The real and tangible evidence of the collaboration between Solema and Veronapack in the story of an important project related to beverage
In a recent news in February we met Stefano Angero co-owner, together with his brothers Giovanni and Maria Cristina, of Veronapack, an Italian company located in Veneto, leader in the production of corrugated and solid cardboard packaging and strong partner of Solema.
At the end of the article we mentioned an important project that was emerging – a huge supply for the beverage industry – in which Veronapack would play a leading role, with the technological contribution of Solema.
Basically, a two player game.
Let’s find out the details with Mr. Angero.
Good morning Mr. Angero, can you tell us when and how this important project was born?
It all began in February 2020 when Veronapack received an important request for a quote for a large supply of products from the company Scatolificio Sandra, a company located in San Polo di Torrile, Parma.
This was an important contract for a leading multinational company in the production of partitions for the beverage market. A request that involved the supply of several million solid board partitions with rather fast delivery times.
We have quickly prepared our offer for Sandra and then, due the pandemic that was emerging in those months in Italy, the project was temporarily put aside.
But in July, when everything seemed to be forgotten, the phone call of Sandra invited us to their company: "We have the order for the work of Beverage! We have to start immediately, there is no time to lose, we are asked for a production of 11 million partitions in a very short time… Are you with us?".
Let’s imagine your reaction…
Well, such numbers are so impressive! We were called in the production of 11 million and 300 thousand partitions by the end of 2021. A challenge that Veronapack had never faced in over thirty years of activity.
Throughout 2019 we had reached a total of 4 million solid board partitions while now, suddenly, we were asked for more than 11 million in a single order... to be added to our predicted annual ordinary production of around 4 million.
Before we accepted we wanted to be sure not to meet unpleasant surprises. We immediately realized that we should necessarily strengthen our production capacity, in order to guarantee to the customer that we would be able to comply with the validation times. So, already on the trip back by car, we called Solema outlining the developments of the following months.
We contacted first Luca Parsani, CEO of Solema. The date requested by the customer for the start of production was January-February 2021. For that date it was necessary to have in our company all the machines necessary to satisfy this extraordinary production, also considering the health emergency then was still in act and what could still arise and follow from it... We needed Solema’s moral and professional support.
At this point we ask Luca Parsani, CEO of Solema, to tell us how the request for collaboration was taken inside the company.
Requests like this are almost shocking when you receive one, because for us it was immediately clear the commitment that we were going to take.
The order – which for Veronapack meant a production of millions of pieces – for us involved the complete supply (production, installation, testing) of 3 new machines: 2 partition assemblers mod. Moser and a completely automatic punching machine mod. Multiroll-Cut. This one had to be able to feed both Moser partition assemblers at full capacity.
The deadline was mandatory: delivery of the 3 machines ready and tested within the first week of January 2021, so that Veronapack would be ready, as early as the second week of January, to carry out the last internal tests (feasibility and logistics) and start to produce partitions independently by the end of January at a rate of about a million per month. This was the only way to guarantee the achievement of the target of 11 million and 300 thousand pieces by the end of 2021.
I asked Mr. Angero a few days to think about this, aware both of the difficulty of the work, and of the risk of not matching the request.
At Solema we immediately understood the importance that this project had for Veronapack and consequently for us. It was a matter of giving continuity to an important partnership, for the present and for the future of both companies.
A job like this generally requires a preparation of 4-5 months, while here we were asked to do it in 2-3 months... between production, testing and installation of machines. And by the way at a particular time because last summer we were busy in recovering some of the work lost in the spring during the pandemic. The unknown was precisely the respect of delivery times.
To our advantage, however, was the awareness that the project was based on a well tested technology and we were not asked to create a prototype that could reserve surprises. That’s partly calmed us down.
In the end, a meeting between Sales Director, Production Director, Financial Director and Property clarified that we couldn’t say no to a historical customer like Veronapack. And the answer was "Solema is here".
We now ask Stefano Angero to explain the initial phases of the project.
After Solema accepted, we felt better because we knew that we had a serious and reliable partner who would support us. It took a few meetings, some even on the phone because of the Covid restrictions, to lay the foundations of the project. At the end of August 2020 the order was defined, the contract signed and the project officially started.
The details of the work were gradually being revealed: 11 million partitions would contain glass bottles of mineral water, destined for the foreign markets of the Horeca sector.
In October 2020, the first validation phase and the subsequent testing in production of partitions was carried out on Solema machines already present in our premises. We would then have to make a second test, this time on the new machines, by mid-January 2021. All that remained to do was to wait for the definitive delivery of the machines by Solema set right before Christmas.
Solid paperboard partitions produced by Veronapack are then used in industrial lines like this.
This project came in parallel with the strategic choice of Veronapack to invest in the production of solid board partitions. Isn’t it?
It’s just like that. The enthusiasm with which we tackled this work gave us the incentive to invest even more in the business of solid board. On January 15th, in fact, we inaugurated the new production division dedicated exclusively to the solid board processing. A branch located a few kilometers from the headquarters was created to better meet the demand for partitions of the beverage customer, whose work was organized on two shifts of 4 people each, two machines’ operators, a cutting operator, and a person in logistics.
We are sure that the creation of the new division dedicated to the solid board will lead to a further increase in the work coming from the beverage sector and in particular from that of wine, considering also that until a few years ago partitions were produced only in Germany and France, stored in Italy and then delivered to the final customer, which however could justify the freight from Germany only against large order quantities.
Now, thanks to our new production reality, the partitions’ storage is going to be no more necessary, with a saving in terms of time and money and a smoother workflow. In short, the business of solid cardboard is great, with developments even in the medium to short term: the only wine market in the north-east of Italy needs 60 million partitions per year.
All this, without forgetting the historic headquarters of Veronapack that will remain focused on the production of corrugated board.
We ask Luca Parsani instead to tell us about the final stages of the project.
The delivery and installation of the 3 machines at Veronapack, which deadline was set for the first week of January 2021, was brought forward to mid-December 2020. By September it had all gone away smoothly and this favored the compression of the times. The second simulation in the production cycle, initially scheduled for mid-January, was anticipated at the end of December 2020.
All this has allowed Veronapack to have more time for the processing of a "batch test" production performed on the new machineries and to send in advance the first assembled partitions to Scatolificio Sandra, that tested and put them directly in the machine for the production of the final boxes. All operations have been successful.
Right before Christmas our technicians returned to Veronapack to perform the assembly and installation of the Multiroll-Cut, the specific cutting machine with which the final shape of the partition is realized. Finally, on December 28th, the machines were started and finally connected, in order to produce the material needed to carry out the second internal test for Veronapack.
After the start-up of the cutting machine, which was the priority of the work, the installation and training of the two partition assemblers Moser was completed during the last week of January. And at the end of January Veronapack, in its new production branch, was perfectly working in complete autonomy on our machines.
At present, Veronapack is regularly proceeding with the production of partitions without interruptions, knowing that they can count on the support 24/7 of our skilled technicians.
I close by recalling that this project is certainly one of the most intense moments of the collaboration between Veronapack and Solema, and certifies the strengthening of the partnership between the two companies.
Thanks to Mr. Stefano Angero and Mr. Luca Parsani for the cooperation.
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