TM was founded in 2000 in Bologna by Roberto Baruffato and Tiziana Mazza (hence the company name), who decided to set up their own business producing dispensing systems for the industrial and pharmaceutical-cosmetic sectors. It was a gamble, and they were joined by their sons Luca and Simone, who are carrying on with this family project. The three men of the family told us about TM’s history and spirit: a company which knows how to ride the wave of the market well.
It was 2000 when TM srl, a company focused on fluid dispensing solutions, was founded in San Lazzaro di Savena, near Bologna. Its business is divided into two lines, industrial and pharmaceutical-cosmetic. Gradually, the company grew from four people to more than twenty, founders and employees included; today it supplies many important companies, both in Italy and worldwide, with components, systems and machines for dispensing liquids and viscous fluids. They define themselves as a ‘dispensing boutique’: every job is meticulously conceived and studied according to the customer’s needs, and each product is constantly improved as the company’s know-how expands. My wife Tiziana Mazza and I,” Roberto Baruffato, founder of TM,explained, “wanted to create a company which we would gradually hand over to our two sons, Simone and Luca. We had previous experience, we had always worked in the world of mechanics and automation since the 1970s, but the challenge was to present a totally new brand to the market”. Thanks to word of mouth, TM has managed to make itself known and enter more and more companies, both end-users and system integrators, becoming their reference point for dispensing systems and solutions. “Right from the start,” Roberto Baruffato continued, “customers presented us with problems which our competitors avoided tackling; we got involved, addressed the difficulties and in almost all cases overcame them. This approach brings us two benefits: firstly, it reinforces trust in us; secondly, it adds to our production and know-how. Each time we solve a problem for a customer, we optimise and improve our products according to the customer’s needs; then the renewed product is industrialised and made available to the market. In short, in these 20 years we have been taking small steps day by day, modifying our components, integrating, optimising and adding”.
Keeping constantly abreast of changes
It can be said, therefore, that TM is based on standard components which, from time to time, are modified and improved, or built like a jigsaw puzzle, depending on customer requirements, the reference market and external influences. “Our family,” Roberto Baruffato continued, “has done nothing but invest in technology over the last 20 years: the company’s mission has always been to continually produce technological innovations, doing what others do not want, or are not able, to do”. TM pays close attention to market trends, and is always ready to adapt quickly to the demands and needs of the moment. The products it supplies have to keep up with the technologies its customers use or produce. “Our plants and machines,” Simone Baruffato explained, “work on sectors which are developing rapidly, such as electric mobility. Since the endothermic engine is destined to be discontinued, automotive companies are diverting their production and investments towards electric motors and everything around them, such as higher-performance components with low current consumption. TM, of course, has adapted its plants to this new need, providing not only the product but also advice: we help our customers to achieve their production goals, whatever they may be”. We are talking about a small company, but one that manages to keep abreast of the changes ‘imposed’ by the big players in the industry, without getting discouraged. “TM is a small-sized company,” Roberto Baruffato explained, “we are not able to drive the market, but we can ride its wave, seizing all opportunities. We grow as the market evolves, expanding our knowledge and our product portfolio”. “In 2022 we can claim a significant technological heritage,” Simone Baruffato added, “so today we can focus on investments of a different kind, on the commercial structure and on personnel. The problem of all manufacturing companies, in this historical period, is to produce as fast as possible, because customers want everything and immediately: to do this, however, you need more qualified personnel”.
Projects for the future
TM, too, has unfortunately noticed the gap between school and the job market: it is not easy to find young people who are familiar with the latest technologies, because during their studies they have practised on very obsolete tools and machinery. “ Over the past 20 years,” Luca Baruffato explained, “there has been an impoverishment of technical figures: we struggle to find qualified people and we are happy to host internships and training sessions at our company. I believe that one of the reasons for the shortage of qualified personnel is that, for many years, families pushed their children to attend high schools, which were considered more prestigious than technical institutes, thus depriving them of people and funds. Today, things are changing: technical upper secondary schools are enrolling more students. We are ‘hungry’ for young resources, we want to invest in them”. Despite the difficulties, TM has many projects in the works, some of which will be presented at upcoming trade fairs and for which patents will be filed. “Today,” Roberto Baruffato concluded, “it is strange to think that in the beginning companies considered us ‘the last resort’, they only came to us when no one else was able to help them. Now, however, we can say that we are one of the most important Italian companies in the dispensing sector. Seeing Simone and Luca participating actively and enthusiastically in this project has allowed us to accelerate more and more over time. After 20 years of work, I am certain that founding TM was the right choice”.