ASA PEOPLE: Andrea Dugato, 18 years between design and… running


“In recent years, ASA has changed significantly, demonstrating great flexibility and an objective ability to evolve in terms of organization, documentation, communication, and synchronization between departments. Aspects that are not always taken into consideration, but that I believe are fundamental for creating a good product capable of satisfying the customer. All this was made possible by the contribution of brave people who shared visions and prospects. For the good of all, individualism must be overcome: only this, sometimes, generates real change.”

Tracing the evolution of the company over the years is engineer Andrea Dugato, Head of the Engineering Department, who recently reached the milestone of professional adulthood in ASA. Eighteen years of challenges and new projects, difficulties and goals achieved, investments in technology, research, innovation, but above all in training, because for ASA, resources remain the true corporate capital, an invaluable wealth of skills and sensitivity.

“Undoubtedly, training, both internal and external, is a cornerstone in ASA, but the real strength of the company is the ability to provide and make available multiple meeting spaces, where people can share ideas and information, as well as stay in touch developing relationships, exchanging opinions, and, perhaps, discovering shared hobbies.”

Like running for example, an activity that for you is much more than a sport, so much so that you made it an evaluation point even before accepting ASA’s opportunity.
In my approach to life, dedicating the lunch break to running is not just a habit to keep in shape, but an infusion of well-being for body and spirit: I do not hide the fact that I also evaluated this aspect before accepting the offer that was made to me, 18 years ago. The company has shown great sensitivity in this direction, so much so that in the new headquarters there are changing rooms and showers.

The world of lasers was your destiny...
Before joining ASA, I worked in a laser marker manufacturing company that was going through a difficult time. The prospects for the future were rather shaky, so I decided to put myself out there and posted an announcement. Beyond my wildest expectations, I was quickly contacted for an interview. Coming from a company that built lasers, I could not believe that I could have a professional chance in a similar company but in the medical field. But fate would have it so.

But fatalism does not influence your activity, where nothing can be left to chance. This is confirmed by the first FDA inspection for the company in 2016.
It is undoubtedly one of the key moments of my professional career in ASA. To face that test, the whole company lived in a sort of ‘bubble’, which however allowed us to become an even more cohesive team. We spent an August preparing for any eventuality, despite having no idea what awaited us: in the end everything went well and the feeling that remained was one of great satisfaction and unity.

Being a team is one of the goals that the company has always pursued. When you started working at ASA, what was your goal?
My goal has always been to acquire competence in every branch of knowledge I come into contact with, primarily in professional terms. I believe that only in this way is it possible not only to have added value for oneself, but also for the people one collaborates with. To interact effectively you must speak the same language: only in this way can you have a full understanding and reduced times.
In these 18 years I have had the opportunity to fill several different roles and from each I have drawn elements that have proved to be useful to cover my current position.

How has the profession of Engineer changed in the last twenty years?
It has undoubtedly changed, thanks to two key factors: the circulation speed of information and its availability. Being always up-to-date is a must, while being able to convey and structure information so that it can be used in the most effective way possible is the real challenge.

Have “technological evolution and “legislative evolutionhad an impact in this direction?
Their impact is significant as far as our business is concerned: while technological evolution allows us to aspire to great goals, the legislative one necessarily binds us. We are indeed called upon to respond to an ever-increasing number of requests and details, which are however functional to ensure the safety and reliability of the device.
You create a successful product when you manage to find the right combination between these two worlds.

Two worlds that must also align with a third, the regulatory one...
The impact of the regulatory universe is objective, tangible, and considerable, especially in the design phase: a project cannot begin unless all aspects have been evaluated first. There are no shortcuts for anyone, but we know that by considering the regulations themselves as project requirements, subsequent interventions will be minimal. A non-trivial advantage in terms of waste.

If the reduction of waste is part of a company strategy that has long been devoted to Lean thinking, the same cannot be said of the effects linked to the long wave of the pandemic and the war, which have mixed up the cards on the global table. How is ASA approaching this complex socio-economic moment?
Pandemic, increases in raw material prices, difficulties in finding and receiving materials, and delays in transport are just some of the critical issues that companies have had to face in recent years. At ASA, this constant paradigm change has led to having to constantly chase the electronic components market (and not just that), looking for alternatives in a very short time so as not to delay or stop production. We are succeeding, as the results confirm.

Results that pave the way for new projects. To allow the company to grow both in terms of products/therapies and their diffusion, what are the next steps?
I believe that the collection and analysis of data from application fields and available technology is crucial in providing us with guidelines and development horizons of strategic importance in the medium/long term.
For this reason, the creation of a specific department is, and will be, of fundamental importance: ASA has always invested in Research and Development, but this further effort will allow us to develop increasingly innovative products, thus opening up new doors for us.

It would be a new project to accompany you through your next years in ASA. Do you have more in the oven?
Rather than a project, in the oven I have an ideal: to be able to make time-to-market fluid and fast, passing from conception to distribution on the market in the fastest and most effective way possible.

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