Founded in September 1991 by a small, but dynamic team of individuals led by the industrious and trailblazing Piero Salvini, ALTECH gradually established itself as a leading company in the production of labelling machines, constantly challenging itself to create, adapt, and implement the most diverse and innovative labelling solutions and satisfying the needs of the most disparate food and non-food sectors.
It is thanks to these three decades of experience that the company, now led by Paolo Salvini, the second generation of leadership which has actively contributed to the company’s development, today boasts a brand new, 3500 square-metre facility located just outside of Milan, as well as an extensive market that is 80% overseas and supported by 80 distributors and three additional branches located in Great Britain, the United States, and Argentina.
The Bareggio facility builds and assembles approximately 2000 labelling machines per year, both large systems and small stand-alone machines, and employs more than seventy people.
In short, the company produces labelling systems that combine manufacturing quality with ease of use and reliability, providing original solutions that have been developed through scientific research.
These characteristics have contributed to ALTECH’s systems being adopted by a growing number of clients, which, in turn, has allowed the company to become one of the recognised world leaders in its sector.
After two years in which it was impossible to meet, we were finally able to sit down with Paolo Salvini and chat about how this most recent period has been for the company as well as what its immediate prospects are.
A CHAT WITH PAOLO SALVINI
Mr. Salvini, this special anniversary is taking place during a very unique moment in history. After 2020, which was characterised by a sudden pandemic, it seems that we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. How did Altech handle this period?
Overall it went well. Initially, like everyone else, we were shaken and had to understand how to deal with such an unexpected event. But soon our company was included, according to the Ateco codes, on the list of those that were able to continue doing business, being essential to industry.
Therefore we were able to continue working, progressively weathering all of the inevitable challenges that came with the situation. But after a settling in phase, our activities then continued without interruption, and I’m satisfied to say that overall things didn’t go badly at all.
Some sectors, like the packaging sector for example, have in fact grown in recent years. Is this true for the labelling sector as well?
In 2020 we actually didn’t experience any drop at all in terms of sales and revenue, while 2021 is turning out to be a year of growth. The market is responding very well and our sales numbers have definitely increased.
The only problem is the scarcity of raw materials and the related rise in costs, but overall we can’t complain, seeing as how, regardless, we’re among those sectors that have been less affected by the crisis. In fact, in addition to being active in the cosmetic and manufacturing sectors, we work quite a bit with the food and pharmaceutical sectors as well, which certainly haven’t experienced any downturns.
What industrial sectors have given you the greatest satisfaction over the past few years?
Definitely the food sector, where there’s been significant growth. The growth has actually been global. Labelling machines are objects with a very broad spectrum: everyone needs them. Everything that’s produced needs a label.
We have the privilege of being useful to every product sector, and this allows us to have excellent stability. If one sector slows down, there’s always another one that’s picking up. Not only that, but we have an excellent sales network that includes about eighty dealers that supply 50 countries worldwide. This geographic distribution also ensures stability, because when demand drops in one area it tends to rise in another.
Speaking of which, what percentage of your revenue comes from exports?
About 75% in value and 80% in machines.
What trade shows will you be participating in in the near future?
The next trade shows we’ll be participating in are Ipack-Ima, in May 2022 in Milan, and Pack-Expo in Chicago in October.
Then in 2023 we’ll be at Interpack. We’re already getting ready for Ipack-Ima and are choosing which machines to bring. I think the trade show will go well, both for us and for the event itself. The long wait has built up expectations that I believe will be met. In general there’s a strong desire to resume normal activities and people are very enthusiastic.
We’ll finally see our clients in person again and will get to display our machines the way we like to and the way we always have.
We like to do business face-to-face and show our machines in person. We can’t wait to resume in-person activities.
ENOUGH WITH VIRTUAL MEETINGS!
Are there any new products in your labelling solutions?
We’ll be presenting something new at Ipack-Ima. But right now we’re focusing on our clients, who we work very hard to satisfy, scrupulously respecting delivery times.
Speaking of clients, do you have any new ones?
Yes, we have new contacts in areas like the Far East and Eastern Europe, where previously we weren’t present, but we also have new clients in Italy.
There’s definitely a steady increase in new clients.
Our work is, after all, to produce innovative industrial labelling machines, a focus which is expressed in the name of our company itself: ALTECH, Advanced Labelling Technologies.