Employee numbers up since 2016, with over 700 people now working at the ten companies in the district. In short, a leading role in the local economy thanks to constant investment in new skills and manufacturing facilities (purchases from regional suppliers amounted to nearly 600 million euro in 2016). Sacmi, then, concludes another extremely positive year, one that saw volumes on the Italian market, inCeramics alone (the Group's biggest business), grow by over 23%.
"Two years' extraordinary growth on the Italian market", explains Giuseppe Miselli, the Sacmi Ceramic Division's Sales Manager for Italy, "has confirmed Sacmi's role as the district's main technological partner. Constant investment in new projects, many of which concern the digitalization that will project us towards Industry 4.0, have strengthened our customers' confidence and, consequently, seen the number of people directly employed by Sacmi in the district increase steadily".
"As we close yet another particularly satisfying year for the Sacmi Group, we should point out just how valuable this long-standing synergy with the district is", states Paolo Mongardi, President of Sacmi Imola. "A synergy that has now led to major new investments in people and production facilities".
Let’s take a look at some of those investments. On 21st December 2017 it was announced that Sacmi had acquired 100% ownership of CMC, one of the district's leading players in mechanical construction for ceramic plants and industrial automation .
By increasing its ownership in the Casalgrande-based company (now a leading supplier of slab/tile transport systems for the Continua+ line) from 20% to 100%, Sacmi has gained full control of a firm that, in just one year, saw an increase in the number of employeesfrom 45 to 62 and the construction of a new building (cost 6.8 million euro) which the company will move to by next April.
Sacmi Forni , instead, has extended internal production to ensure better vertical control of quality: to do so it will invest3.2 million euro in Sassuolo to renovate the former Ex Continental area, 14,000 m2 of indoor space where the manufacture of new kilns will begin in 2018. Meanwhile, Sacmi M&D continues to be a strategically important producer of ceramic press moulds and (with a dedicated workshop located in Fiorano) a key supplier of sections of the Continua+ line, Sacmi Ceramics' globally successful flagship solution. Remaining in Fiorano, Nuova Sima continues to gain strategic importance by providing Sacmi with close support in all end-of-line areas, especially as regards large slab logistics; the number of employees rose to 164 and plans to hire a good number of new workers were recently implemented.
"The year 2017", points out Claudio Marani, the Sacmi Group's General Manager, "strengthened a development policy that Sacmi initiated some time ago, namely that of research into innovative new solutions linked to control systems, sensors, automation and new warehouse storage/handling logic. This revolution began with Ceramics, our largest and most important business, and has since been extended to all Group businesses. We should, in this regard, acknowledge the pivotal role played by the district (thanks to our client companies' extraordinary talent for innovation) in moving this technological and organisational revolution forward.
For Sacmi, being the district's prime technological partner goes hand in hand with a renewed commitment to local community. This involves supporting Sassuolo Football and lending support to the 263,000 euro modernisation project for the leisure/sports area in the Secchia Park in Villalunga.
"Today, we can proudly state", explains Paolo Mongardi, "that we're not just the district's biggest partner when it comes to providing technology but also its most attentive in terms of corporate social responsibility and our focus on the needs of the community and local economy".
While, in fact, technology-linked economic growth developed in synergy with the Imola-based parent company favours regional suppliers, it is the area-wide economy (workshops yet also transport and hotels-restaurants) that particularly benefits from Sacmi's role; moreover, alongside its daily work as a cooperative, Sacmi frequently liaises with local public administration to define shared projects aimed at developing an area that rightly symbolises the excellence of Italian ceramics.