Author: Ester Alonso

Interview of the Month
December 04, 2017

Italian Eyewear Components

The Italian company IDEAL produces metal components for the eyewear sector. Located in Quero, the company is committed to research and development of new solutions that translate client demand into cutting-edge products.
The management team spoke to 20/20 Europe.

Ideal Team

Left to right:
Giovanni Acherusio (Financial and Administrative Manager); Carlo Boik (Quality and Industrialization Manager); Cristina Cara (Marketing Manager); Carlo Lai (Logistics Manager); Roberto Clamar (CEO)

Q: Which products will you propose in 2018?

A: We are launching our new products at Mido. We are an engineering company working with both high-end luxury clients and product oriented customers requiring originality and exclusivity. We internalize client’s requests by offering adaptable products which can be easily customized.

Q: How has the company developed over the years?

A: Ideal was founded in the 1970s to produce flex hinges for the eyewear sector. The Italian identity of our products and our industrial craftsmanship have not changed over time. We are 100% Made in Italy and we are proud of it; we are also proud to have an industrial approach linked to the ability of small craftsmen.
IDEAL has 104 employees today and is located in Quero Vas (BL), in the eyewear district, where it develops its entire production on site, in a factory of 11.000 square feet.

Q: How do you develop your products? Do you define yourselves as sector innovators?

A: Innovation in the market is essential for competitivity. Every year we invest in patents and push our R&D colleagues to think out of the box. Those relevant ideas that can answer to specific market requests then come to light. This is a continuous challenge for creativity and innovation.
We strongly believe that “Made in Italy” is an added value for the customer. IDEAL is always investing in human resources and their qualifications. We design and assemble our own tooling and machines.
An example of innovation? We founded the “Ideal Academy”, an internal “school” for the continuous training and improvement of our professionalisms.

Q: When you say you are a “custom” producer, what do you mean?

A: Design is our driving force and the basis of every product. All of our engineers are specialists. We have an internal Technical Office and a Mechanical Department, so any engineering process takes place inside the factory. This also allows us to have a strict control over schedules and to guarantee and oversee the lead times from the first stages. For these reasons, one of the strongest points of our Company is the production of custom solutions, which are studied and manufactured in a close collaboration with the customer to make them compliant to its specific use. In this way, the collaboration between IDEAL and the customer becomes a real partnership, beyond a supply relationship.

Q: Give an example of your bestselling hinge and describe its features and qualities.

A: “FAST” is our most appreciated hinge as its functionalities and appearance are really great. It is part of the “Design Line” family, a sophisticated but simple product. FAST is a hidden hinge for injected frames and it is loved by our customers because of its dimension. The MINI version can be assembled on really narrow temples.
It is very small and its endurance, tensile and bending strength, extraflex and rocking performances are better than those ones of traditional hinges. It can be assembled just by pushing it, without any screw. Our customers praise its fast and easy assembling on the temple which helps them save a lot of time.
FAST is a patented product and represents the starting point for the entire FAST family.

Q: Do you sell worldwide? Describe your presence in the market and growth in different areas.

A: Yes, we do sell wherever there is a customer. Eyewear districts are located in specific geographical areas, especially in Italy, where IDEAL has traditionally focused its sales. Besides the local market, where we have long-term relationships both with the main producers and smaller suppliers, we have also reinforced our collaborations with overseas customers in Asia and other parts of Europe. We are working with a lot of start-ups, collaborating on new projects. We enjoy exchanging views on creativity, innovation and technical effectiveness.

Q: Which is your “quality assurance”? Quality / Reliability / Safety

A: We celebrated 20 years of ISO 9001 by achieving ISO 14001 environmental certification. Moreover, the high quality of our components is guaranteed by industry standards and by international rules such as REACH, RoHS, Proposition 65 and No Conflict Minerals.
Our high-tech processes allow us to guarantee excellent reliability. Our waste is below 400 part per million, which is close to a zero-defect policy and could be compared to high-performing international metal industries. It thus demonstrates that IDEAL’s best practice can guarantee cost efficiency and competitiveness in the global market, China included.
We carry out product validation tests: each piece has the best endurance and reliability performance even under extreme conditions.
The IDEAL “Competence Improvement Plan” includes hiring not only mechanical engineers, but also Material scientists and Finite Element Method analysts working side by side with the R&D Department.
From drawings to shipments, everything is closely monitored and checked.
Our relationship with the customer has deep ethical roots, with a strong attention to our employees’ health conditions and environmental protection. We also like to mention that our company is a supplier certified by global players, who recognize IDEAL’s high engineering quality and innovation. This is our best reward.

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