SACMI: Objective 200



“Objective 200”: Vezio Bernardi heads Sacmi Beverage
Increased business volumes, an extended product range, a growing presence on new markets. This, in short, is the plan laid out by Vezio Bernardi, a man with extensive experience in Sacmi who will be taking over from Pietro Cassani. A nomination that ensures continuity, underlining the Group’s aim to focus on the drinks industry and become its leading plant engineer and turnkey solutions provider”

A doubling of complete plant output within three years to bring total beverage business sales to 200 million Euros. This, then, is the goal set by Vezio Bernardi, who took over as Managing Director of the Sacmi Group’s beverage Division on 1st November after a long career in Sacmi, initially as sales manager at Closures&Containers – a position he still holds – and then as CEO of Sacmi Filling, a mainstay, together with Sacmi Imola, Sacmi Verona and Sacmi Packaging, of the new Business Unit.
“The message we want to project”, explains Bernardi, “is that of steady continuance along a path laid out several years ago, a path that will be followed for many years more, a path paved with the Sacmi Group’s determination to put every possible resource into the beverage industry”. Continuity, then: and it’s no chance occurrence that Bernardi will be taking over from Pietro Cassani, also General Manager of the Sacmi Group and Sacmi Imola.
In the beginning, notes the new Managing Director, there were four excellent companies – Sacmi Imola, Verona (Sacmi Labelling brand), Packaging and Filling – which succeeded in becoming top suppliers to the beverage industry by producing individual machines of outstanding reliability, flexibility and performance. “Yet with ‘stand alone’ machines it’s simply not possible to grow beyond a certain threshold”, explains Bernardi, “so that’s when Sacmi decided to make the definitive leap forwards and become a provider of complete plants, changing it from a loosely bound set of firms into a real Group that manages its companies to provide integrated turnkey solutions that cover everything from raw materials to the finished bottle”.
Hence, in 2009, the creation of the Beverage division and the subsequent plans for investment in new products but this time, of course, from a global ‘plant engineering’, viewpoint. As Bernardi observes, the goal of becoming a complete plant provider has, as regards PET, already been fully achieved, with Sacmi now providing complete, integrated, competitive solutions. And the rest? That’s all part of the ongoing challenge, which the Group aims to complete in the very near future: “By 2012”, reveals Bernardi, “we’ll be raising output and expanding the product range. For example, we’ll be launching a new ‘super-Combo’ that combines the unparalleled preform-making technology of the PAM, which we were the first to develop and remains the envy of the world, with the latest generation of blow moulders. We already have a supply agreement with one of Italy’s biggest bottlers”. The outcome, in fact, is a machine that combines excellent energy consumption performance with considerably higher output quality.
While the blow moulders probably represent the most important challenge for the Business Unit’s new managing director, it is on increased internal synergies that the Sacmi Group’s capacity to operate as a goal-achieving ‘system’ will be assessed. “The first blow moulder”, says Bernardi, “was developed in Imola and it’s here that the core of R&D remains. Production will later be moved to Sacmi Filling in Parma, thus creating new synergies between fillers and blow moulders”. Here, in this dynamic city of Emilia, “there exists a strong web of skills that has seen us grow in terms of both product and process engineering and sales organisation”.
In short, the conditions are ripe for further growth. “At Sacmi Verona”, one of the most successful firms also, as Bernardi points out, in terms of output volumes, “new product research is under way on the labellers front, spanning from the new range of modular labellers to laser sealing systems and new self-adhesive applications”.
Group sales currently stand at approximately 150 million Euros. However, the part accounted for by complete plants is limited to 50-60 million. Bernardi’s challenge is to double the latter in three years and hit the 200 million Euro mark. Achieving that goal will mean reaching many new customers on many emerging markets. For instance, on the Russian market hot filling technology has shown itself to be an extremely sound replacement for aseptic technology. “Here”, affirms the new Managing Director of Sacmi Beverage, “the challenge largely hinges on reducing bottle weight and containing costs to ensure greater competitiveness with aseptic technology and on developing more effective ways of increasing the speed of filling itself”. There are also new developments as regards the ‘traditional’ PET business – water and CSDs – where the biggest opportunities for market penetration appear to lie in North America and North Africa; the Middle East, observes Bernardi, also appears highly receptive to this product type.
These, then, are just a few examples of a Sacmi policy that is ever-more focussed on a unified production and sales logic focussed on successfully meeting the changed needs of a beverage market that continues to demand flexibility and integrated solutions alongside reliability, outstanding performance and contained energy consumption. Characteristics that have always been the unmistakeable hallmarks of Sacmi Group solutions in all its business branches.

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