More than 120 employees, 2 manufacturing factories with 25 extrusion lines and 150 braiding machines, logistic headquarters with a real capacity of 3,500 available finished-product pallet places, for a total 16,000 sq. m. of overall surface (soon widened with additional 5,000 sq. m. and inserted into a context of over 70,000 sq. m. of uncovered area), and around 40 million metre tubes manufactured every year. They are the numbers that let Zec rank among primary sector companies on a world scale, due to a broad range of thermoplastic tubes that find application in a multitude of applications sectors, that is to say wherever there is the need of transporting a pressurized fluid.
«A range of products – the General Manager Dino Zantelli states – exported in over 90 Countries in the world, for a direct export that today makes up about 60% of the turnover. Last year the latter reached slightly more than 31 million Euros».
What are the main sectors supplied?
«The primary sectors regularly supplied by Zec –Zantelli points out – are around one dozen: the hydraulic and pneumatic field, oil & gas and the lubrication world. With the addition of the variegated world of industrial applications, especially for the cold water flow for cleaning sewer channels or the passage of cold water, in its turn nebulized. Dealing with Covid-19 pandemic, our tubes have been used also in the implementation of sanitization plants, to disperse water and disinfectants into the environments».
Other reference sectors are then represented by automotive (with applications in braking systems of trailers, in the conveyance of methane gas or LPG gas), by the food and shipbuilding industry (with marine, submarine and applications aboard ships).
«Another sector –Zantelli adds– significantly grown in recent years is connected with the refrigeration world, with tubes for instance exploited for the Freon passage. An ambit that has found very positive feedback on the market, due to low-permeability tubes, which therefore conform to the international standards concerning the low loss of refrigerating gases».
Along the years, Zec has consolidated its presence in the world market and can rely on a sales structure, as already highlighted, operating in over 90 Countries, through a net of agents individually supported by the corresponding sales managers; a net of official distributors that resell Zec-branded products; agreements with multinational Groups, logistic support in Uruguay; customers directly present in the OEM world.
How can you subdivide your product range?
«We can split our production into two macro-families – Zantelli explains: thermoplastic tubes for low pressure and thermoplastic tubes for medium-high-very high pressure. The first generally find application in the pneumatic world, for pressures included between 6 and 10 atmospheres. We are speaking of generally single-layer products, manufactured through extrusion of polymers of various kinds, depending on specifications, available as both linear tube and spiral tube. Concerning medium- high-very high pressure tubes, we are instead referring to basically thermoplastic executions reinforced with textile, metal or special reinforcements of aramid synthetic fibre, i.e. kevlar, or instead hybrid solutions ».
In short, Zec’s broad product proposal includes linear, single, multiple and spiral thermoplastic tubes, with technical features that allow choosing a range included between 2 and 40 mm of diameter, working pressures from a minimum of 5 up to a maximum of 1,280 bars, with use temperatures that go from -200 °C to +260 °C depending on typologies.
«The pressure of 1,280 bars – Zantelli specifies– represents the current limit of our product range. A value subjected to ameliorative modifications, due also to the huge investments made every year in research and development activities, for a value amounting to 5-6% of the turnover. In particular, some projects aimed at the development precisely of very high pressure tubes are in advanced phase».
What does quality mean for Zec?
«I believe that one of the differentiating and distinguishing features of Zec –Zantelli points out – is the constant attention paid to the achievement of higher and higher qualitative standards. Standards obtained through both the adoption of forefront manufacturing technologies and an attentive selection of raw materials, chosen among the best in the world».
The raw materials that enter Zec manufacturing departments are checked and tested by sophisticated advanced control instruments, in compliance with severe procedures of the corporate quality system, certified according to UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 regulation.
The same supervision process concerns also production cycles in the various divisions, with department managing engineers entrusted with the assessment of technical specifications’ correctness for each batch.
«Qualitative tests –Zantelli adds– are carried out through: general chemical-physical analyses; supervision of manufacturing phases and machine efficiency; lab tests on samples; tests, verifications of tightness to working pressures and up to the critical conditions referred to applications».
Are there any productive, organizational and logistic changes in course?
«In 2021 – Zantelli confirms – we will inaugurate a new manufacturing unit, still located at Colorno, as extension of the current area with further 5,400 sq. m. Evolution that also provides for a sort of in-house operational revolution. In view of new spaces, in fact, for 21,000 sq. m. overall, the various process lines will be redistributed according to a layout optimized to further improve the global efficiency. Production will be no longer distributed on two but instead on three plants, as guarantee of our organization perfecting, to full benefit of the planning and management of the whole logistic part».
The start of the new manufacturing site represents for Zec also a turning point in conformity with 4.0. «From the new factory – Zantelli ends – will start in fact Zec’s revolution, to the ends of Industry 4.0, and afterwards it will be extended. A necessary turning point, apt for enhancing not only the manufacturing capacity but also our flexibility, to succeed in satisfying at best the requirements of a more and more dynamic and competitive market».