Journey to the center of R&D with Biancalani

What happens when developing a textile machine? What is taken into consideration in the process, from an idea to a real machine?

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Engin Buz
Engin Buzhttps://www.textilegence.com
After graduating from the Department of Journalism in the Faculty of Communication at Ankara University, Mr. Engin Buz completed his master's degree in Yıldız Technical University's Department of Political Science and International Relations. In 2000, he began his career as a reporter working in various publishing companies and he has prepared culture-art and economic news. Working as an editor in publications for the textile industry since 2009, Buz has started to work at Textilegence established in 2013. Engin Buz is currently preparing business news for the textile and digital printing industries prominently.

Finishing technology manufacturer Biancalani represents the famous Italian textile quality with great success in the field of machinery and technology. Behind the solutions developed by the company, there is a strong R&D process. Working with a vision that sees the whole and the detail with the same clarity, the company has a structure that is open to innovative ideas. This has made Biancalani strong and a pioneer in the ‘mechano-textile’ field for decades. The company’s CEO Massimo Biancalani and R&D manager Maurizio Toccafondi give some tips on technology development and R&D.

Saying that we often forget that innovation can be a complex, multifaceted process, Massimo Biancalani continued his words saying; “Biancalani has made a very specific choice, which is to get a position as producer of alternative textile finishing machinery. The so-called input, the spark in the creative process, always comes from a question: what does the mechano-textile sector lacks but could be really really desirable and beneficial?”

AQUARIA was born from a different perspective

Maurizio Toccafondi, R&D Manager, adds that that’s what happened with AQUARIA®; “We were looking for a different view, something based on tradition and experience of course, but not trivial. Well, the result has been incredible: we managed to squeeze six points of force in a single machine, so to produce an alternative textile avant-garde. And obviously, it yields incredible results, some of them well-known and others all to be discovered”.

Massimo Biancalani argues that the research phase may be labelled as maniacal, but the correct term here is punctual. Biancalani said; “Because we are talking about the foundations of the design process. Opinions and data come from external collaborators, professionals, market analysis, statistics, the Internet and all is collected by the R&D department. These multifaceted impulses trigger the design process. Technicians at Biancalani are very good at grasping the right details and that’s one of the reasons why the company recruited them”.

Daily brainstorm for better

The design process is totally participative, but there’s a continuous discussion in order to make the research phase work according to Mr. Toccafondi. He disclosed; “It’s a daily brainstorming. You must forget formal timing marked by meetings that are only a tiny part of the whole thing. After a meeting, you don’t hold the ultimate design truth in your hands, you are just more informed and ready to change tack, if necessary. And often, it is necessary. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a design phase.”

Underlining that the design process must not let technological risks be an option, Toccafondi says that otherwise poor machinery would happen. Toccafondi said; “If you cut to the bone during the design and productive processes, you’ll end up producing supposedly groundbreaking machineries, deprived of meaning. That’s a huge mistake. The technological content comes first. Every successful R&D bear this in mind”.

Technical stage and creative synthesis

Mr. Biancalani deems the actual design part as the technical phase, and indicates that a sort of a creative synthetizing happens. Biancalani said; “Ideas start coming and start being shared in a totally free and continuous exchange of views. Biancalani has been gathering professionals of different age, background and specialization and their constructive dialogue has brought to such machineries as AIRO®24, AIRBOX and AQUARIA®”.

Maurizio Toccafondi emphasizes that they are not talking about conventional, average textile machinery, and they feel proud that they have contributed to achieve such goals. Toccafondi continued his words saying; “Let’s say you have developed the machine. Now there’s another interesting step: the company becomes a consultant for the client, often their sole provider and obviously a strong promoter of a certain design philosophy. Biancalani is a strategical partner at this point. The top level is reached when clients who are leaders in the textile finishing sector choose to test an innovative machinery”.

Massimo Biancalani (on the left) - Maurizio Toccafondi
Massimo Biancalani (on the left) – Maurizio Toccafondi

The needs and demands of the customers shape the details

Biancalani CEO Massimo Biancalani reminds the importance of customers’ demands and needs during the design and production phase. He commented on the subject as the following; “That’s when we provide our technicians, who work in order to set every detail according to the client’s needs and also to find out which specific machinery features can give outstanding results. This is the real link between our work and innovation, as the industry leaders pave the way for others. And others will follow the path.”

Saying that Biancalani customizes machineries according to what the client asks R&D manager Maurizio Toccafondi clearly reveals his attitude by saying; “I have no memory of developing a machinery that was identical to another one”.

Each machinery has an actual potential argued Massimo Biancalani and concluded his words saying; “Half of that potential is well-known and half of it is to be discovered. And know what, some of the most important discoveries have been made while looking for something else, i.e. studying the machinery potential together with the client, in our case. Potential versatility is the real secret of textile finishing machinery by Biancalani. And of course, of our job”.

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