TOOL SHOP, WHERE THE FUTURE IS STUDIED

Here we are in another vital area of the plant. We have come to the place where designs are created on powerful computers and graphics cards, and then simulations are carried out and moulds are constructed. From the offices to the warehouse, a veritable museum, with many items covered with cardboard, just like works of art which are yet to be revealed. These are the moulds that we will later see on the brands served by Magneti Marelli in a year’s time, maybe two, and which have been created based on customer requests and from the skill of these areas, in a process of continuous improvement. We see the graphite for the first prototypes, the cubes of steel, the twisted offcuts, and then the large moulds that will end up in the presses.

There is a worker applying blue paint to the male matrix of a mould and then testing the fit with the corresponding female section, detaching the two pieces and using a mandrel to remove the traces of paint which indicate the points where the mould does not close perfectly. In a tank alongside, steel is sculpted with the use of an electrical charge which passes through an oil and water solution. A little further on, a visored worker with an instrument in hand seems almost to be painting details on a polished mould. Automation can do much, but a human touch is still necessary to achieve the perfect mould. The tolerance in micrometres to which the moulds have been studied is lower than one quarter the width of a human hair.