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      04-12-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
Paul@Evolve
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Arrow A visit to the Supersprint Exhaust Factory

A visit to the Supersprint Exhaust Factory

Supersprint-Evolve took a visit to the Supersprint exhaust factory last week and we thought we would document our trip to fellow enthusiasts to show the pure scale and heritage of one of the most famous exhaust manufacturers out there.

Arrival
Arriving at Verona airport, the factory is half an hour away in a town called Mantova, itself is a beautiful classic Italian town complete with picturesque cobbled streets. We were picked up by one of the owners and taken to the factory. This is a flat and industrial land and before we knew it we were at the offices and the electric gate opened to our first view of this great company. We were told the ISO standards team were there at the same time as us, so although a few key people will have to disappear from time to time, it shouldn’t impact our visit too much (they subsequently passed with flying colors).

Supersprint Factory


Images clockwise from top:
1. Employee offices for marketing and development. 2. ‘House of exhaust’ - customer fitting building. 3. Exterior from the ‘Bending’ building down. 4 & 5: 70’s images of the same offices.





We arrive at the factory and the first thing you notice is the sheer scale of the place. The electric gates open to 7 large factory buildings facing the road. And when I say large, I mean huge. I’ve seen other exhaust manufacturer buildings which range from house size to a reasonably sized single factory, each not equaling one of these industrial factories buildings.

We are greeted warmly by all the staff and owners and you are instantly hit with the understanding of how family orientated the company is. Everyone is incredibly close, they all meet outside of work for lunch or dinner and know each others families. Its as close knit as I’ve experienced in such a large company.

Dyno and Development



This, to us at least, was probably the most interesting area of the tour. Built in 3 parts - the dyno center, the development and fitting area, and the office.

Firstly, the office. We were shown to an area of cabinets of which one was opened for us. In it, I saw hundreds of folders. Each one perfectly categorized and tagged with a vehicle name. I pulled out a random folder and looked through the contents - in it were pages of notes, detailed schematics, TUV certification documents and images of the part fitted.... every piece of information you can think of, on every single item, of every single car... dating back over 50 years! Looking at the older cabinets brought up some very rare Ferrari, classic Porsche and BMW. Amazing to see.

Outside this is the development area. There are a few lift areas allowing the head technicians to create their test pieces on development cars. There are also a few welding stations. So the techs build the piece, test fit it, then roll it out to the dyno for testing.

The dyno itself is a MAHA 4x4 dynamometer. A gigantic fan with a custom shroud, as well as their in-house developed water spray system at the front, spraying tap water into the front grill for consisten results. There are also several others on the side of the room as well as hand blowers for Porsches.

It becomes obvious very quickly that, although these guys have more experience and knowledge than anyone I’ve met when it comes to exhausts, they still have a passion to learn and still experiment heavily. You see groups of similar test headers of varying lengths and diameters for so many vehicles - I was told they knew they wouldn’t work but wanted to keep testing - they love what they do and still ‘have a play’ from time to time.
Area 1 - Steel Storage



Out front the steel is stacked high. Supersprint only use the highest quality European stainless steel and various grades depending on the application.

Area 2 - Jig Storage


Images clockwise from top:
1. Row upon row of Jigs at the rear of the Construction buildings. 2-4. Shielded storage area. 5. Interior storage area for the more commonly used jigs. 6-8: Jigs galore!.


Jigs are the skeleton structure of each exhaust. They form the outline of each part, and with their extremely detailed (rare!) documentation, create the perfect fitting exhaust item. If they are out by just a mm, you find yourself struggling to fit your new part. Getting this right is key to being a large scale manufacturer and can often justify the extra expense vs cheaper replica parts.

To put into words the amount of jigs on show here is extremely difficult. Every turn of the site seemed to uncover yet more row upon row of hundreds of mild steel, perfectly formed jigs for everything from classic Porsche to the very latest parts available. The interior yellow area seen in the image is the units used on a daily basis, with the hundreds of older jigs stored in pre-made hanging racks situated around the site, some being there since the 60’s yet still perfectly aligned and able to produce OEM like fitment after years of storage.

They’ve been doing it the same way since the mid-50’s so, if anyone knows how to make a perfect jig, it’s Supersprint.

Bending


Images clockwise from top:
1. The bending and cutting area factory floor. 2. Parts are constantly measured up against the jig. 3. Pipe development and measurement area. 4-5: One of the main bending machines 6: The cutter - the first port of call for a steel pipe. 7: Interchangeable parts for every item


In this department the individual parts that make up each manifold or exhaust are created from the raw steel tubes. The tubes are cut down to size and then bent to precise specification. These are then placed in a metal basket with the relevant jig ready to go to one of Supersprints welders to be expertly put together.

This department also houses a FaroArm which digitally checks that the jigs are still true to form as the day they were produced.

Welding


Images clockwise from top:
1. The welding area consists of individual work stations. 2-3. Example welding station . 3-5. The welding area


You can feel the heritage in this building. Years of knowledge past down through the generations, something that is near on impossible to learn in a few short years. These employees have worked here most of their lives, they are part of the family.

Importantly for us, we found they all show a level of professionalism and pride in their work that is so rare to find nowadays.

Here is where the magic happens - and it’s easy to see why. Each welder has his own station, setup exactly how he likes it. This is proper, old school craftsmanship at its best.


Construction Area 1


Images clockwise from top:
1. The construction factory floor. 2-3. Exhaust parts being fitted on the jig. 3. Looking back from the construction area. 4. The etching and logo area, a few machines depending on how the logo is transferred. 4-5. Flaring machines for the edges of pipes


The construction areas themselves are huge. They cover a whole range of functions, from welding stations to etching. The body of the parts are put together here as well as certain shaping to exhaust parts, such as flaring.

Construction Area 2


Images clockwise from top:
1. The second construction factory floor. 2. The construction factory viewed from the rear. 3. Quality control area - test fitment. 4-5. New robot arm welds certain parts and is then finished by human hand. 6. Quality control area - exhausts are tested regularly


In the second construction area there are again a large range of stations covering different aspects of the build. There is a robot welder that works on certain, less important flanges (but is finished by a human!). Parts delivered to this area are cleaned, dipped, polished and tested. The quality control area has a million different templates to test against, as well as a containers full of tested parts, ripped apart to ensure the exhausts are up to scratch.


Warehousing


Images clockwise from top:
1. Stacked to the roof, wall to wall quality exhaust systems. 2. The dipping machine and behind it, the paint house. 3-4. The parts stock alone is larger than most businesses!


The warehousing area is a sight to behold and certainly one of the most impressive areas of the site for us Supersprint fans. Wall to wall exhausts, stacked to the roof. We scan the boxes full of perfectly wrapped parts, seeing ‘Mercedes SLS’, ‘Audi S5’, ‘Porsche Panamera’, to name but a tiny amount, written on the fronts. The dipping vat is a huge industrial-sized machine built to add certain finishes to the metal, and just behind it is a paint room which, by the looks of it, has only ever had ‘black’ on the list of paints.

The parts store alone is floor to ceiling, carrying pre-made parts for each of the 500+ models Supersprint cover. You begin to take in the scale at this point and realise the level of administration and documentation that must be involved in such an operation.


Sales Office



The sales offices are one of the newer additions to the site. Across the small street from the main factories, this 90’s built building houses both the warehouse storage facilities at the rear, and the sales and accounts office, with elevator, at the front (this building required reinforcement work after the strong earthquake that hit the town in May last year which destroyed many buildings in the area!).

Again the whole team here were friendly and welcoming, but not only that, they were professional with a strong work ethic. Their pride in what they do shines through.


The visit for me was invaluable. We have a much better understanding of the company and their products. I’ve some say the systems are too quiet - but now realise its the Street systems they are reviewing, and that’s because they are TUV approved and have to fit within certain regulations. There are Race systems for nearly every application which sound fantastic and loud!

No header or exhaust is made equal. These are hand made pieces that are designed and built from the ground up with all their years of expertise to ensure they produce real power and a beautiful sound. They are fully approved by all regulations, from safety (using the right materials) to construction (fully ISO certified) and the parts are fully tested in a methodical and consistent way with all the results published for all to see as well as ensuring perfect fitment. I mean, how can you really test if your exhaust makes power unless you have a dyno? I was amazed to discover how many companies don’t have that one basic requirement.

It’s easy to see why companies such as Hartge, AC Scnhnitzer, Hamann, Carlsson and of course Evolve choose Supersprint to manufacture their exhaust parts.

We personally feel more than ever that we made the right choice in company to team with and hope you enjoyed our walkthrough of the Supersprint offices

To view more images of our visit please click on the following link: Flickr.

Contact paul@supersprint-evolve.com for pricing or more information, or follow us on Facebook
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      04-12-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
Denk
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Cool, thanks for sharing! I've been to Verona before, pretty area and great food! Sadly, to me it seems Supersprint hasn't had as big of a presence with the e9x as they did with the e46.
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      04-12-2013, 03:23 PM   #3
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Pretty cool, thanks for sharing!
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      04-12-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
Paul@Evolve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denk View Post
Cool, thanks for sharing! I've been to Verona before, pretty area and great food! Sadly, to me it seems Supersprint hasn't had as big of a presence with the e9x as they did with the e46.
True - we are hoping to change that! They haven't had much exposure over the last few years in the US. They are huge in Germany and the products are fantastic, so no reason why not!

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Originally Posted by e92motorsports View Post
Pretty cool, thanks for sharing!
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      04-13-2013, 07:55 PM   #5
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I had them on my e92. Didn't sound great and lots of drone. Took them off after a week. Build quality was nice though.
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      04-14-2013, 05:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWJ View Post
I had them on my e92. Didn't sound great and lots of drone. Took them off after a week. Build quality was nice though.
They've had a few changes since. There's also a new model range from normal, racing and F1 Race. You have to mix and match carefully to avoid the drone on the E92, even so still difficult the louder you get.
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      04-16-2013, 01:16 AM   #7
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Great write up Paul!
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