COVER STORY — Firbimatic, a business where history meets the future


Firbimatic S.p.A. was founded in 1971 as an initiative of four business partners. One of them, Gino Biagi, is the current president of the company. The company is headquartered in Sala Bolognese near Bologna, a real fortress of “zero impact dry-cleaning”. Apart from Firbimatic, another two companies that make part of the same family are headquartered there, Union, a multinational business and Realstar. This industrial laundry district reflects a typical Italian production model. An impressive and technologically advanced productive reality that extends over 61 thousand sq. m. of total surface. At Firbimatic, history meets the future. It can be deduced by looking at the promotional slogan present in every angle of the company,

“Firbimatic, a surely natural investment”. The slogan has matched the green philosophy of the business for decades, and it has not been placed there by chance.
Accompanied by Mirco Mongillo, the Sales Director at Firbimatic, we are walking through all the production areas of the factory. We immediately see how dry-cleaning is the core business here even if the turnover also consists of another absolutely relevant activity, the industrial metal cleaning. “As far as metal cleaning is concerned, Cern is among our most important clients. We managed to solve some of their problems after having worked on several stages of product enhancement”. 70% of our machines, Mongillo adds, are produced by us.

The department of heavy and light carpentry, a real crown jewel, has been certified Iso 9000 and it reflects a success story of mechanics and of the company. While in the factory, we are surrounded by highly advanced machines, e.g. laser cutting stations, computer numerical control machines and automated welding stations that allow the company to obtain and guarantee two priorities: productivity and quality. Our quality standard, Mongillo says, has led us to the collaboration with Ducati. When the company opened their brand stores, they chose Firbimatic machines to treat the motorcyclists’ uniforms.
Everything is in motion at this factory, e.g. the transformation of metal sheet by working on its different thickness and size.
“70% of our product is made of metal, so if you know how to work it with caution and use advance technology, the result will translate to a high-quality product”, Mongillo says.

We invest in and develop
environmentally sustainable products”

To complete the machines, some commercial components such as electrical engines, suspensions and gaskets arrive from the outside while the structure of the machines, starting from the design to the development and realization is carried out in-house entirely.
Also, the cooling systems are entirely made in-house, whereas, the warehouse, working with great numbers, is rich in components of any type.

“A global business, able to reach
about a hundred countries worldwide”

“The added value has been investing and focusing on environmental sustainability products. As a matter of fact, our products guarantee very low consumptions, zero environmental impact and a considerable performance level”.
The skeletal structure of the machines and the loading capacity of different models are unique and transversal to all the three companies of the group (Firbimatic, Union and Realstar) in order to better maximize the economics of the production scale. What changes is the specific characteristics of machines in relation to different markets to which they are addressed. The added value of the group is the great dynamics that allows to offer 52 models present on the market together with the flexibility and ability of the business to meet various requests: a product designed following specific requests. The rest simply follows thanks to a particularly widespread and professional commercial network.
This global business reaches about a hundred countries all over the world. Also, it easily meets the needs of various production categories that range from artisan businesses to large textile companies and big engineering realities. The above is reflected by the turnover: together, the three companies reach 70 million euros. “We should consider the fact, Mongillo says, that in order to maintain such market shares, we periodically need to present new products and models.

Our products are always characterized by advanced technological innovation, which explains our relevant commercial presence for example in the USA. Also, our small-scale production of washers, mainly oriented to the treatment of jeans, reflects our clients’ trust as our machines are highly durable with very low obsolescence levels”.
Via Filippo Turati, 16
40010 Sala Bolognese (Bologna) Italy
Tel. +39 0516814189 –

by Marzio Nava

Detergo Magazine – January 2020

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