One third of the employees work in the engineering department, an inevitable choice when quality is the result of a project and production is not limited to standard products, but the company is ready to provide each customer with the desired tool.
“Tailor-made tools are a current challenge, as each joiner wants a tool that distinguishes his work, a profile that differentiates him from his competitors. A challenge we are actively involved in, as in the window industry, the tool defines the final result, much more than for other products.
Then, each country has its own features: abroad, unlike in Italy, customer ask for specific products, defined by a project, by an idea of the window maker itself. In Italy, the guiding element is the overall project, the tight combination between the tool and the finished window”.
Are you saying that the tool is the ultimate driver?
“In Italy, we work in close partnership with joiners to identify a tool that can help them create the project they have imagined, while from abroad we receive the executive drawings of the tools and we make them to order.
All of this, of course, while sticking to the technical and dimensional requirements prescribed by the standards that regulate the industry and guarantee the compliance with air, water and wind tightness. Our task is to work with the customer to develop a tool that can generate a specific design, as this is a competitive factor, too.
After this initial phase, we must focus on the machines, on the technology where our tools will operate, aiming at the best possible match: the final item will be exactly what we want to achieve, but geometries, spaces and positioning must be defined from scratch, for each customer, every time!”.
So, you are like tailors who take a dress and adjust every detail.
“Yes, and at the same time we comply with the features, cycles and speed of each machine.
This is our strength, the service we are offering to our customers who feel “protected”, who know we stand close to them and we don’t just sell them a product, we want to deliver reliable results”.
“This is possible thanks to fifty years of experience with different brands in this industry”, Pellitteri adds. “It’s been a continuous, relentless development that has followed the evolution of tastes, performance and functionality of windows, such as the transition from thick frames to larger glazing, where the wooden elements are “bigger” but deeper, to the benefit of glazing, and consequently, of the light that can pass through into the room.
These changes have been enabled by machines and working centers with peculiar clamping systems, which means that we have to take part in the innovation of the machinery industry as well. If now you can have a “minimal” window, with less conspicuous wooden elements, that’s because machinery and tools have evolved together. We have made progress hand in hand with glulam timber, which has really opened up new doors in this segment”.
What about architects?
“They are key players: they spur all of us to seek new directions, to try new solutions. Materials, tool manufacturer, technology vendor and window manufacturer work together to find the solution that designers are looking for. Sometimes you change one of the factors, maybe you replace wood with metal, which allows to develop specific solutions. We also work with these materials, we offer tools not only for the woodworking industry, acquiring experience that improves our skills, reveals new points of view that we try to apply to wood.
There are many factors involved: just think of glazing, how thicker they have become to achieve certain levels of insulating capacity. We have to handle very heavy window panes, which in turn have an impact on hardware, which must bear much higher loads than in the past”.
Can we talk of “Italian quality” in window tools?
“Yes, definitely: the world recognizes the value of the Italian offer of tools, and the success of our German subsidiary proves this every day. TWT and other companies like us have proved what we can do, we have found “a place in the sun”, we have gained the trust of the most demanding window manufacturers or those who need to maintain very high production rates.
Facts speak for themselves: we give accurate, correct and motivated answers, and most of all earnest: we make no compromise, we don’t tell amazing stories to sell, we offer a serious approach, the commitment of our engineering department to evaluate all the elements and find the right answer in a specific context. And we do that quickly, providing data and demonstrations to support the quality of our products, first-class after-sales service, continuous support.
We make research on materials that allow us to design even more complex and bigger tools, which can be installed on working centers or machines with higher feed speed and rotation speed, always ensuring the best possible finishing quality.
We start from the raw material, from the metal we cut, shape, sharpen and coat to achieve geometries that streamline the extraction of chips, avoid overheating, distribute the stress to ensure a “balanced” operation of all machine parts.
But let me tell you that we are not stopping here: together with our customers, we analyze the wood species they want to process, starting from the applicable standards in the destination countries”.
There seems to be no end…
“Sometimes, we even feel like the list of elements to be considered is endless. Maybe that’s why we collaborate with the most advanced companies, those that choose total quality, that have a scientific approach to window production, that pay attention to the smallest detail, up to the final installation.
In these months, we are developing a new series of tools called “Laser HP – High Performance” for machines reaching very high speed rates that require fastening systems offering a certain level of guarantee. We are completing the final tests and the results are really extraordinary, with peripheral speeds 1.5 times higher than expected and feed speeds up to 25 meters per minute; these values are essential when – given the same final quality – you need to reach high production volumes.
We are working at a new concept of wood-aluminum “minimalist window” that we will launch at the next Xylexpo and we are sure it will arouse much interest; it’s a project we have developed with valuable partners, such as Roverplastic for the seals and Aeroprofili for the aluminum profiles.
So, you are totally right: there is no end, and despite windows have been manufactured for two thousand years, we keep challenging ourselves!
Fortunately, we are a great team and we have resources and people to do more, further expanding our capacity to run unattended operations, in a factory with the highest possible automation level that gives accurate answers to as many customers as possible”.
by Luca Rossetti
“Laser.S”, the tool for window makers
Higher productivity, short setup time and machine downtime, more efficient spare parts management, better finishing quality. These are the benefits of Twt’s “Laser.S” tools, designed to produce better and be more competitive.
Thanks to the cutting geometries specifically designed to achieve the most efficient result in each process, including improved chip evacuation and accurate knife positioning, the customer obtains a better finishing of the finished product
“Laser.S” is well easy to use, reducing machine downtime for knife changes and assuring a better organization of the inserts stock management. Combined with higher cutting and feed speeds, these features offer greater saving and significantly increased productivity.
Further benefits are offered in terms of maintenance costs, thanks to a smaller number of screws used on each locking wedge and a QR Code that allows to slash disassembling and reassembling time.
The “Laser.S” tools can be equipped with “4Life” inserts, ideal for deep chip removal in one pass and offering a dramatic reduction of motor shaft loads, besides reducing tool micro vibrations.
Each finishing knife has a double sharpening and it’s coated with the exclusive “NaDia DLC (Diamond Like Carbon)” that maintains the initial cutting quality for many meters.