Borgo Panigale (Bologna, Italy): Ducati is set to gradually return to normal, with the steady resumption of production in its Borgo Panigale factory, scheduled to begin on Monday April 27.
In compliance with the regulatory protocol for measures to combat and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the workplace, Ducati temporarily suspended production in its Bologna plant on Friday 13 March to reorganize production schedules. Then came the decree that suspended all non-essential activities and therefore, despite the organization being ready, production did not restart. The gradual improvement in health conditions has allowed the government today to enable companies deemed strategic for the national economy, whose activity is mainly aimed at exports, and for which a prolongation of the suspension would risk losing our country additional market shares, to resume production.
This is a first phase of return, which at the moment will only involve a part of the workers destined for the production lines. Workshop staff will begin first, then engine assembly workers and, from Tuesday 28 April, motorcycle assembly workers. As for employees, the use of smart working will remain mandatory, only those who are not in a position to carry out their work from home will be allowed to access the factory. All resources employed in the commercial, marketing, IT, personnel management, finance, purchasing and logistics areas will therefore be working remotely. The production has been reorganized, going from an eight-hour shift to two seven-hour shifts to allow the minimum number of people to be inside the plant at the same time and thus minimize possible contact. The canteen will be active but with one seat for every four chairs.
The technicians engaged in Research and Development activities who cannot do their work from home were already at work as allowed by the specific ATECO code: therefore the engineers of the engine test rooms, those who carry out motorcycle tests and those who carry out laboratory testing are all present at Borgo Panigale. All designers, project managers, and those in the calculation department will work remotely. This will ensure the deliveries of Ducati motorcycles and the development of new products.
All the rules of conduct in force in Ducati comply with the updated shared protocol of April 24, and for some points they are even more restrictive. For example, inside the company there is an absolute requirement to use masks, regardless of distancing. The entire Ducati protocol is the result of the work of a joint commission between the company and the RSU (unified worker representation body) that was formed on February 23, just two days after the discovery of the first infected person in Italy. Many of the measures inserted are the result of a careful analysis of the protocols used in the Chinese plants of the VW Group, in particular the FAW-VW of Chanchung, where production was suspended only for one week but where strict protection, distancing and sanitizing measures are still in force.
“We are ready to go, we have worked hard over the past few weeks to minimize any risk,” said Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali. “Despite this we will have to be extremely cautious and rigorous. The virus is still in circulation and we must therefore be careful to combat any possible form of transmission.
Despite the reopening of the production lines, Ducati confirms that visits to the Museum, Factory and Fisica in Moto continue to be suspended until further notice, in addition to entry into the factory being prohibited for suppliers, dealers, external contracted companies, and external staff in general, unless proven and unavoidably required for the continuity of production activities, product development and general services.