Rethinking efficiency with Growermetal 23 November 2023

Over the years Growermetal has implemented its service by combining its long experience as a washer manufacturer with agile productive processes and logistics – with a constant focus on customer satisfaction and a commitment to the creation of a responsible and sustainable approach.

In a globalised world, businesses have become increasingly international and their strategies have switched towards comprehensive, timely and large-scale services. Agility, flexibility and the ability to handle a large number of orders are therefore essential for any industry with a broad perspective and long-term goals.

That’s why Growermetal SpA decided to align itself with these values, investing in a competitive logistic system in order to improve the whole supply chain. From its headquarters in Calco, a city in the north of Italy, 40km from Milan, the Italian washer manufacturer offers a capillary service to the European market and serves the world’s leading economic areas, such as North America, South America, the Middle East, China and other Far Eastern countries – exporting its products through a widespread sales network. 

To facilitate and promote partnerships with different areas, the company also decided to implement its washers and blanked parts supply service through the creation of a network of sales offices abroad, including Growermetal USA and Growermetal Do Mercosul, founded in 2014 and 2015 respectively, which enable the company to better meet customers’ needs in North and South America.

“The businesses expansion was made possible by a strategy meant to bring advantages from many points of view, linking major business processes within and across Growermetal and facilitating the movement of goods,” states Paolo Cattaneo, CEO of Growermetal. 

In order to improve its service, and achieve the best performance, the company worked on many aspects. First of all, the creation of a wide range of solutions, including standard washers and parts to the manufacturing of special projects according to customers’ drawings – with a production capable of more than 7,000 different washer designs. “This is a portfolio of measures, materials and geometries that is the result of a know-how rooted in more than seventy years of activity,” points out Paolo. “This means the portfolio can address a wide range of sectors, including aerospace, automotive, railway, agricultural machinery, industrial machinery and transport equipment, as well as the clean energy, oil and gas, electromechanical, construction and infrastructure sectors.”

In addition to standard designs, such as washers with internal or external teeth, conical elastic washers, flat washers, spring washers for railway applications, corrugated washers, and many others, Growermetal’s R&D team has developed exclusive branded geometries, such as the flagship products Grower TenKeep® and Grower SpheraTech®, which are among the latest innovations the company has launched into the market.

Together with its range, another distinctive feature of Growermetal is its completely in-house manufacturing system, which has enabled the company to improve its efficiency levels over the years. Thanks to the centralisation of resources, and the continuous investment in innovation and cutting-edge machines, today the Italian business can count on a production cycle that is conducted entirely at its headquarters.

“The management system facilitates the constant supervision of the parts and washers during the process, which is made of different steps and services – including tooling design and manufacturing, blanking and embossing, coining, steel wire rolling and surface finishing treatments, as well as treatments aimed at improving the characteristics and resistance of the products, such as heat treatment, zinc flake coating and mechanical zinc plating – the latter available both on Growermetal’s product line and to third parties,” explains Paolo.

This variety is further completed by quality control, as well as final packing and storage, ensuring full supervision and optimised handling of the washers. In fact, it is within the large automated warehouse that the third key element of Growermetal’s strategy can be found. “In a scenario of Just In Time production – focused on full customer satisfaction – ensuring a logistics system in-line with the requirements of a dynamic market is not only an advantage, but a necessity to create trusted relationships with partners,” states Paolo.

That is why for more than 10 years Growermetal’s fully automated warehouse has contributed to the moving of semi-finished and finished products, through its self-supporting structure with more than 11,000 storage locations, 1,500m2 of automated area and 17 storage levels. The service provided by the warehouse is implemented through the combination of automatic packaging lines, five laser guided vehicles (LGVs) and stacker cranes, which combined perform more than 150 combined cycles per hour.

With more than 4,000 products, and the support of an advanced Warehouse Management System (WMS), Growermetal’s warehouse has been organised to offer medium and long-term benefits. In fact, the company can provide greater efficiency in the movement of goods, without picking mistakes; the constant monitoring of the stock levels; and many other functions that guarantee the best service to the end customer. To further enhance the quality and efficiency of its solutions, Growermetal has also recently introduced a new automatic packaging machine, which allows easy handling of customers’ packaging and expands the possibility of customisation.

“We are a well established company in the fastener industry, however, we are aware that our sector is impacted by the rise of more and more demanding requirements and needs. This evolution brings new challenges, both from the technical and the organisational point of view. We must take into account all these aspects, so that we can drive the company towards a flexible and ever evolving approach. Digitalisation will also be essential in this path,” reports Paolo. 

Among the latest innovations introduced in the supply chain, Growermetal has invested resources to improve service traceability through the use of software aimed at precise control of single items and their management. These systems have helped not only to increase the accuracy and safety of the parts, but also to ensure immediate intervention and resolve malfunctions during production steps, minimising downtime. Active collaboration with the supply chain has also contributed to the creation of transparent relationships with suppliers in the selection of raw materials, aiding a reduction in the company’s ecological footprint through the adoption of innovative materials, such as low impact steel.

From the sustainable point of view, the adoption of cutting edge technology was a key aspect that has led to increasing the energy efficiency of the processes and environments involved. “As a company, we have to embrace change because it is the only way to improve and evolve. Of course, continually rethinking our business model may be challenging, but it is also extremely motivating,” concludes Paolo. “Technological innovation offers us a key to speeding up change, but a responsible, eco-sustainable, solution oriented attitude and transparent approaches are essential to move ourselves forward, anticipating the future and reducing our impact.”

Content Director

Will Lowry Content Director t: +44 (0) 1727 743 888


Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.

Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.