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ITEMA Opens Shanghai Operation

New facility will become center of Promatech and Sultex sales and after-sales activities in the region.

Jim Borneman, Editor In Chief

T he opening of ITEMA (Shanghai) Textile Machinery Co. Ltd. - which coincided with the recent ShanghaiTex exhibition - establishes the group's presence in China with a new facility that offers sales, service and manufacturing.

At the inauguration ceremony, Cavaliere Miro Radici, CEO of the ITEMA Group, characterized the occasion as a "very special day we have been waiting for, for a long time because it represents a milestone for our group." Radici added, "Above all, for us it means putting to good use our great experience acquired in many years of presence in China, dating back to the 1970s, which has led us today to be the leading player in the textile machinery sector."


Radici went on to thank Mario Filippo Pini, the Italian Consul General in Shanghai, and Yang Jianrong and Jiang Shuguang of the Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Government.

With an initial investment of 10 million euros and production totaling 2,000 looms per year, ITEMA (Shanghai) was established as a long-term project. The facility encompasses 2,500 square meters of manufacturing space and an additional 700-square-meter office, training and showroom space. The site of the new development allows for an additional 2,000 square meters of industrial facilities and another 700 square meters of office space.

ITEMA (Shanghai) will become the "reference point" for all Promatech S.p.A. and Sultex Ltd. sales and after-sales activities in the region. Current production is 1.5 looms per day - more than 100 looms already have been shipped to the Hebei, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces.

The ITEMA Group is owned by Radici Holding Textile Machineries S.p.A., Italy, whose shareholders include the Gianni Radici Group (known as the Radici Group) and the Miro Radici Group.

ITEMA Group CEO Miro Radici pours celebratory champagne at the opening ceremony.

The Radici Group specializes in chemicals; plastics; textiles; engineering; and fiber including polyamide, polypropylene and polyester. It had a 2002 turnover of 1,294 million euros. The Miro Radici Group - with a 2002 turnover of 650 million euros - is involved in textile, automotive, fiber, retail and energy markets.

ITEMA's formation and portfolio of technology includes such textile mainstays as Promatech, Eutron S.p.A., Savio Macchine Tessili S.p.A., Sultex and Fimtextile S.p.A.

Today, under Miro Radici's leadership, Promatech, Sultex, F.I.R.S.T. S.p.A. accessories, Savio and Eutron electronics feed four business areas of high-technology weaving machines, winders, accessories and electronics. Of ITEMA Group's 2002 turnover of 850 million euros, 74 percent came from weaving machinery, 20 percent from spoolers, 2 percent from accessories and 4 percent from electronics. A full 85 percent of the 2002 turnover represents exports, and 5 percent was invested in research and development.

"With the opening of ITEMA (Shanghai), we finally carry out the first important step of our commitment," Radici said in his opening remarks. "With a decisive boost to the project, we succeed in starting up a plant that, in little less than a year, has already reached the production output of more than 30 looms per month in a complete operational independence. This demonstrates, among other things, how effective was the basis of the project."

ITEMA Group executives and regional officials cut the ribbon to officially open the ITEMA (Shanghai) facility in Gao Dong Industrial Park, Pudong New Area, Shanghai.

Fabio Mazzucchetti, commercial director, ITEMA Group's weaving sector, emphasized in his opening presentation that the company's presence in China has evolved through the years, starting with the first installation of the Somet brand in 1974 in Tienjin. Sales promotion and service from both Shanghai and Hong Kong have been in place and were established with local management and staff. According to the company, Promatech is the largest European loom manufacturer present in China, having installed more than 20,000 machines.

Savio has a long legacy in China as well, with the supply of automatic winding machines. Savio, known for cone winding, open-end and yarn-twisting machines, signed an agreement in 1992 with the China National Machinery Import and Export Corp. for the manufacture of the Espero automatic winding machine by Qingdao Textile Machinery Works. In 2000, Savio began to supply Orion winders, and claims it has had the largest market share in China since 2001. The company states 160,000 automatic winding heads have been installed in the main provinces of China.

The first Chinese installation of Sulzer Textil weaving machines occurred in 1972 and comprised projectile machines. Many installations of rapier and air-jet machines followed, and the company now has installed more than 12,000 machines. In 1993, Nanfei Textile Machinery Co. began as a licensee to manufacture projectile weaving machines.

"Our programs for ITEMA (Shanghai) are not limited to the pure production of machines," Radici said. "Our strong will is to create a real and modern textile machinery district, with a global offer for services, which will become a reference point for the whole Chinese market and will be able to serve in the best way the textile sector in this great country."

January 2004