GBL Officina Meccanica: 50 years celebrated at Simac Tanning Tech

GBL Officina Meccanica: 50 years celebrated at Simac Tanning Tech

Tannery machines are constantly evolving. This is thanks to Industry 4.0. and the government incentives associated with it. It is thanks to these contributions that the Tuscan company GBL Officina Meccanica has managed to grow and develop in recent years. “We have evolved our lines, Industry 4.0. has given us a big boost,” says one of the owners, Alberto Campinoti, from the booth set up at Simac Tanning Tech 2022 (pictured). A special and important edition, because it coincided with the celebrations of the first 50 years of activity.

50 years of GBL

GBL was founded in the early 1970s by Brunero Campinoti, Luigi Campigli and Giorgio Padovani. Now at the helm of the company, which specialises in machinery for vegetable tanning and the processing of fine and reptile leather, is the second generation: Alberto Campinoti and Filippo Padovani. “The company started from a small workshop in Ponte A Egola,” explains Campinoti. “We grew up together with the tanning pole. Tanners had a demand and our fathers tried to meet the needs that changed from year to year. From simple machine repairers we thus became manufacturers, coming to produce a complete line of machinery”.

The market and the niche

The many unknowns of the market in recent years have led GBL to work mainly with Italy, strengthened by the incentives that the government has made available for Industry 4.0. “Even before Covid, these incentives had already given us a hand. Even afterwards, having contracts in place allowed us to renew the whole range of machinery, bringing in new technologies. In recent years we have been working more in Italy than abroad,” Campinoti explains. “Now we are slowly getting the foreign customers back, especially from Central and North America and Europe”.

Generational change

“I am proud to be able to say that our employees have worked with us all their lives,” Campinoti tells us, “which shows how well they have enjoyed their time with the company. Now that the historical employees are retiring, they are gradually being replaced with a young force”. Generational turnover is therefore not a problem for GBL. “At 49 years old, I am the oldest. The youngest is 23. We are 12 in total”.

Rising costs

“Sudden cost increases particularly affect us,” says the entrepreneur. “Especially because our contracts, which are set at a certain price, do not have a fast delivery time. Therefore, a period of time elapses in which the factors in the field change drastically. Thus, we find ourselves having to modify agreements. Some customers understand and we manage to adjust prices, but it is not easy”. At the moment, it is the procurement of raw materials and electronic components that concerns GBL more than the high bills. For example, “sheet metal. It used to arrive in three weeks, now an order placed in November was delivered at the beginning of April. I always say that a craftsman who is late is a craftsman who works, but this is going too far”.

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