Brevini Power Transmissions began in 1960 in Reggio Emilia, Italy, by the three Brevini brothers—Lucciano, Renato, and Corrado. In 1964, Renato engineered, produced, and successfully tested his first gearbox. This development would later propel the three brothers into the planetary gear business.
The 1980s were a time of growth for Brevini. Following the death of their brother Luciano, Corrado and Renato set the company on a strategic growth path based on delivering high quality products globally. The Brevini Group launched in 1987 and with that came the plan to transition from the company’s longtime practice of exporting and selling Italian-made products abroad toward complete globalization.
“The Brevini Group’s growth over the years has primarily come from the original business unit, Brevini Power Transmission,” said Chad Torn, director of sales and marketing at Brevini Gear Systems.. “They design and manufacture a standard product line of both planetary and parallel shaft gearboxes for different markets and applications.”
In 2008, Brevini launched Brevini Wind with the intent of producing main wind turbine gearboxes. Brevini Wind opened its manufacturing headquarters in March of 2010 in Yorktown, Indiana as Brevini Wind USA.
“However, as everyone knows, the wind industry kind of fell flat, Torn said. “Without the government subsidies, the business wasn’t taking off like it was originally anticipated to. So, the Brevini business strategy changed. Brevini Wind USA is now doing business as Brevini Gear Systems—a custom gear and gearbox manufacturer.”
Today, the focus at Brevini Gear Systems is manufacturing mid- to large-precision custom gears and gearboxes.
“We are a custom gear manufacturer, similar to some of the larger custom gear manufacturers that people are more familiar with,” Torn said. “We manufacture to customer prints and specifications. That said, we have design assistance and reverse engineering that we use to improve customer gear performance, provide rebuild and repair services, or provide custom replacement parts.”
Unlike some of its competitors who have been involved in custom gear manufacturing for close to a century or more, Brevini Gear only has a few years under its belt.
“Brevini Gear Systems needs to become a familiar name within the industry,” Torn said. “We’re not well known in the industry. Part of our struggle is that our legal corporate name—Brevini Wind USA—can cause people to think that we’re focused on the wind industry, which we still participate in—but our intent is to win customers in the custom gear and gearbox market,” Torn said. “That’s where we’ve focused our efforts for the past couple of years.”
Larger companies may have larger workforces, smaller companies may have the appeal of family-run business, Brevini Gear Systems has the best of both worlds.
“Our manufacturing facility is in Yorktown, Indiana where we employ roughly 50 people.” Torn said. “Overall, the Brevini Group employs roughly 2,300 people and has locations in 27 countries, including another business unit’s facility in the United States called Brevini USA. We have the appeal of a small company with the resources of a much larger company. Being owned by the Brevini Group really helps us in terms of implementing industry best practices like lean, six sigma, and kaizen. Brevini Gear Systems is a custom gear and gearbox manufacturer. That’s all we do.
“Also, since we’re a smaller company compared to our larger competitors, our communication needs to be on point. We need to and do let the customer know where the project stands. If we’re going to be late, we’re very transparent and upfront before it’s going to ship. Our quality really separates us from our competition, as well.
We manufacture larger gears than many of our competitors and we do complete documentation. A lot of companies typically only check one piece per production run. We check and report on every piece. Quality and traceability are paramount for our customers. We don’t want to ship a part and have a failure in the field. Not only would that be doing the customer a huge disservice, but it could also ruin our reputation and could push us out of this market.”
However, with Brevini Gear being a smaller operation than its competitors, that’s not to say that they’re not a contender in the custom gearbox manufacturing market.
“We can manufacture complete gearboxes” Torn said. “Our capabilities don’t end just at manufacturing the gear. We currently do complete assembly, and we can test the gearboxes, which is a unique capability. We have a 6.4 MW test stand that we test the complete gearbox system at full rated power.
“We work with the OEMs in a lot of different markets but our main industries are petroleum, mining, and industrial equipment. We serve many other markets including wind, construction, transportation, locomotive, high-speed gearing, food processing, aerospace, agriculture, and marine application industries. We’re a precision manufacturer. We manufacture high quality and precision parts that many applications require to limit noise, vibration, or just to extend gear train life. We can handle virtually any high precision spur or helical gear as long as it’s within our equipment’s size capabilities.”
In addition to its testing capabilities, manufacture of high precision parts, and large-company appeal at a small-company location, Brevini Gear also understands the old adage of time being money. And in this industry, the sooner a quote can get back to the customer, the sooner that company or individual can make a profit off of the custom-made part.
“What sets our company apart from these other custom gear manufacturers is that beyond our reliability and quality commitments, we turn quotes around really quick—typically within two days unless it’s a complex quote package or is the material isn’t readily available,” Torn said. “Customers want to develop a relationship with us because we don’t typically just quote a project. We’ll send back a quote package with a gant chart and a process flow. So, we put a lot of effort in the quoting position. We want to show the customer that we’re not just quoting this part to earn the business. We want a relationship with that customer. We’re quoting it because it fits our capabilities and expertise well. So, if we quote 10 weeks in our process flow and gant chart, we’re going to show you step by step each process that’s going to take X amount of time. We put more emphasis in the upfront work.”
At the end of the day, when a company is looking for a custom gear manufacturer to cater to its specific needs and get its parts on time, Brevini Gear should be a name that comes to mind.
“We are a reliable, reputable, quality-conscious company that can deliver your precision components on time and to print,” Torn said. “We’re a company looking to grow. However, we don’t have the 100 years of experience like a lot of these companies have and go to market with. Brevini Gear has only been around for four years, but is part of a larger organization with a long history of quality and customer satisfaction. We work with the large OEMs in this market, and they’re happy with our capabilities and our performance.”