The new focus? Product life cycleThe Venetian chemical-tanning company has built its success on quality and continuous innovation. Its general manager tells us about its commitment to research and respect for the environment, also commenting on market trends
SYN-BIOS SpA has been appreciated on the international market for an extremely wide range of leather chemicals that satisfy daily requests from tanneries operating in very different markets and product segments, each time developing integrated solutions in line with the qualitative and environmental customer needs. One of the Venetian company’s strengths is its productive, modern and rational structure, by which it is ready to support the latest advances in its R&D Division. In the headquarters of Montebello Vicentino, located in the heart of the Venetian tanning pole, are used raw materials in their purest form which, through a cutting-edge transformation process, based on safety and traceability, are transformed into chemical products that are always innovative and specific for the various reference sectors. We talk about it with Enrico Gastaldello, general manager of this company, who has been on the market for over thirty years
We know that SYN-BIOS devotes a lot of resources to its R&D Division. Can you give us some numbers or mention some useful examples to provide a better framework for this commitment?
“We invest about 20% of human resources in the R&D division designed and structured to obtain products that have the least impact on human health and the environment, based on the exclusive research of raw materials that first of all comply with current regulations (REACH) and respect even the most restrictive specifications. The R&D department develops more than fifty new products every year, at least 50% of which become permanently part of the already broad catalogue. Product development does not stop after studying the formulation, but deals with performing tests of the same borrowing machinery also from other sectors in order to optimise the production process, up to applying the products in the same conditions as customers to obtain articles that respect the chemical-physical characteristics required by the various specifications. It is a 360° research and development degree view”.
Today we talk a lot about sustainability and you have obtained the Environmental Certification that we know is a challenging path … Was it a difficult goal to reach?
“The adoption of a certified voluntary system always implies a displacement of workforce and a commitment far greater than the pure observance of mandatory rules, since, starting from the fulfillment of all legislative aspects, continuous improvement and awareness of the staff are required as absolutely fundamental principles.
Having been in possession of a certification system according to ISO 9001: 2015 for many years now, we have chosen an integrated documentation management to make Quality and Environment systems work in unison. The timely involvement and training of all the personnel was necessary, for a full awareness of the roles and responsibilities. Given the importance of waste management attributed by ISO 14001, the major commitment was aimed at its proper management, with a commitment to limit it to the minimum in terms of recycling. With the aim of focusing on the product life cycle, suppliers and customers have been involved in company decisions, starting from the purchase of raw materials and packaging, to arrive at the rationalisation of deliveries and recycling of materials avoiding the production of unnecessary waste. The optimisation of company consumption has always been one of our objectives, strictly monitored in compliance with the available energy resources”.
What are your latest product news?
“The INK FOR LEATHER® SPRAY system is giving enormous satisfaction all over the world. This system was developed as an integration of the INK FOR LEATHER® drum series and works in synergy with it; in fact, it allows to correct and enhance the tone obtained from the dyeing in the drum, maintaining the exceptional resistance typical of the range and the same ecological parameters and environmental sustainability. From this point of view, the tanning sector is the one in which in the last few years the most surprising advances have been made: a result made of research and avant-garde solutions, which involves the entire supply chain and that naturally sees first and foremost chemical companies committed to it. This environmental sensitivity, which has always characterised Syn-Bios, was also one of the reasons that led to the creation of the INK FOR LEATHER® SPRAY range: in compliance with current laws (REACH, CLP and BIOCID regulations and subsequent amendments and modifications) only non-hazardous raw materials were selected, which consequently did not lead to any hazard classification for the entire range ”.
You work in all destination areas of the leathers. Can you tell us which ones were the most responsive at the beginning of the year?
“We are present in all markets with specific solutions: footwear, leather goods, clothing, furniture and automotive sector. Right now we are working very well especially for the furniture and interiors of cars above all thanks to our pigments, recognised for quality all over the world”.
What are the most important markets for your company?
Obviously the domestic market, then in particular China, India, South East Asia, Brazil, and numerous and important European customers.
How was this first part of the year for you and what are the prospects for the near future?
“It has been positive despite the general market slowdowns that no one can deny. Our continuous innovations and our historical predisposition towards targeted innovation allow us to remain competitive and always highly appreciated both by our long-standing and new customers”.
Are you working on new projects?
“Yes, we are working on new projects as usual. This is our strength, which is recognised by the market. That’s all I can say for now. This is a sector, particularly in the world of Arzignano, where the competitors likes to ‘copy’ and then try to take the credit”.
What are your next goals?
“We intend to continue to design and propose products that are increasingly sustainable and less and less impactful, for the good of all. But obviously without losing technical performance. The goal is always the same, that is to continue to make the two things fit together”.