Following the meeting with Pietro Minà, owner of the rolling cassettes manufacturing company Promills, this interview aims to take stock of the progresses of a company that has been closely operating for several decades with many wire drawing companies around the world.
What were the best markets in this first part of 2018?
As far as we are concerned, Tunisia, Algeria, Bulgaria; Romania is opening up well, we also have projects in progress in Singapore and in Argentina. In general, South America is growing, Asia is a little more steady, Central Africa has taken up again with Senegal and Ivory Coast in the first place.
What about Italy?
The branch of Italian wire drawing companies that was using many of our rolling cassettes has been significantly reduced. The application of cold ribbed wire has been strongly limited by the regulations in force.
In this respect Italy is no longer our reference market, but there are other possible applications for our more than fifty models of rolling cassettes available to those wire drawing mills that could convert their systems to the production of shaped profiles such as squared, rectangles, hexagons, triangles, etc. with just small limited technical measures. To those companies we can offer our experience in the sector.
Moreover, the collaborations with some renowned Italian companies, producers of rolling and drawing lines, channels our products with great satisfaction of the end users.
Do you suffer from German competition?
It happens to be in competition on some foreign markets. It is always difficult to set in in already established situations, but I have to say that our quality and the technical solutions we offer often manage to make our product competitive.
The fight is getting harsher and harsher on the Asian territory, against local competitors, where often we need to compare our products with others only apparently similar ones but of much lower standard and at attractive prices: the Chinese competitors are there and we feel them, at least on basic productions.
However, when the customer needs to adapt the production to legal regulations, the Asian market ceases to be the main point of reference for purchases.
What about Trump? Are the duties on steel and aluminum impacting your business?
The answer is yes. American politics in this regard generates fears and uncertainties, relocating new market references. Wire producers are no longer able to make predictions, even in the medium term. The result is a fluctuating trend in purchase requests. Moreover, the wave of political uncertainties that crosses continents also heavily influences the Euro/Dollar exchange rate; However, a Euro at around 1.15-1.18 (Editor's note: 17 July 2018) still gives us some confidence for the future.
Beyond geography, in which productive areas are you particularly strong at the moment?
In the field of ribbed wires, with cassettes that work up to 16mm, and in that of special profiles. For example with our rolling cassettes it is possible to make isosceles triangles, which are used for the realization of spiral filters for oil wells and water wells. We are also highly specialized in the field of wire rope compacting. The almost twenty-year collaboration with leading Italian companies in the sector allowed us to develop a product that is unrivaled at the moment. Thanks to our experience and our know-how, we are able to put our expertise and technical solutions at the service of companies. We can direct the customer to the most correct and convenient lay-out to convert a wire production or start a new one.
In terms of innovation, what is the latest change you made to your cassettes?
Parallel - no longer sequential - cooling allows water to be distributed at the same time inside the roll holders. This brings a considerable advantage above all because it allows the use of cassettes with smaller and therefore less expensive rolls, even in very hot climates.
More information on www.promills.eu and on the YouTube Promills Rolling Cassettes channel.