At a glance
- SONAFI provides automotive parts for Grupo VW, Valeo, Delphi, Renault and GM among others
- CEO, Pedro Cardoso says the initial Ecoline 66 reduced internal scrap by about 50%
- New order is for two new Ecoline S Pro 84 machines
After the initial purchase of an Ecoline 66, SONAFI, a Portuguese automotive parts manufacturer, has ordered two more. Pedro Cardoso, CEO at SONAFI, tells us that after nearly two years with his first machine he feels that Ecoline from Bühler offers him “reliable and efficient machines, for a fair price and good service”.
Founded in 1951 and located in the Porto area of Portugal, SONAFI is a private company employing 250 people, with a turnover of around €35 million. The company produces a wide range of automotive parts for export, including EGR valves and coolers, oil pump bodies, filter housings, camshaft bearings, cap bearings, and engine supports.
The SONAFI plant has 24 high pressure die casting cells. It produces about 16.5 million parts per year and has ambitious plans for growth.
Pedro Cardoso, CEO at SONAFI, tells us: “Our current growth project is to raise turnover up to €50M over the next five years, which will require a new factory.”
The first Ecoline 66 with 6,600 kN of locking force quickly proved its value.
“The Bühler history of building high-quality equipment has not disappointed. We’ve reduced internal scrap by about 50%, compared to the previous machine producing the same part. The Bühler machine is one of the most reliable in the factory. It clearly shows good efficiency in terms of OEE.”
Pedro Cardoso explains that while they focus on expansion, SONAFI also needs to meet changing customer demands:
“Global and European markets are still growing fast. Electric motors, hybrids, diesel and gasoline engines are all changing. Customers are asking for more and more complex parts, with tighter tolerances and cleaning criteria.”
The performance and flexibility of the Ecoline 66 has given Pedro Cardoso the confidence he needed to order two more machines. This time he has opted for two Ecoline S Pro 84 with 8,400 kN of locking force.
Sonafi was founded in 1951 and initially produced hardware for building (hinges, locks, etc.). In the early 1980s, with the project to install Renault in Portugal, SONAFI was chosen as a partner. It was the first adventure of SONAFI in the automotive market which represents 100% of today's business.
Since 2010 SONAFI has been strongly investing, especially in machining, and is currently in the stage of upgrading the foundry. This upgrade started this year with the acquisition of two Bühler Ecoline S Pro 84.
Today SONAFI is a private company, with Portuguese capital, employing around 250 people. Located in the Porto area, it’s few minutes away from the Francisco Sá Carneiro airport. With a sales volume of around € 35 million, it exports all its production to the automotive sector. Products include EGR valves and coolers, oil pump bodies, filter housings, camshaft bearings, cap bearings, engine supports, etc. for customers like Grupo VW, Valeo, Delphi, Renault or GM. Currently the plant has 24 die casting machines with capacities from 320 up to 1,400 tons of locking force.