A hi-tech lucky break in the name of the Internet of Things

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Taking over 100% of the capital of PGA in Fabriano, Sabaf strengthens its capability of exploring the frontiers of Internet of Things with designs and products featuring a high innovation rate.

Sabaf writes a new chapter in its growth course by external lines. Brescia company, operating in the gas cooking sector, has taken over 100% of the capital of PGA, enterprise that for over 25 years has operated in the field of the design and assembly of electronic boards for the household appliance sector. A hi-tech lucky break, for an operation worth 10 million Euros, aimed at strengthening Sabaf activities in IoT ambit and for the control of household appliances. «The takeover of PGA mirrors the base principle of our industrial Plan: diversifying and enlarging the offer and becoming a Group with all-round activity in advanced technologies for the household appliance industry», explains Pietro Iotti, CEO of Sabaf Group. «Electronics plays a determinant role in this strategic programme. PGA, in the forefront for the quality of manufacturing processes and with excellent development skills, is perfectly integrated with Okida, Turkish company taken over in 2018, which is increasingly sharing in the Group’s results. This is joined by the potentialities of the electromagnetic induction cooking, which we have entered this year. We will continue this course by developing products with proprietary technology and taking over other specialized manufacturers. The target is ensuring a constant long-term generation of economic and social value to shareholders and stakeholders».

View of the manufacturing plant.

Sabaf has decided accomplishing the takeover of PGA to strengthen further its innovation course, in tune with the market’s emerging requirements, characterized by growing attention to interconnection themes. «PGA, which is headquartered in Fabriano (Ancona), operates in the design and assembly of electronic boards for household appliances: suction, refrigeration, air quality control and water dispensing», Iotti tells. «It is renowned for the qualitative excellence of products and for the lean organization of processes. It relies on a business unit dedicated to the design and prototyping of innovative solutions based on interconnection and Internet of Things (IoT)».

Pietro Iotti, CEO of Sabaf.

Besides the strongly innovative approach to business, PGA will provide Sabaf with a heritage of added-value also on specific product and design aspects. «The research and development activity has allowed PGA to implement distinctive know-how in electronic controls for hoods that is at the base of the sound relationships with manufacturers, developed also through the high customization of products in-house designed and the technical support assured by the R&D team to customers», Iotti highlights. «These innovation skills have strongly boosted the growth of revenues that, from 2019 to 2021, grew by 49%».

External line, internal growth
PGA integration into Sabaf business will now conform to the expertise tested in previous takeover operations. «As it happened in the case of Okida and CMI, the integration will mainly take place through the synergies with the other companies of the Group», Iotti comments. «In the sales area, we will introduce PGA product range into the offer to the over 300 customers of Sabaf Group and we expect a rise of the cross selling. We aim at a consolidation of the development capacity of electronic products due to the synergies with Okida and with the Induction development team. There are, in particular, strong development potentialities of IoT solutions. In processes, we expect an increase of know-how and of the manufacturing capacity in Italy and Turkey. Finally, the size increment will allow bigger scale economies in the purchase of electronic components to the Group».
Concerning human and technological competences, a reality with a propensity for research and development like PGA brings a strong rooted know how about themes of great innovation inside Sabaf. «In the course of a story of over 25 years, PGA has implemented a high-level professional team and uncommon innovation culture», Iotti confirms. «This has allowed it to reach excellence in the various technology applications. With the integration of PGA team, Sabaf Group is enriched with competences that are functional to the strategic design previously described. We currently rely on over 70 electronic engineers exclusively dedicated to the development of new technologies and products for smart appliances».

Electronic board of state-of-the art hood motor driver.

Unlimited cooking
In virtue of this new takeover operation, now Sabaf customers are legitimated to further rise their expectations about the evolution of the company’s offer. «We will be able to give more to customers», Iotti promises. «Besides increasing the offer range, Sabaf Group will put at disposal a team with high skills, able to customize products in quick innovative manner and with high qualitative standards».

Workstation of functional parametric testing.

Concerning products, Iotti enters into the merits of the offer developments in its various articulations, to literally meet all kinds of customers’ demands and requirements. «As far as the evolution of our offer is concerned, Sabaf’s strategic target of all-round operating in forefront technologies for the household appliance industry has led us to cover all cooking technologies along these years: gas, standard electric and induction», Iotti reminds. «Today our offer is subdivided into four divisions: gas cooking components; oven hinges, dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines and so on (Hinges); electronic control boards for the entire household appliance range (Electronics); induction cooking components (Induction). The competences gained increase the business expansion possibilities to other sectors, too (for instance, lighting, induction, heating/automotive)».
In virtue of the PGA takeover, now Sabaf relaunches its market targets, approaching 2023 with renovated boost. «We go on pursuing two directions. Mainly, the growth by internal lines, through the prosecution of the investment plan in new products (induction cooking components and other projects) and for the widening of the industrial footprint (in 2022 we have set up a new plant in India and by the first 2023-quarter we will set up another in Mexico, which will supply the North America market). Thanks to our financial soundness, in 2022 we have invested 21 millions (they were 12 in 2019). Moreover, we will continue to pursue the growth by external lines: after the takeovers of Okida (electronics), CMI (hinges) and PGA we are going to prosecute in the scouting of new opportunities, in compliance with the diversification strategy foreseen by the Industrial Plan», Iotti ends.