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Technology and Sustainability: Pandolfo Alluminio

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

By Fabiana Bracaglia, Emanuele Mirabella, Alba Kajtazi, and Erika Lopez, Master of Science in Business Administration, Tor Vergata University of Rome

Domiciled in Sarmeola (PD), Pandolfo Alluminio S.p.a has been operating in the aluminium extrusion sector since 1969, placing 32 thousand tons of aluminium profiles per year on the market. It is an integrated supplier, which stands out for its focus on sustainability, the use of cutting-edge technologies and its wide network of partnerships.

There are three plants: Lentiai (BL), Feltre (BL) and Maniago (UD).

Lentiai deals with aluminium extrusion, which is the process where billets are heated and pushed through a mould to take the shapes required by customers, or one of the 1000 standards. All the processes in this plant are automated: the baskets containing the profiles are moved through automatic crane cranes, air and floor conveyors, while everything is conducted in compliance with safety policies and process traceability is ensured. Here, workers only have a controlling role through the use of software.

In Feltre, aluminium surfaces undergo special treatments: anodic oxidation, powder coating with electrostatic application and various mechanical processes. Special attention is paid to research and subsequent use of environmentally friendly chemicals. This is also where assembly, packaging, and the issuing of certificates to demonstrate their compliance with environmental, energy and ethical standards, are taken care of.

Due to the 2008 economic crisis, the Pandolfo family rejected the possibility of implementing a stock exchange listing project in support of internationalization, and created Fonderie Pandolfo S.p.a, with a factory in Maniago, starting the big chapter of the secondary aluminum. Here, they integrate upstream the production process of Pandolfo Alluminio through the production of aluminum billets obtained for more than 70% from recycled aluminum: Pandolfo Alluminio has thus become its own supplier of secondary billets.

While being highly appreciated by customers, the production of these secondary billets also meets the legal requirements regarding the percentage of recycled material (40% in Europe) and allows the company to keep the level of emissions below the minimum required by the Best Available Tecniques Directive 2010/75/ EU, also optimizing energy consumption.

In fact, the company is equipped with post combustion and regeneration of exhaust gases system, which allow the aspiration and filtering also thanks to innovative plants.

After the integration, the Group launched the use of new technologies at the production level and, at the same time, started innovative projects. These include the installation of the second double productive chamber melting furnace for aluminium scrap melting, which allows to melt recycled aluminium with a specific consumption 20 times lower than the traditional electrolytic production cycle. This highlights the commitment to improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases in its production facilities.

This is a "technology push" innovation, reinforced by the company’s commitment through a system of continuous employee training which aims to increase their awareness of environmental protection.

The conclusion of contracts, and the establishment of collaborations with suppliers and customers who share the same values in terms of sustainability, is another clear sign of the desire to contribute to the formation of a green supply chain.

The aluminium materials purchased by the suppliers come from environmental and civil disposal and restructurings, to be used in the production of secondary billets and in the extrusion process.

Together with technological research, the innovative vocation of the Group enables customising its products whenever it is possible, basically halving production times compared to competitors, and responding more quickly to customer requests such as those by Bosch, Jacuzzi, Permasteelisa and Schuco International.

As mentioned above, through an external company Pandolfo Alluminio a certification service, including L.E.E.D., ROHS REACH and TUV, through which it is possible to demonstrate the origin of materials and their use in the production cycle.

Other notable collaborations are those maintained by the company with research institutes and universities. These collaborations allow the involvement of students and professors in the development of ideas aimed at improving business processes in order to achieve the best technological standards and design. This lets students enter and participate in a professional environment and thus train professionally.

Through this co-evolutionary strategy, it is also possible to expand research and projects in other countries, involving foreign institutions that can lead to the creation of new markets.

This was the case for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, where the university requested to build an aluminum chamber for a particle accelerator, giving the company the opportunity to participate in an internationally recognised project.

By implementing this mutual approach, and continuing to combine technological research and sustainable vocation, Pandolfo Alluminio will be able to be and remain a leading, cutting-edge company in the technological sector in the field of sustainable development, strengthening its role as the Italian leader in this sector.

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