At Solema, one year after the celebrations for the company’s 40th anniversary, we are back to celebrate an important event: the 10 years from the birth of the Paperboard division. For the occasion we met three key people from Solema who experienced firsthand the advent of the new division.
After a 2022 marked by the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Solema, this year too there is room to celebrate another important event: the 10 years from the birth of the Paperboard division.
It was 2013 when Solema decided to give life to a new division specialized in machines for cutting and assembling solid and corrugated board, in the wake of the experience gained in the graphic arts sector which led to the birth of the Graphicart division.
The idea of the new division took shape following the acquisition by Solema – still in 2013 – of the RODA designs, exclusive patents which, over time, have constantly evolved thanks to a series of technical upgrades aimed at meeting market needs, which have brought greater production flexibility and made format changes quicker, optimizing production speed.
The Paperboard division, which in these 10 years has brought paperboard processing products to a high-quality level, features machinery for the production of flexible packaging systems for the creation of partitions, pads, angulars, protectors, supports, fillers, and trays.
This way, Solema’s flexibility encourages the search for new solutions for the optimization of paperboard transformation processes, allowing the creation of a range of safe and effective packaging products for every type of goods, from wine bottles to spare parts for the automotive industry, from pharmaceutical products to electrical equipment, even cosmetics.
In 2022, the Paperboard division found its rightful consecration with the success obtained by Uni.Co , a modular machine dedicated to cutting solid and corrugated board, characterized by the many configurations it can develop over time, with functional areas that can be freely added or removed, that represents the achievement of maximum optimization of the technologies acquired by RODA.
For Solema, Uni.Co is a consolidated and appreciated product that has led to the sale of 10 perfectly functional units scattered around the world.
For Paperboard’s 10th anniversary, we met three key people from Solema – Luca Parsani, Giuseppe Magri, and Luca Borella – who experienced firsthand the advent of the new division.
We asked Luca Parsani, CEO of Solema, how the idea of acquiring Roda in 2013 to then create Solema’s new internal Paperboard division came about.
‘Roda was a company founded in Switzerland in the 1940s and known throughout the world for building machines for converting paperboard. In the 1990s, its already rich product portfolio featured a new specific machine for cutting grey paperboard, used in bookbinding to produce hard book covers with great efficiency and precision. Working in the same sector, we at Solema had the opportunity to meet, in the mid-2000s, the Sales Director of Roda, who was entrusted by the owners with the sale of the company in 2012. The offer to acquire the company came for us at a particular moment during which we were engaged in the search for new business sectors to develop in parallel with the already flourishing Automation Division for Graphic Arts, which was there from the beginning. The acquisition of Roda thus allowed us to integrate a product that fit well into our production organization and, at the same time, allowed us to enter the paperboard packaging sector with the Solema name, supported by a brand, Roda, that was already known worldwide.’
Then we asked Giuseppe Magri, Director of Solema, what the company situation was like in 2013 at the time of the Roda acquisition, and whether the company had the broad shoulders to take this decisive step in terms of numbers, resources, and space.
‘At the time of the Roda acquisition, the situation in Solema was particularly complicated and uncertain. The turnover depended exclusively on the graphic arts sector, a sector that was going through a period of strong commercial contraction. In addition to this obstacle, there were the various financial crises of those years and the rapid spread of digital devices, which contributed to a marked decline in orders.
The pressing need to counteract the decline in orders and the desire to diversify the business toward new sectors strongly pushed Solema to acquire the Roda brand.
The immediate availability of the technical and production resources and the operational spaces allowed us to immediately develop and produce the paperboard converting machines, thus contributing to boosting orders and turnover.’
Finally, we asked Luca Borella, Solema’s Sales Director, what the sales results are 10 years after the birth of the new division, and whether the objectives set in 2013 have been achieved.
‘Exactly ten years after the birth of the Paperboard division, we can say that the results achieved are satisfactory, and account for 30-35% of the company’s global turnover. After an initial phase of studying the new sector and new markets, through the dense sales network, part of it being our pre-existing one and part of it inherited from Roda, we have managed to confirm and consolidate our presence in the global markets not only with our Solema Graphics products, but also with products from the Paperboard range.
The work carried out so far, added to the long experience accumulated in forty years of R&D and to the continuous search for better and automated solutions, have led Solema to be recognized, to date, as one of the leading companies in the solid and corrugated board converting sector. Our customers particularly appreciate our ability to find new ideas and put them into practice quickly. This contributed to the design of new machines and technologies that were not even remotely imaginable at the time of the Roda acquisition.
I would also like to underline the important development that has taken place in the last 3 years that culminated with the birth of Uni.Co, a modular machine capable of processing both solid and corrugated board, that allows our customers to scale their investment by selecting just the strictly necessary modules in the initial phase, without losing the option to add to the machine itself after installation, thus creating the possibility of opening up to new market segments. From the beginning of 2020 to today, 10 Uni.Co machines have already been installed, configured according to the different needs, while another 3 are about to be completed and will be installed by the end of 2023.
The use of paperboard is growing rapidly, and is highly topical due to the well-known issues of environmental protection: for these reasons as well, Solema will get involved to look for new solutions to offer in order to once again remain a protagonist on the market.’
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