IMEL designs and constructs surface treatment plants for a wide range of different industries. It serves a large number of customers in the automotive industry, in particular in the heavy goods, agricultural and earth moving vehicle sectors, as well as manufacturers of household goods such as washing machines.
“We can supply equipment to coat just about everything except wood,” says General Manager Stefano Bianchin. “We have recently developed and installed large coating plants for Nissan, for Scania in Sweden, for Renault and Yaris in Turkey, and Komatsu in Italy.”
Founded in 1964, IMEL has extensive experience in the coating industry. “It requires knowledge of a wide range of different aspects,” Mr. Bianchin points out. “You need a deep understanding not only of the processes that customers use, but also of the paints, chemicals and treatments themselves.”
IMEL offers a flexible, bespoke service, and helps its customers to define their requirements down to the smallest detail. “We have customers who have worked with us for 30 years,” Mr. Bianchin notes proudly.
The company’s own R&D department continually works on new and innovative process solutions. IMEL turns over around 25 million EUR each year. 20% of sales are generated in Italy, the remainder are exports to Sweden, France, Spain, Romania, Russia, Belarus and Turkey.
In September 2017, the firm opened a subsidiary in Suzhou in China to serve the Chinese and Southeast Asian market. International expansion is high on the agenda, and the firm is looking to establish sales team and partnerships in new locations.
IMEL is one of the leading suppliers of coating equipment, and that is no coincidence. “We regularly measure the competition, and we know we are able to offer the best solutions,” the General Manager stresses. “Partly, this is due to the high quality of the components we use – the conveyor, pump and heating systems, for example. We have longstanding relationships with extremely reliable suppliers. Pre-treatment is another important factor, and in this respect, we work very closely with the chemical manufacturers. All of these things added together can make or break the final result. We know what we deliver, and we know what the competition supplies. Nevertheless, it is sometimes difficult to explain to customers that these components are just as important as the plant itself.”
Industry 4.0 is playing a huge role in IMEL’s development. The company has recently developed i4paintshop, a software platform with different modules for data processing, resource and process measurement, and maintenance, which will improve control and save energy.