I<strong>t took less than half a century for the Italian manufacturer Sala Bolognese to become a global leader based on production intended for more than 100 countries. A world-wide success achieved by researching perfection for machines that use perc as well as the new hydrocarbon solvents. All models made in the last five years offer remarkable energy savings of at least 30%. A great success that also applies to systems designed for cleaning metals.
Four washers are ready to be shipped.
Our delight in seeing them captures the longing for a story with a happy ending most of you expressed in the last five years.
Those years when the entire world experienced and discovered the horrifying significance of the Great Crisis of 2008.
We can tell you this story with an abundance of pictures and words after our exciting visit to Firbimatic. This is in fact where we were greeted by four washers ready to be shipped, each one respectively bound for Mexico, France, the United States and China.
A chance encounter on “one fine day”, as states the title of the famous movie with George Clooney, in the Sala Bolognese plant. One next to the other, waiting to be packed and shipped to their destination.
Nothing special was set up in view of our visit, no marketing gimmicks implemented after strategically focused round table discussions. We were simply shown the world within Firbimatic. Business as usual for the company in the Emilia Romagna region for which less than half a century (it was founded in 1971) was enough to “simply achieve global leadership”. A verifiable status in over 100 countries, where it exports its fantastic dry cleaning machines.
“With a complete range of products fit for the global market – states marketing director Mirco Mongillo – made daily thanks to the optimization of technological know-how, capable of fulfilling any demand for products that are competitively priced, reliable, and with all the features required by today’s market. This applies to both machines that use perc as well as those that use new hydrocarbon solvent based detergents. As the ancient proverb says, the world is beautiful because it’s varied, and therefore adaptability and imagination are indispensable requisites for conquering markets at all latitudes of the globe”.
Talking with Mirco Mongillo also reveals the most recent and spectacular happenings in the history of Firbimatic, and particularly the determination, clear thinking and versatility by which the company faced the long years of global market crisis after the Stock Market crash of 2008. Six years that have been captured by a splendid picture, in which over ninety employees pose amid the plant production lines and machinery. “I was lucky enough to play a team sport such as rugby – recalls Mongillo – and this image actually serves to remind me how to being a team proved fundamental to face and successfully overcome the harshest years of the crisis. The profound commitment towards common objectives on the management, technicians and operators’ part can only be expressed by this other image of bowling pins…”.
He is referring to the company poster of a bowling ball, significantly painted in a flowery motif instead of black, striking all pins in its path to the pit. “Get quality, technology and ease of use in one shot” states the writing on the poster, which Morgillo elaborates on by saying: “Quality has always been our primary target. This obviously called for technologies that are extremely advanced as well as easy to implement. The market agreed with us and continues to tangibly demonstrate this through clients such as the one that after twenty five years of using Perc driven machines, inspired by our progress, willingly switched to one that operates with hydrocarbons”.
“A choice – the marketing director explains – ensuing from the ease of use of the new machine, which serves as a prime example of a targeted company philosophy that integrates top quality technology and environmental safety. Firbimatic remains a global market leader thanks to important choices such as those that resulted in our current products saving 30% more energy than those we made five years ago”.
Technological and cultural achievements that reach across the globe. “In this regard – says Mongillo – I like to tell the story of the laundry owner in Morocco who would have kept working with one of our cherished 1971 mechanical models for who knows how long (which further proves the quality of our products). Then, thinking about his son taking over the business soon, our North-African client decided to buy a new model based on the winning combination of energy savings, lower environmental impact and higher laundering performance quality”.
This excellence, intrinsic to Environmental protection, is the key driver of all products made by Firbimatic today. A brand that across its amazingly wide range of opportunities never fails to uphold fundamentally important environmental guarantees. Hence within the scope of alternative detergents it is easy to understand why “Saver” has become a reference point in the small and mid-size dry cleaning laundry sector. This is also made possible by cutting-edge features such as its double filtering system (nylon powder and cartridge), the two cleaning systems that perfectly separate white from colored garments, and the special housing for the powder filter that extracts all impurities from the solvent.
This is a policy the company also applies to Perc machines such as the new F line for example, which in the 10-25 kilos range provides extremely high savings in operating costs though options like Energy Still, integrated heat recovery to reduce energy consumption, Eco System, designed to decontaminate distilled sludge, Clean Still, which automatically pumps the sludge out of the distiller tank, and Coalperc Integrato, a system that substantially reduces Perc emissions at the end of the cycle.
Meanwhile, the four washers we saw upon arrival are in transit to their destination and another four are now waiting to be shipped to different locations around the globe, among the tens marked by Firbimatic flags.
Everything visitors see at the factory perfectly fits the image of the bowling pins and of all the employees lined up as a team amid the plant machinery. A picture of dynamics ingrained in the company history. The very same that at the peak of the crisis inspired the company to seek a new direction rather than merely preserving the status quo. This in fact is the parable of industrial closed-circuit metal cleaning systems destined to conquer the aerospace, advanced electronics and medical industry sectors among others. A chance taken five years ago has since yielded a huge payoff by way of contracts with companies such as Piaggio, Agusta and other brands of absolute prestige.
All this serves to better understand that, in a way yet to be fully revealed, Firbimatic rhymes with World.