Business - Machines and Tools - Furniture Production Machinery

BACCI Open House - top technology in an authentic Italian setting

From 10 to 24 April, the BACCI Open House was held in Italy, near Pisa, an event to which Revista din Lemn was invited. The decision to hold it for two weeks was a bold one, considering that it was the first edition. But the overlap with another important event - the Salone del Mobile in Milan - was a welcome change for companies located far away, which could attend both events at much reduced costs.

The BACCI Open House was a good opportunity to see what is the state of the art in CNC machining and to understand the level that can be achieved using such machines in the wood industry. It was also an opportunity to get to know a typical Italian family business now in its fourth generation, to discover the professional and human values at the heart of the company founded in 1918.

Technology at the highest level

Paolino BACCI, world leader in the production of CNCs with 5 and more interpolated axes and holder of more than 50 international patents, is an important supplier for chair manufacturers, sofas, doors, sports equipment, musical instruments, even art furniture, and is known for its ability to find solutions to the most complicated shapes. Bank Ceccotti Collection in the image below is just an example. It seems hard to believe, but the wooden skeleton of the bench is made using a BACCI CNC.

The organisation of the event allowed all those who responded to the invitation to have the opportunity to visit the factory in Cascina, where BACCI is based, and to watch practical demonstrations on machines. In the show-room there were many of BACCI's representative machines. At each machine there was a dedicated team who, in addition to practical demonstrations, answered questions about parameters and characteristics. The stands with machined wooden elements nearby were a first glimpse of what could be achieved with the CNC in question. As the participants were encouraged to come with objects they would like to have made on the CNC, real debates often took place around these objects involving BACCI specialists. This is one of the advantages of an event in house compared to a trade fair - immediate access to all company resources to shorten the journey from demand to supply.

In the spirit of transparency, factory tours were constantly organised so that newcomers could see where and how the famous CNCs are made. State-of-the-art technology was all around us, including cleaning. The autonomous robot that was constantly cleaning the walkways caught everyone's attention. Not a few people tried to confuse it by getting in its way, but the little robot managed to quickly right itself so that it didn't hit us, but continued to do its job as well.

A detailed video presentation of each machine in the showroom will be available shortly on the Wooden magazine YouTube channel.

BACCI | A fourth generation family company

Despite the size, BACCI is a family business which has stood the test of time and has continually developed thanks to the dedication and ongoing commitment of its members. The story began in 1918, after the First World War, when Paolino Bacci, the great-grandfather of today's director, set up a small ribbon saw factory in his native Cascina. The machines soon became known and appreciated for their robustness and durability.

Since 1950, the business has been taken over by Giuseppe, Paolino's son, who has developed the business beyond Italy's borders. The factory specialises in machines for the production of chairs, and the constant contact with manufacturers leads to the development of efficient technologies and the manufacture of reliable, robust and precise machines. At the end of the 1970s, the management is taken over by Agostino, Giuseppe's son, who has run the company for more than 40 years. Now the Managing Director is Agostino's eldest son - Giuseppe - who runs the company with his two brothers, Paolo and Nino, each directly involved in developing the business in different parts of the world.

Giulio, the CEO's eldest son, is already working in the factory despite being only 20 and a student. I met him while visiting the factory, driving a cleaning machine. Learning in the family starts at the bottom levels so that when he takes over the business there are no unknowns.

At BACCI there is a constant focus on developing innovative technologies. In 1986 it was the first Italian company to win the Challengers at the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) in Atlanta, USA. In 1995, BACCI manufactures the first 5-axis CNC with multiple outputs, followed by the development of increasingly complex and high-performance equipment. In 2012, the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa awards Agostino Bacci the Leonardo Fibonacci prize for activities that have led to the development of the local economy. In 2016, the company wins a second Challengers Award in Atlanta for the CNC Master Triple Table characterised by dedicated operating software and double the productivity of the state of the art.

BACCI is now recognized as a world leader in the production of CNCs with 5 and more interpolated axes for machining wood, but also composite materials, plastic or aluminium. The company is now a group made up of the Cascina plant where CNCs are produced, BACCI Mecanica - dedicated to the manufacture of mechanical machinery and CNC metal housings and bevels - and BACCI Automation, for the manufacture of robots and automation. The group also includes two subsidiaries in high-growth markets - the USA and China - which are open to provide rapid technical assistance and support services.

A complex and highly enjoyable experience

The BACCI Open House 2024 experience was very complex and included not only the hands-on demonstrations on the machines and the factory tour but also everything that meant interacting with family members, with all those who organized the event. From the family story told naturally by Nino in the morning as he drove us from the hotel to the factory, to Paolo's joy in showing us a restaurant that has remained unchanged for over 50 years, and from the painting at the entrance by the director's mother today, to the pine tree-lined path to the family restaurant where we were having lunch, it was all part of the BACCI experience.

The impression is that such events are becoming more and more frequent and tend to replace traditional fairs. And that's because along with the professional experience and the on-topic discussions, they also offer the opportunity for stronger connections, business discussions in a more relaxed and pleasant setting. It remains to be seen how trade fairs will counteract this, with what new ideas they will come up with to keep their attraction and influence. Because this certainly needs to happen.

Below, the video we made at BACCI Open House 2024

About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

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