Laminam opens second line in Borgo Val di Taro
Twenty years after it was founded, Laminam continues its growth through internationalisation, digital transformation and sustainable innovation.
Laminam, a world leading manufacturer of large ceramic surfaces, celebrated the expansion of its plant in Borgo Val di Taro (Parma) on 5 November this year. Inaugurated in September 2016, the plant’s capacity has now been doubled with the addition of a second line.
This investment, which together with the expansion of the Russian plant in Dobrino amounts to a total of more than €50 million, coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the company’s foundation and represents another major step forward in the Fiorano Modenese-based group’s growth process. Laminam celebrated this milestone with an event attended by 150 guests including employees, suppliers and representatives of the institutions and the national ceramic industry.
At the event, which provided an opportunity to discuss the future, technological innovation, digital transformation and sustainability and the ways of tackling the industry’s most urgent challenges, Chairman and CEO Alberto Selmi was joined on the speakers’ platform by Edoardo Lanzavecchia (Managing Partner of the private equity firm Alpha Group), Giovanni Savorani (Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica) and Stefano Bonaccini (President of the Emilia Romagna regional government).
“Sustainable evolution” was the title of the event and the topic of the address given by Alberto Selmi, who began by thanking Laminam’s founder Franco Stefani. “Thanks to his pioneering vision, the dream he had 20 years ago has now become reality,” said Selmi. “Continuing our role as pioneers, we are now entering a new period of growth in which we are aiming to change our position from a manufacturer of slabs to a leading company in the world of Superior Natural Surfaces for Architecture and Design, allowing us to move ever closer to the market, customers and people.”
The solid foundations underpinning Laminam’s growth are clearly demonstrated by its results, including 27% average annual revenue growth over the five-year period 2014-2019, followed by a stable 2020 amid the pandemic and lockdown period and a return to growth in 2021. The company posted 43% growth in the first 9 months of the year compared to the same period in 2019 and has a very positive outlook for the end of the year.
The company’s solidity is also confirmed by the 100 new employees hired in 2021 alone, bringing the group’s total workforce to 700, including 500 in Italy.
“We aim to continue to grow by 20-25% per year,” confirmed Selmi, explaining that to achieve this the company is pursuing three main strategies: digital transformation, internationalisation and sustainable innovation. “Digital technologies, which have been written into Laminam’s DNA ever since its inception with a view to maximising efficiency and engaging directly with the market; internationalisation for reaching consumers more quickly; and sustainable innovation because you cannot have economy without sustainability, just as there can be no sustainability without economy.”
Along with its two factories in Italy, since 2017 Laminam has been pursuing its internationalisation policy with a production facility in Russia, 10 sales branches (the most recent, Laminam Australia, was opened last June) and an extensive network of logistics centres and showrooms around the world to support the group’s exports to over 100 countries (export sales make up 79% of consolidated turnover).
Sustainability is clearly far more than an abstract concept for Laminam, where “everything - from the product to processes, supply chain and people - is designed to measure and reduce its impact”, continued Selmi.
The company has completed numerous initiatives in the field of sustainability: from the integrated Quality/Environment/Safety policy adopted in 2021 to the ISO 14001 certification obtained for its Italian plants, the ISO 450001 and ISO 20400 certification process currently in progress, the EPD extended to all products, the Company Carbon Footprint study, and the second Sustainability Report published this year.
The state-of-the-art technologies installed at the Borgo Val di Taro production facility allow for a significant improvement in environmental performance, continued Selmi. These include a continuous mill, a spray dryer and a high energy-efficiency kiln, the moulding department with two new Superfast presses, the digital decoration line which reduces water and material consumption, through to the unique purification systems which drastically reduce both organic and inorganic atmospheric emissions. These active carbon filtration systems are also at the centre of research efforts to evaluate their potential for CO2 capture.
Further initiatives include the extensive use of photovoltaics for the self-production of clean energy, the electrification of the production process and logistics, and complete re-use of process water and production waste in the body preparation stage.