The 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.