Following the latest events of the year involving A.Celli Paper, we took the opportunity to ask a few questions to Daniel Galli, the company’s General Manager, to get a perspective on the industry in general and to talk about A.Celli’s vision and role in the international paper and tissue production scenario.
The A.Celli Group is an important presence in the paper and tissue machine manufacturing sector: what is the current situation in the industry in which you operate?
The current situation in the paper industry is highly dynamic. 2023 has been a year characterized by strong tensions stemming from a complicated overall landscape. Manufacturers have had to deal with a scenario marred by uncontrollable costs, both for raw material procurement and energy needs. In addition to this unprecedented situation, there has also been below-standard demand, a slowing volume of exports, and a high presence of stocked products.
In the complexity of this scenario, it has been necessary to implement strategic actions to maintain a stable demand from our customers, naturally diversified by geographical areas and product types, with a common factor: the growing interest in aspects related to energy efficiency and eco-sustainability.
How important is innovation in your field?
Innovation is a fundamental factor, not only in our industry. At A.Celli, we are innovators by definition, and as evidence of this sentiment, there is the significant corporate and product evolution we have promoted and realized in recent years. Completing important acquisitions of renowned companies like PMT Italia in Piedmont, Taiprora in Abruzzo, and Sadas in Lucca has allowed us to integrate new technologies and additional expertise into our industrial group.
Equally important are the substantial investments in research and development that have kept us at the forefront. For example, during an open house event at our Tassignano facilities, which coincided with MIAC (International Exhibition of Paper Industry), we presented an innovation that demonstrates how we are revolutionizing technology to meet the evolving needs of our customers. Specifically, this innovation is the Shoe press SMARNIP®T, the result of our latest advancements in the field of Shoe presses for tissue paper production.
Let’s talk about numbers: employment, production, and commitment to environmental sustainability.
As of today, the Tissue & Paper division has approximately 150 resources spread across our locations in Tassignano (Lucca), Pinerolo (Turin), and Shanghai (China). We also benefit from a significant network of suppliers and partners near our facilities, enabling us to adapt our production capacity to market opportunities. In general, our workforce has grown over the past two years, and we anticipate further growth in 2024 to support our strategic plan.
Regarding our commitment to environmental sustainability, we want to emphasize that we are a zero-impact company. Our production processes do not involve harmful materials and do not produce polluting emissions (smoke, wastewater, or dust). Our production facilities are equipped with photovoltaic systems, electric charging stations, and hybrid vehicles. We have received important recognitions, such as the “Sustainability Leader” award from the prestigious Italian economic-financial newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore” and from “Statista”. We have also been included in the rating of the “100 Excellent Sustainability Companies in Italy” by the influential economic magazine Forbes, Kon Group, and Credit Suisse.
Our commitment to the path of the green economy also extends to the solutions we offer to our customers. A recent example is the launch of a specific application for monitoring the energy consumption of a production plant, which supervises various forms of energy procurement (gas, electricity, water, etc.), specific uses, and the real-time monitoring of purchasing prices in the international market.
How much does the Italian market drive production, and how much does the export market weigh?
We are a company heavily focused on exports. Lately, in light of the geopolitical events that have occurred in the last two years, we have observed a decline in the Far East market, with China in the lead. This is mainly due to the economic phenomenon of reshoring, where some activities that had previously been relocated to Asian countries are now returning. We expect this trend to continue and become a real opportunity for a growing Western market, both in Europe and America.
What is the future mission of the A.Celli Group?
The mission of A.Celli is to maintain a position of leadership through constant evolution and the quality and seamless integration of products and solutions offered.
The A.Celli Group believes in close collaboration among Italian entities to harness the high expertise present in the Lucca district. The recent acquisitions are just a starting point, and more will follow to offer a complete and integrated range of products and services, making the most of the potential of digitalization in production processes.
In this perspective, we utilize advanced intralogistics solutions, including fleets of Automated Guided Vehicles, stacker cranes for automated warehouses, and software development for internal logistics flows (Traffic Manager, WCS – WMS, MES, and real-time 3D monitoring systems) that communicate in real-time with company ERPs.