Our history

Who we are

The warehouse as a brain
history of Automha by its founder

 

sandro-togni

I started working at 15. I remember my first day at work, 14 September 1966, and my father taking me to a large factory, OTE (Officine Trasformatori Elettrici).
My job: shop-floor worker. At night, at the end of the shift, I did not go home. I used to ride my bike in the opposite direction, to evening classes.
In 1972 I became a licensed electrician. I asked the management for an interview. I wanted to change roles, from assembly worker to designer. I was very committed, I knew everything about our products and had a few ideas on how to improve them. They said yes, and I became a designer. My work was going well, but I felt an urge to go further, and do something of my own.

In 1978 I left the factory. I wanted to do my own thing. I studied the market in the field for one year, working as a material handling rep. Then I started my own transport-warehousing business with an associate: Trasma. It was based in an 18 m² garage. I used to open the shutter and look at our store window, with a self-made sign. Inside there were a partition wall and two desks: the marketing department and the technical department. We designed storage and transport systems, but only to order, to the customer’s requirements, and we outsourced the manufacturing stage. However, our goal was to manufacture the equipment in-house.

Two years later we moved into a genuine workshop, and we started production. The period between 1994 and 1997 was a time of metamorphosis, a transition. I took over my partner’s share, and Trasma became Automha. Difficult years with strategic decisions immediately followed. With me was Walter Danne: he’s the tech guy, the creative mind, the deus ex machina behind all our innovations. He was in charge of R&D and together we began to understand that the market needed new solutions. We increased our internal background knowledge, engineering, software. We invested in personnel and outsourced the mechanical processing stage. In 1998 we were well on our way to the automated warehouse.

Starting from semi-automatic storage, we got to the fully automated warehouse concept. The idea of picking up a pallet without the need for a human operator became our challenge. We invested a great deal in this project, with the first prototypes coming in 2002. In 2010 we rolled out the new evolution, a leap forward, a battery-less solution, with a super capacitor that could load the shuttle in a few seconds, each time. All the technology we had developed over the years became our strength, the reason for our growth. Our solution was given the honorable mention at the International Golden Compass Awards for design, and Cerved cited us “Company to watch of the year”.

It is now almost 50 years since my first day at work at OTE, which has now fallen into disuse. For 15 year old boys and girls it is an excellent backdrop for rock concerts. For me, it was the factory where I did my apprenticeship, where I was trained. It was not only about work. It was about values. I am referring to responsibility, commitment, and bringing projects forward without complaining about the problems.

almawareOur history