Gianluca Baruffaldi, CEO of the Valeggio Sul Mincio-based company: “The secret of our plants, thousands of which have been installed all over the world in 45 years of activity, is the scalability and seriality of the components, the main assets for lines with an absolute technical guarantee, customised to meet specific customer requirements, competitive and eco-sustainable”.
Euroimpianti Srl is an Italian company based in Valeggio Sul Mincio near Verona, which can claim more than 45 years of experience in the design and construction of plants for coating any metal surface. Founded in 1976, the company took its first steps in Italy, but in the early 1980s it broadened its horizons by exporting its first painting systems to Europe: this was the start of a constantly growing process of international presence which led Euroimpianti to become one of the world’s leading companies in the sector. The group currently employs more than 80 workers, has thousands of plants installed all over the world and, in addition to the main plant in Valeggio, has production sites, sales offices and exclusive distributors located in strategic geographical areas, so as to ensure a professional, effective and complete service to the reference market everywhere. We met the company owner Gianluca Baruffaldi by videoconference, and we immediately got to the point by asking him for a brief history of the company’s first 45 years.
“Euroimpianti was founded in 1976 by my father Osvaldo together with another partner, both of whom had good experience in liquid and powder coating techniques, to create industrial metal coating systems, at that time mainly for iron and steel, but also for aluminium, which was gaining in popularity in those years, especially for window and door systems, and therefore for extruded profiles. We were among the first to develop vertical plants, a solution which changed the whole industry. This year we are celebrating 45 years of existence, but we have retained the character of a family business. I have been with the company for 32 years and, after the death of my father, I have been running it with my brother Massimo, who is in charge of the technical and production areas”.
What were the most substantial changes in the company in these 45 years?
“There are two elements which characterise our growth since 1976: firstly, the consolidation of Euroimpianti’s technical know-how, and secondly, as a natural consequence of the development of technical knowledge, the high level of globalisation we have achieved in our business. I shall start with this last point, then we shall look later on at the most significant details of the technological and production imprint of our plants. When we started out, there was the domestic market, where we made the most of our knowledge from the early years. A lot of work was done on ferrous materials, but the effervescence and potential of aluminium and vertical powder plants was already evident. We were the first, in the 1980s, to focus on this type of solution, which has been the predominant part of our business for more than 10 years. The great experience on the domestic market with vertical plants opened the doors to the global market, especially for the extraordinary growth of aluminium and extruded powder coating. Today, the mind and heart of the company are in Italy, but 90% of the market is abroad, and it is no coincidence that we are celebrating our 45th anniversary with the opening of our subsidiary in Germany, in addition to the production site in Brazil and the other subsidiaries with spare parts warehouses and service centres in Miami and Barcelona. But that is not all, we have partners who have been working with us and for us for years, in dozens of key countries, particularly in those which have developed in an almost explosive way the demand for coated aluminium, from South America to Mexico, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Indonesia and Australia. Actually, Italian plant technology in this sector is excellent, and we are very pleased to contribute to representing it at its best”.
Let us now talk about the technological and industrial aspects of the plants you build all over the world: how many do you produce, with what characteristics, why are they successful?
“Very briefly, we have been working for 45 years on the same subject, coating systems for any metal surface. The basic concept underlying our work has always been to focus on the construction of scalable, standardised systems, with great attention to eco-sustainability and energy aspects, typical of Italian technology, with a particular focus, especially in recent years, on automation and the digitalisation of the entire logistics and production system. Our main strength is that, like only a few other manufacturers, we design and build the entire plant, in every detail, in-house. We start from the design with a dozen engineers, have our own carpentry and manufacture all components in-house, individually designed, coded and tested. We take the utmost care of the scalability potential of each part in order to simplify, perfect and keep everything under control; the seriality of the single parts, which means containing costs and processing times, is contrasted by the uniqueness of the specific plant, made according to the individual needs of the end user by putting together, as in a big ‘meccano’, standard elements prepared according to production cycles known, consolidated and guaranteed in all respects. Basically, we carry out every phase of the project directly in-house, sales, consulting, executive development, production, installation and testing, so we have maximum control over what we manufacture, along with complete traceability and the possibility of intervening on the production history of the components; we have dedicated staff working on every single project according to our construction logic of scalability and flexibility, optimised for the production, performance and logistics requirements of each customer. To conclude, our job is not over with the delivery of the plant, because we establish a long-lasting and continuous relationship with our customers, guaranteeing the best with after-sales service, technical consulting, supply of spare parts and staff training”.
How many plants do you manage to build and with what business results? Have you felt the pandemic effect in the last two years?
“We take full advantage of the concept of seriality and scalability of the components of the individual parts of the plant, so we are able to produce between 4 and 5 complete plants per month, that is, 50 to 60 per year. As I mentioned before, about 80% of these plants are shipped around the world and are all intended for aluminium, the rest are for the domestic market. Regarding results, our average turnover in recent years has been around 30 million euros overall, of which 25 million generated by the Italian headquarters, the rest by foreign branches and offices. As regards the Covid-19 effect, we were lucky, the consequences for us in 2020 were almost non-existent, and we see that the current year is also developing without worries. We have certainly been advantaged by having on one hand a well-defined construction logistics of the plant which gave us total reassurance, and on the other hand a strong and widespread presence abroad, with consolidated partnerships with local technicians and specialists who work with us, therefore a good diversification of markets which has ensured us an interesting production balance even in difficult times”.
What specifically distinguishes your corporate mission, and what lines of development do you envisage for the future of your business?
Our segment is a very exclusive and delicate area, it’s a game being played worldwide by less than a dozen players, and we as Euroimpianti are among the top three; as I said before, Italian experience in the sector is at the highest level and appreciated everywhere. The challenge lies in the great attention to detail and continuous improvement, in the consideration of environmental aspects and energy saving, in guaranteeing the market technical reliability and speed, and all this means having as a fundamental paradigm of the company the concept of continuous innovation and the perfection of teamwork. With our plants we work mainly on a winning material such as aluminium, which has brilliant growth prospects everywhere, both in mature markets such as Europe, Japan and North America and in more recently developing markets such as Asia, Africa and Russia. Coated aluminium will be used more and more in many end applications, from construction to mechanics, automotive and transport in general, electrical engineering, infrastructure, and furniture; we are present almost everywhere, which is why I look to our future with a good dose of optimism”.