History and numbers
A company that has made history in the textile machinery industry
A leader in the sector of technical composite materials, Lamiflex was founded in 1976 thanks to the business initiative of Luigi Castelli and Luigina Bernini, who already owned a textile company. The two owners purchased one of the first flexible rapier looms to increase their company’s productivity, but they were faced with a technical problem: the nylon rapier tapes melted easily if they were used at high speed. They needed to design a new type of tape that was able to withstand the high temperatures. That was how the composite tape was created, a tape with a cotton structure that is combined with phenolic resin. This invention would revolutionize the textile machinery industry.
In May 2017, Lamiflex sold 61% of its shares to ITEMA, a supplier of advanced weaving solutions and part of the Radici Group. This has led to a strategic business relationship, the aim being to develop the core business of both these Bergamo-based companies. ITEMA is a multinational concern and the Italian leader in the supplier of advanced weaving solutions, including avant garde looms, spare parts and integrated services. A historic name in Italy’s industrial weaving sector, it was set up in 2001 as the result of a merger between three leading global brands in the textile industry: Somet, Vamatex and Sulzer. Based in Val Seriana in the province of Bergamo – the cradle of Italian weaving – ITEMA is the only manufacturer in the world to offer all the top three weft insertion technologies for shuttleless looms: rapier, air-jet and projectile. With more than 830 employees around the world – roughly 400 at its Italian headquarters – and turnover of 307 million Euros in 2016, ITEMA has two production sites in Italy, one at its main site in Colzate and another in Vilminore di Scalve (both in the province of Bergamo), plus another production site in Switzerland and one in China. Moreover, this company has commercial offices in India, Japan, the USA, Hong Kong and Dubai (www.itemagroup.com). In 2016 Lamiflex had 103 employees, turnover in excess of 18 million Euros and 3 production sites.
Lamiflex patents for on going innovation
The next step, the introduction of polyester with epoxy resin, allowed Lamiflex to increase the strength of the tapes and their efficiency significantly, thereby also improving their performance.
The experience acquired and in-depth knowledge of composites culminated in Lamiflex devising other innovative solutions and patenting new products like the “variable stiffness tape” and the “interchangeable tip”. The company became a market leader, both inside Italy and abroad. Then the arrival of carbon and its infinite applications allowed Lamiflex to offer products with exceptional versatility and adaptability that are appreciated by designers and by the entire industrial world.
Strategy and constant evolution: the competitive strength of Lamiflex
Today, in an increasingly dynamic and evolving market, Lamiflex has made the strategic choice of also entering new sectors and designing innovative applications thanks to a team of technicians and engineers who are engaged daily in the search for a solution capable of meeting customers’ specific needs. Together with its know-how, this is where the company’s competitive strength lies: the ability to solve problems in order to find always the right decision.
Human resources: close attention from the start
When it comes to human resources, Lamiflex looks at the person as a whole and the training: materials engineers, aeronautical engineers and chemical engineers have the specific skills required to develop new machinery and new projects.
Right from the beginning, a special bond of respect and team work has bonded the company and its human resources in a relationship of common growth and continuous cross-fertilisation, both professional and personal. This is reflected by the fact that turnover has never exceeded 3%.
Main markets: an international company for 40 years
Currently, 40% of Lamiflex’s customers are in Italy, 35% in Europe and the remaining 25% operate in the rest of the world, mainly in the markets of Asia, America and Turkey. The company’s customers are found in various sectors, including, in addition to textile machinery, the industrial, medical and aeronautical sectors and rollers, particularly for flexo printing. With the aid of the latest technology, such as Solvent Impregnation, Filament Winding, Pultrusion and Pull-winding, Roll-wrapping, Progressive and Multi-chamber Press, Autoclave, RTM and LPMC, the company is able to provide any solution, developing production processes that are complemented by advanced IT systems.
Lamiflex tapes: a reputation acknowledged by the market every day
Lamiflex, with its numerous types of tape, has always succeeded in meeting the highest standards requested by customers, combining a punctual service with continual warehouse availability. Lamiflex is also the ideal partner for the production of gear wheels, a strategic replacement part in the textile machinery industry. The solidity, professionalism and the reputation built over the years enable the company to maintain and consolidate its leadership.