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Painco works with the world's biggest heavy equipment makers, providing them with the parts they need to produce tractors, bulldozers, backhoes and other types of machinery. The company uses the most modern and efficient equipment available to make sure it supplies its customers with the highest quality parts possible, Jeffrey Matthews reports.

Painco Indústria e Comércio S.A. has been in the metallurgical business for more than 50 years, cutting and welding steel plates and making the parts for heavy construction, earth-moving, paving, mining, machinery and forestry equipment for companies such as Caterpillar, Komat’su, CNH (Case and New Holland), Dynapac, JCB , Mesto and others. Painco sells its parts to companies in Brazil, who then send the finished products to about 150 countries around the world.

“Our clients all have their factories in Brazil,” said Antonio João Severino, Painco’s Chief Executive Officer and one of its owners. “Some of the equipment is in Brazil and some is exported. We don’t export anything directly; all our production goes to companies here and then the products are exported.”

Severino and two of the company’s owners work at Painco as well, making sure that the owners and management are working together. The other owner-managers are Jose Alcides Gobbo, who is Painco’s Council President, and Jose Severino, who is Council Chief.

Painco started out in 1957 by preparing soil and making parts for farming equipment at its plant in Rio das Pedras, in the state of São Paulo, and has since expanded into various other market segments. In addition to the segments already mentioned, the company also supplies rail locomotives, sugar processing machinery, windpower energy, ships, and industrial presses. It has also made parts for blast ovens, transport equipment, and exhaust systems for steel mills. The company is one of Brazilian steel giant Usiminas’ biggest customers.

“We’ve developed a closer relationship with our biggest supplier and by doing that we’ve improved our level of quality, delivery and price, and can supply our customers with products that surpass their requirements,” Severino said.

Painco makes its parts based on its customer’s requirements, and these can range from small, simple pieces of cut steel to more elaborately welded, machined and painted pieces. The company uses Six Sigma, lean manufacturing and just-in-time parts delivery practices to make sure the process is as efficient as possible, with the parts delivered to customers in special packaging to ensure a high level of quality.

Two years ago Painco finished construction on a second plant in Rio das Pedras, across the highway from, and linked by a tunnel to, its first plant. The new factory cost about $20 million to build and has an area of 28,000 square meters on 120,000 square meters of land, while the older plant measures 8,000 square meters on a 70,000-quare-meter plot.

In its first operations area the company’s capabilities include 15 CNC plasma and oxyfuel cutting machines operated via sophisticated software for nesting parts, in addition to the latest CNC press brakes and CNC vertical and horizontal machine centers to perform machining operations, in-weld assemblies and also to move pieces weighing as much as 10 tons. The company has more than 230 work stations for soldering and welding, as well as robots for precision metal-joining.

To make painted pieces, Painco has three production lines. Before the painting process, the pieces go through a shot blasting process, and next are painted by electrostatic process. After painting they’re dried in the oven using infrared technology. Altogether the plant produces about 2,200 different parts, and last year its 1,100 workers turned out 4,000 tons of parts per month.

“We make practically all of the parts for tractors, from small parts that weigh half a kilo to parts as big as seven tons, through our cutting and welding operation,” said Severino.

CRISIS AFFECTING SALES
In 2008 sales and production reached record levels, with revenue quadrupling from five years earlier, to more than R$300 million (US$165 million ). This year production and sales will be lower than in 2008 because of the effects of the international economic crisis. Painco has already reacted to the new situation by reducing costs and cutting staff, bringing the current employment level at the factories to 650. Nonetheless, Painco’s main goal remains to meet clients’ needs, in terms of quality, capacity and speediness of delivery.

Throughout the production process employees make quality one of their highest priorities. Painco uses advanced three-dimensional measuring equipment to guarantee parts have been made correctly, and has been ISO: 9001:2000 certified for its quality management program since 2001. The company is audited once each half to make sure it still meets those standards. The last audit was in January of this year.

“Our clients manufacture equipment to global specifications and are big exporters. That means that the quality of their products has to be as good as or better than the quality of products made in their home countries,” Severino said. “That’s why we have to have a level of quality that is compatible with those specifications. The quality of our products is very important, and the daily focus of everyone who works here.”

Painco invests heavily in training for its workers to make sure that they work together to turn out the best possible products. That focus has gained recognition from many sources. For the past three years Painco has been named one of the Best 500 Companies in Brazil by Dinheiro magazine, and won similar accolades last year from Valor 1000 and Valor Economico newspaper. In addition, it was named among the 500 biggest and best companies by Exame magazine. But the biggest prize to Painco came last year in its inclusion in the 150 Best Companies to Work For by Exame-Voce SA magazine.

TAKING CARE OF EVERYONE
Painco takes care of its employees as well, striving to provide non-stop improvements to their working environment, helping them and their families attain a better lifestyle and encouraging teamwork. Painco provides training grants to help its workers reach the level of technical proficiency they need to move up to give them high opportunities for career growing.

Workers have access to the company medical center, and participate in a company-wide health plan as well. Workers’ families participate in many activities funded by Painco, and take part in Easter, Christmas, Children’s day festivities and also enjoy the AACP, a club with pools, soccer field, basketball and volleyball square, playground and large space for parties and barbecues for employees and their families . It’s no surprise Painco was named one of the 150 best companies to work for in Brazil.

“More than 95 percent of people live in the city and the company is deeply involved in the community of the city of Rio das Pedras where Painco is based,” said Severino. “We sponsor big events in the city and we donate to various charitable organizations around the region.”

Painco also makes sure its operations are as environmentally correct as possible. The new factory was built to meet ISO:14000 environmental standards, and has specialized waste containment areas, disposes properly of its non-recyclable waste and even collects rainwater for factory use.

This makes Painco a modern company in every sense of the word, with a brand-new factory, the latest production techniques, equipment and software, and employees who are continually trained to make the best possible use of them all. Respecting workers and their families, community and environment helps Painco, its owners and its customers.

Volume:
12
Issue:
4
Year:
2009


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