New products and big investments. There are many novelties that we discover in the Corichem house. The Venetian chemical-tanning company ends year 2019 in style with a double-digit increase in turnover which is explained by the success of new product lines for the finishing process in traditional sectors such as leather goods and footwear, but also with the entry in the automotive sector which, in spite of the general trend, is giving important satisfactions here.
“The Evocor line of polymeric fatliquors has given us the opportunity to grow a lot, as well as a whole new series of finishing products (pre-primers, primers and sealants) developed in our R&D laboratories that mask skin defects while preserving their natural appearance; products that have recently been highly appreciated also by those who produce leathers for car interiors”, explains the owner Pierluigi Braggion.
A highly successful technology developed in collaboration with customers is what Corichem has named “Polaris”, basically a very light coating that can be used to make many different items, from pull up to nappa leather, using a release paper that imprints the design on the skin without excessive pressure or temperature and therefore without “stressing” the raw material. “It is a process that allows to enhance even non-first choice leathers, covering defects but leaving the skin absolutely soft and light. In fact, it is also used to make high-end leather goods and footwear”.
To obtain these results we start from wet blue leathers, explains Braggion: “The finishing process is not sufficient, you first need a particular retanning procedure that prepares the leather for subsequent processing. At the end of the cycle, the hides are very firm and do not wrinkle, as the market wants them to be, i.e. they are soft and smooth”.
Research at Corichem has always been very important as evidenced by the many researches undertaken over the years with the Universities of Padua, Venice and Genoa. The latest news in this direction is linked to the wet tanning phase, where the search for greater sustainability is always pressing: “We have developed a new sulphide-free limestone. In the past we had already promoted research to limit its use, but now we have taken a step forward, completely eliminating the use of sulphide and sulphhydrate and obtained optimal results”. But research in the chemical-physical laboratories of Corichem follows several directions at the same time: “With the University of Padua we are also studying a new version of oxidative liming that promises well”.
How did the just ended year go? “2019 showed us a double-digit increase, in line with the more than satisfactory growth trend that we have recorded in recent years”, comments Braggion. A result in contrast to the trend of an Italian tanning sector which lost several percentage points last year and which rewards a company policy focused on continuous innovation, supported by important investments. The latter, in particular, are now intended for the construction of the new plant which is being built next to the current one (which is also in new condition, having been built in 2011) and which will enable to double production spaces and volumes.
“We purchased 10,000 square metres of land for the construction of a 7,000 square metre building that will complement the current warehouse (located in Sarego, in the province of Vicenza, in the Valle del Chiampo). We will proceed in stages, with the first 2,500 square metres ready shortly, and the rest by August when, compared to now, basically a double production area will be available. The expansion will allow us to rationalise the entire logistical structure, primarily by clearly separating the production lines of the wet from those of the finishing phase”.
The new plants will be equipped with state-of-the-art reactors and technologies thanks to investments that overall are around two million euro: “Yes, I admit, we have confidence in the future – jokes Braggion – We are confident of being able to grow further, especially abroad, thanks to the commitment of a highly qualified and compact internal staff that represents the real corporate asset”.
A prize for Social Responsibility
On 13 December, Corichem received the “Prize for Economic Development in the Veneto Region 2019” promoted by the regional Unioncamere in the “Corporate Social Responsibility” section.
“Corichem – writes Unioncamere in the statement – adopts a quality management system integrated with the environment and safety, setting out to constant updating as company policy. (…) The company pursues quality with a careful, innovative and experimental approach; after obtaining important certifications, it engages in research and development, mainly through “research” laboratory which avails itself of primary universities, through quality control laboratory, with cutting-edge analytical instrumentation, and application laboratory for performance evaluation of each individual product”.