API has recently presented the pneumatic hand-dryer Green Dry

Quality, flexibility and attention to customers

Quality, flexibility and attention to customers. These are some of the strong points of API, which has recently presented the pneumatic hand-dryer Green Dry, which is devised for the automotive industry and has widened its range of products, staking in particular on stainless steel ones.

Elio Annoni, sales & marketing director of the Italian company PI.
Elio Annoni, sales & marketing director of the Italian company PI.

Automotive is increasingly becoming a strategic sector for API. The company, headquartered at Mozzate (Como, Italy), has recently presented Green Dry, fully pneumatic patented hair-dryer, usable in train and ship toilets. The company, operating for about thirty years in the industrial pneumatics sector, has also published a new catalogue, where it has introduced innovative products, and it has widened and improved the already existing ranges. «We are betting on both standard and niche products» states Elio Annoni, sales & marketing director of API.

«Among the latest products that have enriched the catalogue are encompassed, for instance, short-stroke ISO 15524 normalized cylinders and compact ISO 21287 cylinders made of AISI 316L stainless steel. We have introduced both normalized products and specific handling products, to enrich the standard series. We are hugely investing in the niche range, for instance in stainless steel products where the use of AISI 316L stainless steels suiting manifold applications is mandatory for us; this material is in fact excellent in markets such as medical, food and offshore. Worth reminding is the series of standard ISO 15552 cylinders made of AISI 316L. The AISI 316L range has been improved with the introduction of a series of air treatment groups subdivided into three sizes: ¼”, ½” and 1”. «We are staking a lot on the marketing aspect connected with our website, on the drawing up of newsletters and showcases about our new products, says Annoni. Over next months, our new site will further evolve».  One of the important projects, for next months, concerns the widening of niche stainless steel products, in the solenoid valve ambit, usable in aggressive environments and dangerous areas, too. «It is an important step, which will complete our offer and will make it more interesting for customers worldwide» specifies Annoni. «We will go on working in two ambits, special and standard products. The achieved results highlight that this is the right direction». The company will keep on investing also in new markets and in the brand visibility.

A successful history                                  

Modular FRLX air treatment groups made of AISI 316L stainless steel.
Modular FRLX air treatment groups made of AISI 316L stainless steel.

Meanwhile, numbers are self-explicatory of the successes met by API in Italy and abroad. Today the company manufactures a good one hundred different typologies of products; the entire production is “made in Italy” certified. The Italian operational premises take up 3500 square meters while they produce 5 million pieces and they sell 7 million units per year. Currently, API’s employees are around forty; 100 are, instead, the distributors operating on the world market and 1,000 the customers spread in 50 Countries all over the world. «API was established in 1987, as trade company» tells us Annoni. «The founder is Gianluigi Doddi, professional figure with a relevant past in the pneumatic industry, in leader companies until that time, who decided to give up his experience as employee and to become an entrepreneur». At the beginning, the in-house production was very scarce, almost all was outsourced, often upon API’s design. This strategy lasted for about one decade. «When, in the late Nineties, the marketing space missed, owing to the market evolution, choices might be two: either to become importers of some Asian products, but it might be risky, or to start manufacturing directly» explains Annoni. «We opted for the second choice, then it was a great challenge, because the nature of our business was prevailingly commercial. From the productive point of view, we did not rely on a technical division, we missed the necessary background to carry out the new activities. Now, on the contrary, we can ascertain that choice was winning because with our production, with our technical office and with our resources we can be present on the market».

A positive year

A 2014 fiscal year ended positively for the company points out that the undertaken direction is winning, since they scored the 10% turnover growth compared to 2013. «In the first four months of 2015, we are maintaining the same trend as in 2014 but considering that the order portfolio is growing, we believe that the current year will end in surplus » comments Annoni. «Today the market is more and more competitive and difficult, but our commitment is total. It is an increasingly fluctuating market, but we try to react, introducing new products and pursuing a constant growth».

Currently API achieves 50% of its turnover abroad. It has customers in Europe and in the rest of the world; three are the persons who work as international market managers. «For some years now, we have been increasingly extending towards Asia, especially China and neighbouring Countries» states Annoni. «In China, unlike the other nations where we have only trade branches, we have also a manufacturing site because distances would not allow short delivery terms and, consequently, the only possibility is the assembly on the spot. In several foreign Countries, we operate through distributors, often exclusive. Today Asia is the most strategic area. «In Asia potentialities are notable, even if it is not a simple market to manage owing to the distances and certainly low budgets compared to big competitors’, but we are working with the best commitment» specifies Annoni. «We are betting on the United States, where we are starting achieving good results. Australia is not a simple market but it is anyway an interesting market, where we are growing. In eastern Europe, we are working well, problems of Russia and Ukraine have stopped these markets, but we are consolidating what we have done». In Italy API works by about 70% with resellers and by 30% on direct customers, explains Annoni. The company deems its participation in exhibitions strategic, too. «Hannover exhibition has constituted an excellent meeting point with current customers and we have attained a good number of new contacts» states Annoni. «We are strongly focusing on exhibitions in Asia and in the United States, too». API’s final customers operate in all commodity sectors. «Being a young reality, we have no specific reference areas as it happens for other Italian manufacturers, even if automotive and, especially, the railway industry are becoming important» adds Annoni. Several are API’s strong points, from certified quality to human resources considered as a value, to the commitment to research and development.

«A strong point that we consider our feather in the cap is constituted by flexibility, as well as response and service times towards customers, often difficult elements to manage for big sector businesses», ends the sales & marketing director of API. «The research and development, area where 10% of our workforce is committed, is particularly oriented to customers’ demands. We intend to satisfy all needs; the gained experience will share in the widening of our product range».

Green Dry the fulyy pneumatic hand-dryer.
Green Dry the fully pneumatic hand-dryer.

A fully pneumatic hand-dryer

Green Dry, the fully pneumatic hand-dryer designed and implemented by API, intended for the automotive industry, does not need electrical or electronic devices for its control and to keep it in operational efficiency conditions and bets on eco-sustainability, on energy saving, on silence and on longer service life compared to standard electric and electronic dryers.

Equipped with a suitable suction filter for removing any impurity from the air, this pneumatic hand dryer does not require any maintenance. Green Dry provides an air jet with high volume and speed, thanks to a flow multiplier integrated into the aluminium body of the device, reducing drying times compared to electrical and electronic dryers. A heating module, which can be integrated, allows providing hot air jets, too.

Innovative quality products

The latest products that have enriched API’s catalogue include normalized short-stroke cylinders and compact ISO 21287 cylinders made of AISI 316L stainless steel.
The latest products that have enriched API’s catalogue include normalized short-stroke cylinders and compact ISO 21287 cylinders made of AISI 316L stainless steel.

The product novelties made available by API include short-stroke magnetic and non-magnetic normalized standard ISO 15524 cylinders that stand out for the shaped jacket made of extruded aluminium with fixing holes directly drawn on the same. In the magnetic type, the sensor can be fixed in the apposite slot hosted in the tube without having to use further brackets. This avoids the magnetic sensor protrusion beyond the tube profile. Both versions are equipped with elastic dampers on cylinder heads.

Compact AISI 316L stainless steel cylinders compliant with the ISO 21287 regulation, instead, with clean design cared in details, are characterized by the round tube and external tie rods. Utmost attention is paid to the execution of cylinder heads not featuring outer exhausts where filth can cumulate. The CIX series is equipped with elastic dampers on the piston.

Finally, modular FRLX air treatment groups made of AISI 316L stainless steel, are suitable for industrial applications in sectors like: alimentary, medical, chemical, oil & gas, mining. Light and with small sizes to avoid taking up excessive space, they are supplied with bracket and stainless steel manometer.

SEE ALSO THE VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LK3WE_H29c