alf dafrè heritage and future vision: designboom factory visit
 

alf dafrè heritage and future vision: designboom factory visit

in the early 1950’s, a group of artisan woodworkers, with a wealth of experience and skill behind them, decided to come together to form a cooperative in francenigo (treviso, italy). after a few years, the initial team had become an important industrial presence in the sector, generating an interest in the piovesana brothers to take over the whole company and invest in new resources. the results were visible very soon as alf began expanding in the early 1960’s, thanks to its ability to distinguish itself through its bedroom furniture design and creation sector. the following decades saw an increasingly fast-paced market development, a desire to meet the needs of its customers and an increased production that never sacrificed the made-in-italy quality.

today, the alf group holds an important position in the furniture market, thanks to its ability to offer solutions for the living area, bedroom and kitchen, as well as turnkey contract solutions, providing cutting-edge services with flexibility and timing. following the brand’s presentations at salone del mobile 2017designboom visited alf dafrè’s factory and spoke with maria cristina piovesana — president of the company — in sacile, italy to learn more about this group that doesn’t forget its heritage while prioritizing innovation. 

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
alf dafrè’s production facility is located in the treviso area in north-east italy
image courtesy alf dafrè

 

 

located in north-east italy, alf dafrè’s 100,000 square meter space of production facility gives an idea of the physical size of the company, where family tradition and human values are considered the true company heritage. 350 employees carefully craft every piece of furniture out of decades of experience, specialized in all aspects of living. these include bed units, beds, tables, chairs, sideboards, wardrobes, and kitchens among others. thanks to the use of technology and the professionalism of its workers, the alf group guarantees the productivity and flexibility of the company, as well as the processing techniques and customization options that come from its artisan origins.

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
the factory is comprised of around 100,000 square meters
image courtesy alf dafrè

 

 

alf dafrè’s production cycle takes place across the three company facilities in the treviso area. this allows for full coordination of each state of the work, from design to production and logistics. the operating units are organized in a way that guarantees the best quality finished products, implementing a working method that brings together artisan skill and technological innovation. even the sales offices take full advantage of the possibilities offered by the most recent IT technology, through a network that assures fast and reliable deliveries.

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
‘sistema uno’ is the result of a challenge the alf group set itself to standardize and organize the production
image courtesy alf dafrè

 

 

in order to optimize the resources available, the company has created the ‘sistema uno’ production system, standardizing and organizing its increasingly diversified production. this benefits alf dafrè as it results in better order management, made-to-order production, streamlined logistics and technical innovation. as for the customers, they get greater choice of models, finishes and sizes, high quality processing, and definitive timescales.

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
cristina and piero piovesana have, since their childhood, lived in their father oliviero’s company, treating it as their second home. flavio da frè, cristina’s husband, is also from a furniture- making family
image courtesy alf dafrè

 

 

the strength of the alf group is in its ability to work with multiple spaces, styles and living arrangements, from the living room to the bedroom and to the kitchen, sharing the same global approach and attention to every detail and requirement. the versatility and conceptual breadth of alf dafrè can also be seen in its ability to interpret the increasingly varied design trends, with an authentic project culture and a creative talent that makes the difference.

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
edge banding line and automated return
image © designboom

 

 

in addition to being one of the largest companies in the italian market, alf drafrè is active in all of the main international markets and continues to expand its presence around 91 countries. every product created by the company showcases a way of interpreting quality as an artisan passion for wood, which blends with design and technological know-how that is constantly being renewed.

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
350 employees carefully craft every piece of furniture out of decades of experience
image © designboom


thanks to technology, alf dafrè has many processes done by machines
image © designboom

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
automated panel warehouse
image © designboom

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
automated edge feeder
image © designboom

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
edge feeder detail
image © designboom

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
cutting centre for sectioning semi-finished products
image © designboom

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
automated panel warehouse
image © designboom

alf dafrè factory visit treviso italy designboom
details of the automated warehouse
image © designboom

 

a few figures:

containers / year: 1.400

trucks / year: 600

metres: 3.500.000 perimeter of panels that are squared off

parts: 1.000.000 parts drilled per year

painted m2: 450.000 painted panels (cutting batch)

painted m2: 170.000 painted panels JTS (just in time)

cartons / year: 175.000 assembly of MTS (made to stock) cartons

cartons / year: 180.000 MTO (made to order) cartons

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