Looking ahead without forgetting its own history history


A solid basis founded on the past and a look towards the future: this is the portrait of many players in the household appliances sector who have an important history behind them, but who continue to innovate and renew themselves to always keep up with the times
by Elena Corti

Tradition and innovation: two sides of the same coin for many household appliance companies that boast a long history, but who have never lost the desire to look ahead with the constant goal of growing and innovating. In these companies, artisan skills are combined with research & development activities, and the know-how accumulated over the years becomes the starting basis for exploring new technologies and finding new solutions. Despite the often changing market conditions, several household appliance companies have managed to grow over time, increasing their size, the number of employees, the presence on global markets and the products range. The pursuit of excellence and constant innovation have been (and continue to be) the keys of success that have enabled these companies to face the rapid changes that have occurred. From this strong commitment to evolve and improve, new types of devices were born, more and more intelligent appliances and advanced technologies. All in a logic of integration, multifunctionality and connectivity aimed at simplifying users’ lives. The combination between past heritage and innovation has allowed to create appliances with a refined design (made with techniques, finishes and processes that are often the result of knowledge acquired over many years of experience) that integrate the most advanced technologies and components. Process innovation adds itself to product one, with numerous investments in machinery and technologies to improve productivity and efficiency. Finally, on the distribution channels front, the e-commerce joins the traditional channels becoming more and more important to strengthen its own competitiveness.

Tradition and innovation in four keywords

We leave the word to some players of the sector who tell the story of their company, focusing on four main themes. The answers to the questions recall four keywords: innovation, past heritage, growth and change.
Here is what we asked the companies:

1 What is innovation for your company?

2 Which heritage the experience gained over the years has left to your company?

3 In your company history, in which areas have you grown (for example company size, presence abroad, product range expansion, technological research, etc.) and where have you invested most?

4 How are you facing the changes taking place in the sector

Design, digital technologies and technologies of latest generation are the key words that characterize Baraldi's innovation and strategies to face the changes taking place in the sector.

Innovation is perhaps the central element on which we focus increasingly. The shorter and shorter life of products and the more varied requests that come continuously from the markets have led us to develop more than twenty projects of new products per year. Design combined with the most advanced components, constant attention to the latest technologies and an integrated vision of change are now the natural ingredients for the life of our company.

The heritage left by the experience gained over the years is that the quality, the seriousness and the wish to do anything better and better, despite the difficulties or targets not always achieved in a short time, lead in the long run to positive results in terms of brand and company value.

In a few years we have gone from a few dozen articles to several hundred of product codes. The exports, which ten years ago accounted about 25% of our business, now have exceeded 70%. The technologies related to the product have grown exponentially leading us to create hoods and hobs that contain patents and are in the running to win prizes related to design and excellence. The biggest investment is in the continuous search for aesthetic and functional innovations, with better performance, but easy to use, in every new model we make.

Digital: this is the password that has entered the company for some time. The rapid transformation brought about by the new sales channels forces us to rethink the entire information management process. Designing, producing, selling and distributing products has become a single great connected mechanism where every person who collaborates with us must try to know all the facets and no longer just the one to which he or she is dedicated, be it technical, commercial or productive. An " animal" that sometimes scares but that gives us new opportunities.
Evelyn Passanante, Italy Retail Manager of Baraldi

Induction hob and hood together in Diamond Flexi by Baraldi. The product features a series of advanced functions such as cooking at low temperature or the possibility of keeping food warm. The hood, suction or filtering, has 6 speeds with Intensive mode

A history lasting more than 60 years, which has led Faber to be present in 4 Continents. Today, to go on innovating, the company invests about 5% of its turnover in R&D .

A leading company like Faber is constantly committed to improving its offer, in search of increasingly high-performance and cutting-edge solutions, trying to anticipate the needs of consumers. The company translates this commitment concretely, investing about 5% of its turnover in R&D, which is a very important share in the sector in which we operate. In addition, we have a factory in Sassoferrato, in the province of Ancona, a "model" of modernity and an innovation office within the PoliHub of the Milan Polytechnic which allows us to continuously compare with the start-ups of different sectors such as the development of new materials or nanotechnologies.

Faber has innovation in its DNA, having invented the kitchen hood. For more than 60 years we have been continuing to rely on the strengths of all time: commitment, tenacity, passion and dynamism at the service of indoor wellness.

Internationalization is a process that has started more than 30 years ago: today Faber is present in 4 Continents with factories in 8 countries (in addition to Italy, Sweden, France, Russia, India, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey) and commercial office in strategic markets like the USA. A development that has allowed us to remain among the world leaders, with a turnover of 330 million euro.

The global context and the great transformations we are confronted with require great dynamism and flexibility, but Faber can also count on a global presence able to diversify risks and supporting growth. From the product point of view, I believe that the key themes of the near future will be the IoT and the ability to propose solutions able of treat the air purification of the entire domestic environment, not just of the kitchen.

Riccardo Remedi, Managing Director of Faber

The refinement of design characterizes the Belle hood by Faber, which stands out for the double panel capable of creating a game of volumes that evoke the petals of a flower. The model is equipped with Airlane technology and connectivity

Faber Pyana brought the signature of the designer Carlo Colombo. The gloss finish casing, with rounded corners and internal glass panel equipped with the exclusive opening, is available in two colors variants

Falmec has always focused on the innovative contents of its solutions, which today range from cooking to air treatment, in addition of course to hoods.

We believe in innovation functional to needs, first of all that of breathing. We have therefore developed various technologies to ensure the best domestic air: for example Circle.Tech, which ensures excellent filtration in small volumes, or E.ion System, which recreates the environmental conditions of uncontaminated places in the home. For the future, we are working to ensure that our products become increasingly intelligent through technologies and sensors able to make the hood autonomous, guaranteeing the best relationship between performance and energy efficiency.

Falmec will turn 40 in 2021, a fairly long period in which it has managed to transform itself from an artisan dimension into a player on the Italian and international market, maintaining a strategic coherence that sees the key of its success in the pursuit of excellence and continuous innovation. Today Falmec unites different generations that come together to combine experience with a young push that understands the logic of the future.

Since 1981, when Danilo and Maurizio Poser began to lay the first "bricks" of the company reality by founding Falmec, the time, the results achieved and the mutations of the different markets have led the company to grow to a multinational dimension. In addition to the increase in size (up to almost 200 employees today) and commercial (with the opening of 6 branches in Europe), perhaps the most important evolution is represented by the extension of the range and type of products offered.

The extractor hoods sector is certainly the one that has changed the most in recent years: Falmec has been able to interpret these changes in its own way, to react quickly and originally, often influencing these trends. In our opinion, the world of hoods will be increasingly linked to a concept of integration and multifunctionality. The hood is therefore seen as a central element in the kitchen, fundamental in satisfying the various needs of the individual, first of all breathing a better and better air. Respecting the person and his needs, supporting the activities in the kitchen with functionality and elegance is the best answer that Falmec can offer through a wide range of products.

Lorenzo Poser, Commercial and Marketing Director of Falmec

With Feel System, Falmec Tecna Feel "feels" and monitors the air quality, automatically regulating the operation based on information on the state of the environment

Modula by Falmec is a versatile solution that satisfies different needs in the kitchen because it combines various cooking and extraction elements, available in three configurations

The vast experience accumulated over the years allows the company to be able to count on a high know-how, which joins the R&D activity for the development of new products.

For our company innovation is the heart of everyday activity. Although being a medium-sized company, we have a structured R&D sector which works in close contact with marketing and technical management, in order to obtain results in updating, implementing and developing new products or products that must be redefined, always with the utmost attention to what we are asked by users.

Having a history of 70 years in industrial activity, also as OEM, we have sedimented a vast wealth of information and projects that are placed at the basis of the development of new product lines.

If the first decades of our activity have seen a strong impetus towards internal productive investment, subsequently, with the widespread factory strategy (at the base of the Lean Manufacturing methodology which sees us collaborate closely with our main suppliers of semi-finished products and components) we have oriented our resources towards the development of the Fulgor Milano brand and the conquest of markets for it, laying the basis in 24 countries around the world. All this without forgetting the investments in technology.

The main changes that have transformed the White Goods sector in the last decade have been the concentration of manufacturing companies and brands in large transnational agglomerations and the development of e-commerce. As far as we are concerned, not being involved in the concentration of industrial groups, we had greater autonomy and spaces, both commercial and industrial - always compared to our size - which allowed us to consolidate the turnover with an important change related to balance between volumes and average price, a choice that offers us good prospects for the company's continuity in the future. The development of e-commerce, if properly governed, is and will always be more fundamental. The use of this channel will have to be addressed to both Trade and consumers, to allow more immediate, updated and multimedia information and not just to search for the lowest price. Competitiveness will be guaranteed by the ability to offer efficient services, with quality content products and functionality that can excite consumers.

Paolo Mainardi, Brand Manager of Fulgor Milano

The FCLPO 6215 P TEM BK oven by Fulgor Milano (Cluster Concept), with CREACTIVE Extended theology, has the pizza function for cooking 2 standard pizzas at 350°C in less than 3 minutes

Thanks to the timer, it is possible to program the switch off of the burners of the Fulgor Milano FCLH 905 G T WK BK hob (Cluster Concept). The appliance is equipped with Halo Vision knobs
In more than 60 years of history, the care to detail has characterized the activity of Glem Gas, which makes its know-how of Specialista in Cottura (cooking specialist) available to customers.

We see innovation above all from an experiential perspective: to offer the customer the best experience in using the appliance by creating high quality products, which guarantee excellent cooking results, with particular attention to style and increasing user involvement with the product. Innovation for a good kitchen that lasts over time, without too many sophistications: cooking, being it for necessity and/or for pleasure, must be a simple, concrete and satisfying experience.

Great care to detail above all. In our over 60 years of experience we can say that we have always focused on not leaving out any detail, be it an aesthetic detail of the product or a phase of the process or even the relationship with our direct customer. As cooking specialists and producers from Modena, from Emilia and Italy, we believe that attention to every single detail is the real added value that we can offer. That of Glem Gas is a story of good Italian cuisine. The ingredients are simple: passion, bravery, determination and concreteness. It will not be haute cuisine, but it will be good cuisine, tailored to each of us.

We have always placed ourselves on the market as Specialisti in cottura (Cooking specialists) and the expansion of the product range has been the main growth element that has allowed Glem Gas to become a leader in the domestic market of free-standing cookers, to establish itself abroad and, consequently, to reach ever larger company dimensions. Wanting to use a now trendy terminology, we can affirm that our approach has always been the right mix between a proposal in line with global trends and a strong local orientation, exemplifying in a word: Glocal.

The philosophy of Glem Gas is based on continuous improvement. We believe that continuing to invest in the enhancement and development of people, in the conception of our products, in our business processes and in our organization is fundamental to face the changes of today and of the near future.

Marco Guerzoni, Marketing Director of Glem Gas

Attention to detail characterizes the Magnifica cooker by Glem Gas, available in three colors variants. It features a 140-liter multifunction gas oven and high efficiency burners

Aesthetic refinement and functionality distinguish Specialista ST by Glem Gas. The cooker is equipped with a XXL oven cavity and with an ultra-compact triple crown burner

Since the 1980s, R.G.V. has grown in various areas, such as company size, product range and presence on the markets.

For R.G.V. innovation involves more products than processes, even if honestly in the sector of slicers and SDA, today little is invented. We can see mostly structural or marginal changes made to the product in order to better respond to market demands in terms of design, ease of cleaning, use and, finally, recycling. In our specific case, for some years now, the R.G.V. slicers have been equipped with the easy-clean system that allows safe opening of the plate for an easier cleaning of the area behind and under the blade where the most of food traces remains.

The experience gained over the years has allowed us to become a more global company, capable of putting on the market not only slicers (our core business for over 35 years) but also many accessories such as the sharpener, the gripper, the sheet to cover the slicer, the maintenance oil, the cutting board, etc. To all this we added many small household appliances for home use such as juice extractors, plates, juicers, vacuum machines, etc.

The growth of R.G.V., from the early 1980s, has affected a bit all the company departments: we have increased our size since the company surface is now 8,000 square meters and we have a growing number of employees and workers; we have expanded our product range; we have strengthened our presence on the Italian and foreign markets; and we have invested in technology through the purchase of machinery that can speed up the preparation time of the machines and therefore optimize their costs. We have also internalized a part of the supply chain so that some of our suppliers work within our company in close relationship with our employees, speeding up the raw material procurement process.

It is a market in constant evolution, fast and sometimes difficult to manage, especially the on-line one where the war on prices is often uncontrollable. In this sector, we work with qualified external personnel to better understand the market dynamics and implement more aggressive and targeted commercial strategies, as well as more widespread communication (also on social networks).

Marco Di Leo, CEO of R.G.V.

Flagship product of R.G.V., the 25 Special Edition slicer Red model has a cast aluminium structure with a lacquered base

The easy-clean system is present in the R.G.V. Luxury (in the picture) and Harmony collections. It allows to tilt the plate for a quick cleaning of the cutting area

For Zepa innovation means improving even small details in the products. In the company, the experience gained is shared with constant training and comparisons.

We are part of a multinational group, with offices all over the world, which addresses to consumers with very different tastes and expectations. For us, therefore, to innovate means to improve even small details in the products, with the ultimate goal of offering our customers an experience that generates positive feelings during the use of our appliances. Teka does not want to enter people's homes but to be an integral part of their life. To achieve this, we transform ideas into solutions that bring real value to those who use our products. When we analyse one of our appliances, we never ask ourselves "what has it of valid?", but "what is there to improve?". Today, for example, we are extremely focused on the circular economy and have already started several projects within the company.

The knowledge developed by each individual worker is made available to younger colleagues through specific training sessions and constant comparisons. Our company can be defined as a "one-stop-shop": it is a company able of starting from the project on the paper, producing the moulds and finally arriving to the assembly line. The heritage is therefore total and specific.

One of our targets has always been efficiency. We can say that we have improved it significantly, having grown qualitatively over the years in a transversal way, while keeping our staff almost constant. We managed to expand our presence abroad by regularly updating the product range and in 2020 this will happen in an important way. In addition, thanks to the constant technological research, we have managed to create products in some cases innovative. Our departments regularly interface with those of the parent company in Spain and Germany, and this allows us to always receive new inputs.

The size of Teka compared to the big "players" on the market allows us to be very agile and intuitive in interpreting current tastes and trends. Agility and intuition can therefore be considered among the main pillars to compete effectively in a world where change is constant and very fast. All our collaborators are aware that ingenuity, value, determination, intelligence and speed are what will allow us to successfully face the challenges of the future.

Marco Zappulla, Sales Manager of the Zepa-Teka Group

In the Zepa-Teka Group Professional Line hobs, the StepFlame technology allows gas regulation on 9 levels, while the Heavy Duty brass burners ensure high efficiency. In addition, the Dual mode allows to use the two crowns also individually