Emmequattro was founded in 1977, becoming over the years a point of reference in the design and construction of drive axles, power transmission systems, reducers and speed reducers for special vehicles.

Interview with Marco Bertolina, CEO of Emmequattro srl.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Marco Bertolina: In 2021 the ownership changes following the purchase of 100% by a club deal

Following the transaction, Marco Bertolina was appointed Chief Executive Officer.

A manager with experience in innovative manufacturing companies, in which he has achieved excellent results in previous years, Marco Bertolina has the task in Emmequattro of making the company grow and become a reference player for the sector.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

M.B: EMMEQUATTRO designs and manufactures drive axles and gearboxes since 1977. The production’s process starts with the design of products and its components. We have a bench test that, simulating extremely hard usage conditions, allows us to test the conformity and durability of our products before the sale.

Each component is machined in our factory, using an efficient and modern fleet of machines that counts on vertical lathes with automatic workpiece changeover, gear shaper machines and machining centers.

Since 1997, we are certified by a third-party autonomous, independent Agency. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

M.B: Emmequattro is a company with a strong predisposition to green and this also emerges from the fact that the axles are mostly already used on electric motors.

All new projects and research and development activities are aimed at electric vehicles.

We have already faced the electric challenge for some years to support our customers in this green innovation process by designing specific drive axles for electric vehicles

We have also modified the traditional drive axles which, thanks to specific interfaces, can be used in both solutions. All this allows us to have such high compatibility that in some cases it is the customer himself who decides, based on his own production flows, whether to use our drive axles on an electric or traditional vehicle.

Currently 30% of our products are already used on vehicles with electric motors and all our new projects are aimed at electric vehicle applications.

At the moment we have about ten prototypes at our main customers, developed in co-design for their specific applications and they are all prototypes undergoing homologation on electric vehicles.

Let’s assume we arrive at the end of 2024 with an alignment between the engines, therefore, with the use of our drive axles for 50% on electric vehicles.

For the following years, we all expect a reversal of the percentages between electric and termic motors, and as I said, our research and development and design efforts are directed towards electric vehicles

We want to create innovative products with low environmental impact.

I have prepared an important investment plan aimed at new technologies. Additive manufacturing, prototyping and digital twins must become the tools for our growth.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

M.B: The types of vehicles they integrate Emmequattro solutions are different but have in common the off-highway solution.

Vehicles that can’t circulate on the highway, usually used for work and characterized by the reduced tonnage: sweepers, refuse trucks, dump trucks, loaders, airport tractors, minibuses.

We have 3 categories of products

Slow axles

With the term “slow axles” we define those axles which can equip working vehicles, i.e. all vehicles used in agricultural field or building sites with permitted load ranging from 1, 5 up to 6, 5 tons with a speed not higher than 50/60 km/h. All these axles are available both in rigid  and steering versions. For higher reduction ratios the axle is supplied coupled to a gearbox with grinded-tooth-profile gears, able to ensure low noise levels and for this reason suitable for electric applications. Steering axles are provided with steering drive kits, made by a double effect cylinder, axial and radial joints. Each axle can be equipped with an input parking brake, disc or drum brakes and service brakes suitable for required brake capacity, in disc, drum or oil-immersed versions for heavier usages. For all versions a 100% differential lock system controlled by a lever or interlocked by all system is available. A self-locking system with a high locking coefficient up to 60 % is also available.

Fast Axles

The hypoid bevel gear, more silent and able to transmit higher torque, is the distinctive feature of the axle series M4P-450, M4P-3500, M4P-4000, also defined as “ fast vehicle transaxles”. High braking efficiency is the second feature of these axles, which were design to equip road vehicles with speed up to 120 km/h and with load range from 2 up to 4 tons. They are available in both rigid and steering versions. High-required optional are 100% differential mechanical locking system operated hydraulically or pneumatically. All configurations are available with disc brake or highly efficient self-ventilating disc brake, prearranged for the installation of an ABS control. Tracks on request.

Electric parallel transaxles

The parallel axles range is particularly suitable for the production of compact electric vehicles; it is the first response to the needs of a society that is looking towards the future: the reduction of harmful emissions, energy conservation, use of eco-friendly and recyclable products. The range currently includes 2 axle models. Company’s policy is constantly driven by customer satisfaction. A number of different configurations are available for each model making the product versatile and adaptable to any application. Particular attention was paid to sizing criteria of each component to ensure high levels of reliability and safety, even when used in harsh conditions. The efficiencies of the axles reach 90%, with noise emissions below the limits for indoor and/or night-time operations.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

M.B: The market in which we operate is a constantly evolving global market.

It is a consolidated market for solutions with thermal and hydraulic motors, but it is also a market in full swing for everything related to the electric motor and its future applications.

Europe is our main market and all our customers’ projects go towards green products.

Today we export 70% of our turnover especially in Europe but with interesting openings towards new markets in the USA and South America

This allows us to make the most of our innovative soul and develop new projects.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

M.B: The market moves very quickly based on different factors that make up a puzzle of events that are difficult to manage

Demand for special industrial vehicles including trucks and buses has increased in line with economic growth and expansion of manufacturing activities. As a result, the market for commercial vehicle drive axles has grown.

In parallel, increased attention to fuel efficiency: and environmental regulations become stricter, has led to an increased emphasis on improving fuel efficiency in vehicles. Drive axles play a crucial role in achieving better fuel economy which is why we are working to develop more efficient designs.

We have partnered with industrial vehicle OEMs and technology companies to develop innovative solutions and remain competitive on the market

All this by focusing on sustainable production processes and end-of-life solutions for products.

As a leading drive axle manufacturer, we are exploring green materials and recycling programs to align with sustainability goals.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

M.B: Emmequattro’s innovative products are essential to meet the growing needs of our customers in energy efficiency, sustainability and performance in all industrial sectors.

Special attention is paid to parallel axles transmissions; this technology integrates the electric motor parallel to the transmission axles.

It is used to transfer power from a motor to the wheelset by keeping the input axles and output axles parallel to each other.

Parallel axles drives are designed with a relatively simple layout, which contributes to greater reliability and ease of maintenance. Because the input and output mechanical axles are parallel, the layout is relatively compact.

Parallel axles drives tend to have less power loss than 90° axles drives. This means that more power generated by the engine is transferred to the powertrain and ultimately to the wheels

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

M.B: The acquisition of Emmequattro was an operation carried out with the aim of introducing new energies and setting an important growth line for the next few years.

The first activity of Marco Bertolina new CEO of Emmequattro was the reorganization of production obtained thanks to the high skills of all the worker and by introducing new resources into the production departments.

It was necessary to review the organization of production and warehouses to obtain better production results and carry out an important marketing and sales activity with customers.

This made it possible to close the first half of 2023 with a positive result in line with investor expectations.

It is difficult to make a comparison with the first half of last year since the surrounding conditions have changed, anyway, the first half of 2023 closed with a + 35% compared to last year.

Looking at the end of the year, we already have an order portfolio that covers the company’s production capacity, thanks to an important commercial activity that we started after the acquisition.

It is expected to close the year with a turnover of more than 10 million euros, which would mean +15% compared to 2022 and even +33% compared to 2021.

We assume an increase in orders also in the second half of 2023. This means an increase in personnel and the need to make investments in robots and automation in the short term.