Archive for August, 2013

Italmatic Looks to the Future

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

aldo and massimoThe overwhelming impression that one receives when one looks at Italmatic’s retreading equipment catalogue is the exceptionally wide range of products on offer, Indeed, one of the company’s key marketing arguments is that Italmatic is one of only two or three companies on a worldwide basis that is capable of supplying all the equipment for any retreading plant from car to earthmover tyres.


At its headquarters at Cassina de ‘Pecchi on the outskirts of Milan, the company manufactures buffers, builders and inspection machines.  The company’s other factory in Lucca, near Pisa, meanwhile concentrates on curing equipment and it is here that presses, autoclaves and matrices are produced.  In addition to their mainstream equipment lines, Italmatic is also active in a number of other areas.  For instance, the company can supply the technology to produce solid tyres, can supply a complete range of equipment for aircraft tyre retreading and is also involved in the supply of rubberised  rollers and cylinders , an area which , according to Massimmo Ghitturi, has provided the company with experienced which has helped substantially in the performance of the extruders they produce in retreading sector.  Also important is Italmatic’s accessory business.  The company is leading manufacturer of carbide tools, having recently invested in a new production line to double capacity, manufactures a range of wheel balance weights for supply to tyre dealers and is an agent for repair materials manufactured by Patch Rubber.


Last but not least Italmatic also supplies reconditioned retreading equipment on which the company offers the same warranty as on new machinery.


Italmatic has been making a number of investments in recent times, particularly in Lucca when a new training centre was set up three years ago.  More recent investments include a new plate engraving machine and two computerized turning machines.  Another key investment, though, has been in personnel where, according to Massimo Ghitturi, the company has followed a policy of employing a number of young technicians and giving them responsibility early in order to gear up effectively for the future.

During the last two years, Italmatic has also been focusing heavily on developing its position in the market for earthmover retreading equipment and now offers equipment for the retreading of tyres up to 52″ in diameter. In particular, says Massimo Ghitturi, success with the quality of the chambers and presses manufactured in the Lucca factory and developments in computerised earthmover tyre buffing has led to good orders in the earthmover sector.

One particular characteristic of Italmatic has been the company’s willingness to invest in direct involvement in overseas markets. The company now has affiliate companies in Singapore, the USA, Sweden and more recently in the UK, where, says Ghitturi, the company’s new partner John Bowes has performed exceptionally well.

Italmatic is especially strong in Asia where despite the economic crisis, turnover this year has remained in line with that achieved during 1997

According to Massimo Ghitturi, one of italmatic’s key aims for the future is to focus on the continued development of the comapny’s range of equipment, particularly looking at the creation of more user friendly machines that will make the work process easier and faster in certain areas of production.

Allied to this is the policy of introducing computerisation to medium capacity machinery thereby making state of the art technology available to medium sized retreaders as well as the very largest.

In addition, says Ghitturi, Italmatic will also be aiming to reach markets in which they currently only sell occasionally and in particular to pay attention to developing markets that offer the most potential for growth.

Italmatic Asia:Impartial Advice and Quality Service

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

parry and lilyThere are relatively few leading suppliers of quality retreading equipment active in Asia.  Outside of small local equipment makers and a certain amount of direct sales imported into the region from various parts of the world, the market is serviced by two or three main players.   One of these is Italmatic Asia, the 50/50 joint venture established in 1984  by Lily Yeo together with Italian equipment maker, Ital matic   .


Lily Yeo is one of a few women entrepreneurs in the global retreading industry and possibly the only woman running an equipment company.  Prior to setting up Italmatic Asia, she had been employed as an administrator by Newera but had to rapidly educate herself on technical issues when the new company was setup.  “Initially it was very difficult”, says Lily.  “Italmatic equipment had been previously been sold by an agent who had cherry picked certain machines, so at first our customers didn’t believe that Italmatic had a full range.  We had to work hard to convince the market”.  Now, however, the company is active across the whole of Asia with exception of India and is particularly strong in Malaysia, where the customers has 100 customers.  Other key markets include Thailand, Sri Lanka, Japan, Taiwan and also Australia.  China is also a major growth area and the company now has a representative office in Beijing in addition to two other overseas branches in Kuala Lumpur and Hongkong.  The company follows a strict policy of not getting directly involved in retreading says Lily.  “It is important to us to retain our impartiality in the eyes of the customer so unlike others  we do not get involved in any retreading joint ventures.”.  Italmatic Asia does, however, work in co-operation with compounders (the company did have an arrangement with Goodway Rubber) and also supplies some local producers who are attemting to set up franchise systems in specific markets.  Asccording to lily’s son, Parry Yeo who is now heavily involved in the business, one of the key challenges facing the company is convincing customers that they have an advantage if they buy better equipment, as many people still think that cheapest is best.  However, Italmatic do supply a range of equipment at a variety of prices including a range of those who are on a budget.  However, Parry stresses that the company does not simply give a price.  “We talk to the customers and recommend technology that is relevant to their requirements and their budget.  We don’t try to sell from something they don’t need.  That’s a sure way to make the customer doesn’t come back”.  Italmatic Asia’s marketing strategy is focused heavily on technical support indeed.  Italmatic is the only machinery manufacturer with offices located around the world.


Italmatic uses a number of engineers contracted to the company to provide long term service on relative short notice.  This is used primarily for major overhauls installations or major  problems.  Customers are encouraged to carry out a self maintenance programme for day to day service.  The company claims to have a good e-mail service for response to technical problems and also trains local agents to do simple machine servicing.  Spare parts are stocked in Singapore with response time for consumable items being usually 2-3 days.  “A key point”, says Parry, “is that we have a competitive and reliable list of parts.  Parts don’t change and are standardized, which means there is no difficulty in finding the right part.”


“For us it is important to emphasize that we are not just selling machines.” says Parry.  :Our main aim is to help our customers to supply them with what is required backed up with excellent service.  We also do not want to tie our customers down to franchise agreements”.



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