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2/6/2003
PetPlanet Insider - Issue 1/2003

Interview with Mr. Dario Beltrandi, General Manager, Beverage & Packaging Division

Dario Beltrandi: "Some people call it the source of progress.“ Sacmi compression moulding - world market leading in caps and closures for soft drinks and water In the early days Italy’s plastics machinery industry was split into numerous medium-sized companies. Today the industry is going through a process of concentration. Sacmi, specialists in ceramic technologies, as well as packaging and foodstuff processing technologies, have moved into injection moulding and have acquired 60 % of Negri Bossi, Oima and BM Biraghi. PETplanet spoke with Mr. Dario Beltrandi, General Manager of the Beverage and Packaging Division of Sacmi on November 4th, 2002 in Imola. PETplanet: In the past, the strength of Italian industry was in the large number of medium sized companies, well known for their flexibility and speed to the market. Are these happy times over? Sacmi has become a big group, and big groups need rules, and rules slow down reaction and pace. Beltrandi: You touched on a sensitive issue. Sacmi has become a big group. But we do everything not to loose our Italian flexibility. Maintaining the Italian character in business is a vital part of our policy. PETplanet:Judging from your factory in Imola the improvisation of those early days has given way to an organised flow of material, to well-structured manufacturing processes. Beltrandi: Managing the chaos, managing the emergencies is still something we face day to day. The programme to which we agreed yesterday is not necessarily valid today. A customer comes with a new, unforeseen project. We try to cope - as in the past. The group adds plastics to ceramics PETplanet: Sacmi – with total sales of Euro 840 million in 2002 - follows two principle lines in business so far: ceramics, the historical Sacmi business, and now beverage and packaging with enormous growth rates. What are the strategic reasons for your company to promote plastics? Beltrandi: Our main business, which is ceramics, i.e. machinery for tiles, sanitary ware etc, is approximately 60 % of the company’s business and cannot be developed any further. We are much exposed to the fluctuation of one single market. Consequently the capital accumulated by the company had to be employed in another activity. PETplanet: Sacmi chose plastics machinery to spread their risk? Beltrandi: We selected plastics for a specific reason. For many decades our company is already committed to the beverage market, producing a system to manufacture metal closures. We knew the market. Between 85 and 90 % of all crown caps produced worldwide are manufactured using Sacmi equipment. By mid of the 90s – with PET bottles starting to dominate the market - we supplied the very first compression moulding systems to manufacture the plastic closure. Immediately we received positive indications from our customers of the very high competitiveness of compression moulding. PETplanet: How are the different activities interlinked within the organisation of the Sacmi group? Beltrandi: In fact, today Sacmi activities are split into 4 strategic groups –“Ceramics” with the classical technologies for making tiles; “Plastics”, i.e. compression moulding as well as injection moulding; “Beverage & Pack” for closures, fillers, labellers, palletisers; and “Processing”, equipment making foodstuffs such as ice cream, chocolate, and others. PETplanet: Sacmi has added further equipment to the portfolio in order to offer to the customer full beverage systems.

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