The company was set up in May 1990 by Fabio Buscato and Mario Biancolin who had taken over and revived a company previously operating in the same field. This objective was also reached thanks to the laser tube that made production set to "lot 1" flexible.
Lots consisting of 15 identical doors are no longer manufactured, but only a single door is manufactured as a single piece according to a lean manufacturing model.
"We have been operating in this field since 1984" says Fabio Buscato.
"As a result, We have almost thirty years of experience and this has enabled us to make Oikos (the name comes from a Greek customer, the meaning of which we learned only afterwards) a worldwide leading company thanks to a quality product in line with the most advanced and current market demands. As soon as we took over the company, we focused on the construction details of our products and tried to be more present on the market. We implemented a double strategy: a technical action to improve the product; a commercial action to extend our presence on the market that at the beginning was exclusively Italian (until 1997-98) to open up first to Europe and later to eastern Europe."
Over the last ten years, or rather since the year 2000 onwards, the security door has undergone a design evolution, from a security product to a design element. "Previously - explains Buscato - the security door, being an apartment entry door, had to "communicate" with the other internal doors; today, its image has changed and it has become a design element that must "communicate" and match with the furnishing. As a result, those who are able to propose aesthetical solutions matching the interior furnishing market design trends with the basic function of a security door are winners. Today our company is renowned for this ability on the market - especially on the foreign market - and it is considered as the enterprise that is most tuned in on interior furnishing trends. Presently, 30% of the production is exported but the percentage is growing exponentially. On foreign markets we sell the product not so much as security product, but more as a furnishing and design component. We commercialise our products in the United States, Africa, Senegal, Nigeria, South America, Spain, Israel, Greece, China and Germany. The only market that considers the security concept as fundamental, is that of the Eastern countries."
"In Italy - specifies Buscato - we are organised with a network of retailers operating in the field of doors and windows while abroad retailers are interior designers, as previously stated. They are high-level interior designers, all working with the same brands.
Oikos started off with a craft made production cycle where no special attention was paid to the precision of what was a security door and not a mechanical component. However, this operating method involved some problems during installation that were regularly solved by the blacksmith or by the product installer. "The important evolution took place when we decided to modify the door frame that used to be manufactured at the bending press with an open profile and wide tolerances (0.4 - 0.5 mm)" continues Buscato. "Then, we decided to use a closed profile that featured a definitely better accuracy (0.1 mm); consequently, the machining accuracy and the higher rigidity made installations easier and improved the overall quality of the end product. This change marked the actual passage to an industrial production cycle. It was during this phase that the laser system was adopted by our company. Switching to a closed profile with the previous manual machining operations would guarantee a higher rigidity, but would not assure the accuracy that has now enabled us to simplify installations considerably. The choice of an ADIGE LT722D Lasertube by the BLM Group has proved winning, although at the beginning the problems related to the cost and startup of such a large plant frightened us. However, we are reaping the benefits, particularly as regards the easier installation on site. Today, even a person without experience is able to install a security door manufactured by us just by following the instructions".
The LT722D laser has offered a cost saving advantage thanks to time reduction, but the major advantage consists in obtaining the so long awaited "lot 1" concept. Oikos no longer deals with multiple lots, but only with single doors that are tailor-made with customised measures, holes and machining operations. "We no longer need to assemble products in lots - explains Buscato - but enter in the production program a single door that is manufactured as a single piece based on a lean manufacturing model. The laser enables us to obtain a very short production process. The frame is manufactured in 15 minutes; there is no need for bending, drilling,
In conclusion, the main advantages introduced by the LT722D system are the following: machining accuracy and the manufacture of one finished piece in only one passage without requiring additional processing. The accuracy repeatability guaranteed by the industrial process allows a considerable saving during other process phases. Assembly and installation problems on site are virtually eliminated and the same frame concept is becoming standard for all products. This is because the profile being used for the frame has been developed to exploit at the best the laser tube system that offers a wide range of possibilities.
"Since January we have been trying to launch the product in the production phase in the morning and have it loaded onto trucks within 24 hours", states Buscato. We have not yet reached that result, since the bottleneck is caused by wood panel working in the joinery, but we are solving the problem thanks to a rapid paint that allows us to process the panel today and install it the next day. Laser and paint are two elements that have allowed to optimise the production cycle."
The relationship with BLM has been ongoing for a long time: "When we started the project - Buscato explains - BLM actively collaborated to obtain a good result. It certainly is a rather heavy machine to handle. We want to be sure before giving any guarantee regarding the possibility of reaching a certain result. However, we appreciate anyone who has a serious behaviour and is able to give a pondered response and to maintain it. We were not enticed by the low price and we privileged the result instead. Price is always an essential feature, but first of all the machine to be purchased must meet the demands of the customers, which is more important than price. Another fundamental aspect is the guarantee of a follow-up service, the machines being rather complex and thus requiring an appropriate technical assistance: BLM has deserved full marks from this point of view."
"Thinking about the future - Biancolin concludes - foreign markets will become increasingly important for our product, in which over a period of five years the average price of a door has virtually doubled. We are increasingly oriented towards a high-end market that requires a product with an increasing added value as regards design.
In this view, the high flexibility assured by the Lasertube is very important with reference to a single product. Those who are still tied down to high figures today must cope with heavy losses. Moreover, it is necessary to be flexible when producing, but also to meet the new standards and requirements of the building and furniture sectors. For example, nowadays, thermal insulation is strongly felt with the "clima-haus" standard of the province of Bolzano or Trento that is developing in accordance with the American LEED standard. Therefore, our doors as well must be environment-friendly to leave future generations with the same resources that we received.
What does it have to do with doors? The simple fact of using coverings with a 15-year guarantee does not require any replacement and assures a certain thermal insulation. These are services offered in addition to security and are added values that guarantee the future success of the product."