From strengthening core technology to a new project to “revolutionise” the tissue industry – leading companies look ahead
TW1: How are you tackling the recessionary climates in Europe?
Sergio Casella, Paper Converting Machine Company Italia president and chief executive: “To be extremely honest, even if, without doubt, recessionary climates in Europe exist, as a company we are not experiencing it at all. On the contrary, in the last two years and this year Europe is the best market for sales volume we have. The company is growing and we are planning to move our operations to bigger and more efficient facilities to follow the continued increase in requests and to provide a better service to our customers.”
Marco Dell’Osso, Futura director, external relations, marketing and communications: “Europe has always been a core market for us. While it is true that some European tissue businesses have held off from investing during the past two years or so, we have still been involved in a number of interesting projects in both the consumer and professional sectors in Europe. So we have not had to adopt any special measures for this area. We accept that, over time, different parts of the world where we do business will rise and fall in their fortunes. The solution is not to be wholly reliant on one geographical region, and to innovate constantly so that there is always a good reason to invest in our technology.”
Marco Calcagni, Omet sales director: “We feel a continuous instability in the European market but we cannot talk about recession in the tissue market. We have positive periods which are followed by negative ones, there is instability.”
Pablo de la Fuente, MTorres’ sales director: “We operate in several diverse markets, notably converting and aerospace. For many years now we have found that this broad business base helps us to weather recessions much better than were we focused on only one product line.
“Speaking only about the tissue sector, our centre-driven products are giving customers an immediate increase in efficiency of their converting lines which is a highly valuable characteristic in times of recession.
“As a result, in spite of recessions in key markets around the world, we remain a financially healthy and growing company.”
TW2： With this environment in mind, what technical areas are you prioritising in 2015?
PCMC’S Casella: “Even if we are having success against the economical trends we never stop our development process which is key for our company growth. Our goal is to continue our technological journey to get our machines running without tools, possibly with no or really limited presence of people around and with the highest level of safety. Speed, efficiency, flexibility and quality are already there. In addition we are working on a new project we think will be revolutionary for the tissue product, but I cannot say more than this at this stage.”
Futura’s Dell’Osso: “We have always been focused, almost fixated, on return on investment, cost per tonne and giving the customer the opportunity to add value. With this in mind we were always in the right place for tough trading conditions in terms of our philosophy. The new whole-line technological solution which we will announce within the next two months will be transformational in terms of operational efficiency, process reliability, space-saving, finished product quality; all elements which contribute to an enhanced ROI.
“Spreading the word about this landmark development is our priority for 2015.”
Omet’s Calcagni: “We are working hard on very flexible products that can allow the market to grow and find new solutions to fight modern-day problems. We are also involved in cost optimisation and production efficiency because we need to keep our machines the most competitive for the market. The modularity of our range of products is our best feature and makes our products very flexible.”
MTorres’ de la Fuente: “In terms of our converting group, we continue to focus on solutions that drive down waste and maximise uptime. For example, our system for splicing tissue parent rolls while the line continues to run produces only a small fraction of that produced by competing flying splice systems. We are also focusing on solutions that allow customers to dramatically increase the output of existing lines, by developing a lightning fast parent roll change system for 2-ply lines, (fully-automated parent roll change, operating speed-to-operating speed in less than one minute), that will fit in the footprint of two traditional unwind stands that may have 10 minute roll changes each.
“This is going to be also our focus for 2015 when we are offering to our customers real payback calculations of their investments when incorporating our products.”
“We don’t seek global or market domination, but to be the best at what we do.”
TW3: Which geographical regions will you be targeting in 2015 and why?
PCMC’S Casella: “We will continue to strengthen our presence in Europe, the USA and Latin America which are today our three main markets and are classic regions and where we have consolidated relationships and very promising customer partnerships.”
Futura’s Dell’Osso: “We don’t seek global or market domination, but to be the best at what we do. We are therefore looking to strengthen our position in the markets where we have the greatest installed base, namely Europe and the Americas, but also to pursue opportunities wherever our approach is appreciated. We have started to build a presence in Asia and Australasia and expect to see steady growth in these areas in the next few years. The Middle East and Africa are also very important in terms of growth potential. Some of our customers are multinational, so often it is a case of partnering them where they chose to invest.”
Omet’s Calcagni: “Omet has a global presence and we need to target all continents and all regions year by year. We are working to improve our global network in order to follow various growing movements of the market worldwide.”
MTorres’ de la Fuente: “Along with virtually everyone else in our industry, we have high hopes for China as clearly no other single market has anything close to the growth potential there. That said, our products are ideally suited for mature markets such as Europe and North America. Our exclusive and patented centre-drive unwind technology is the best technical solution for unwinding structured tissues such as TAD, UCTAD, and ATMOS.”