Easy Engineering: How was 2020 for your business, a short summary?
FIORI GROUP: Year 2020 has been unpredictable and challenging for everyone. FIORI GROUP, like many other manufacturing companies in Italy, had to keep its plant closed for a few months due to the local restrictions imposed by the Italian Government to the entire territory to control the spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Despite a slight loss in the turnover, FIORI GROUP reacted promptly and started selling again thanks to a rich order backlog registered by March 2020 (before the start of the quarantine). Therefore, as soon as the offices opened in May 2020, FIORI GROUP could re-schedule all pending orders. In this regard, we must thank all our customers/partners who did not cancel and resign from their commitments taken at the beginning of 2020.
Additionally, year 2020 marked the completion of a significant reconstruction and renovation project for the FIORI GROUP production plant in Finale Emilia (MO). This significant investment, which includes the construction of an automated self-supporting warehouse, originates from the need for a new facility which is in line with the company’s plans for growth, increased volumes, and increased variety of models to offer customers in response to changing market conditions/needs. Highly computerized, automated, and “lean”, this facility will employ the latest logistics and manufacturing processes, ultimately strengthening the company’s leadership in the market.
Moreover, in 2020, FIORI GROUP strengthened its presence in the Romanian market with its partnership with the local dealer RET UTILAJE Srl, that managed to deliver a great number of FIORI Self-Loading Mixers despite the difficulties due to the Covid Pandemic.
E.E: What new products/services will be launched this year?
FIORI GROUP: FIORI GROUP core business is in the world of concrete. The company continues to develop innovative solutions and has increased its product range so that today it covers practically every vehicle size from 1 to 5 m3 of concrete production, with both front loading and back loading concrete mixers with 360 discharge. FIORI GROUP continues to update its models to offer their customers a state-of-the-art vehicles and solutions.
Recently, the company upgraded/updated their self-loading mixers model DB 460 and DB X35. Now, they are working to complete the new model year of DB X25, a 2.5 cubic meter capacity front loading concrete mixer, which is suitable for small productions or even for the rental business, being very intuitive and simple to use. One of the features that will be implemented in this machine is the threefold steering: two-way front, four-way and four-wheel “crab”.
Also, the DB 180 will also be updated in 2021. This vehicle is one of the most complete and performing in the field of small concrete productions, equipped with drum lifting, articulated movement and reversible drive, being able to work in any construction site (be it small, cramped or on steep slopes).
Another ongoing, and soon to be finalized, activity is the completion of the supply of Stage V engines on the concerned FIORI vehicles.
One interesting service offered by FIORI GROUP, which has recently been developed, is the supply of 4.0 technology on the FIORI concrete mixers. Thanks to this technology, each customer will be able to remotely monitor their vehicle or fleet of vehicles with all the advantages provided by geolocation, alarms, and maintenance services. But, above all, FIORI GROUP has developed a unique webservice, that will allow customers to monitor the concrete produced, control and send the recipe to be carried out on site for each single job, all remotely through a PC, tablet or mobile phone.
E.E: How did the market change in the last year?
FIORI GROUP: The Covid Pandemic certainly disoriented almost every sector in 2020, and it also affected the expectations and plan of many companies. The unpredictability of this situation put the market in a state of instability. No social relations, no physical meetings with customers, and no travelling on job sites. Such working conditions tested our nerves and strategies. Nevertheless, FIORI GROUP readily responded to customer’s demands, providing fast deliveries of its products, and trying to get the most out of this situation. Therefore, FIORI GROUP could complete such a stormy year with growing assets.
E.E: What were the best-selling products of 2020?
FIORI GROUP: The best-selling products in 2020 were primarily the DB 460 self-loading mixer among the back-loading vehicles and the DB X35 among the front-loading ones.
The FIORI DB 460 represents the best model of its range of products. This is a self-loading concrete mixer with a capacity of 4 cubic meters of concrete in class S1. It is equipped with 4 driving and steering wheels, driving reversibility, rotation of the drum on both sides to unload the material in any position, and drum vertical lifting (to improve the mixing and discharge in any condition). For all these reasons it has always been the best-selling vehicle.
The DB X35, with 3.5 cubic meters of capacity, is attracting considerable interest thanks to the front-loading characteristic, the four driving and steering wheels, and the possibility of being shipped in containers.
The FIORI self-loading mixers equipped with the FIORI CBV 2.0 (Concrete Batching Vehicle 2.0) system, becomes a real mobile batching plant, being able to accurately weigh each ingredient of the mix design, record, run and print recipes, compensate any aggregate moisture, use admixtures, monitor the mixing process, evaluate concrete preparation and remotely connect with cement silos for automatic loading. This system is developed directly by FIOR GROUP on field, and it is continuously improved by making upgrades of its software free of charge for customers. This system is increasingly appreciated by users.
E.E: What sector of business do you think is expected to grow this year?
FIORI GROUP: FIORI GROUP is already present in numerous sectors of concrete production all around the world, such as mines, tunnels, small and large buildings, prefabricated structures, urban and rural areas, forests, mountains, large infrastructures, roads, canals, special applications also for the government army. The company aims to grow where the markets have slowed down last year due to Covid19 pandemic. However, rather than a development in a particular sector, FIORI GROUP believes that there should be further development in all those sectors and applications that use high quality concrete. Thanks to the CBV 2.0 system and the DB X35 BIG BAG (a patented concrete mixer for the production of concrete with raw materials contained in big bags), FIORI self-loading mixers have the possibility of producing any type of technical concrete, even UHPCs (Ultra High Performance Concrete). In fact, FIORI DB X35 Big Bag matched very well the preparation of particular and detailed mix designs, eliminating any possible error by the operator, keeping confidentiality (recipe) and avoiding any contamination of raw material on the building site.
Recently, our CBV 2.0 system has also been purposely developed for the production with big bags, which allowed for example, to produce concrete with very high strength and extreme workability for airport and residential applications.
E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?
FIORI GROUP: At present it is slightly difficult to predict what the market situation will be in 2021. Epidemiological data are still not encouraging, and this will still impact travelling between countries, unless the process of introducing vaccines speed up in each country around the world. During the first month of 2021, the European markets had a positive start, however, it is too early to say what is going to happen in the next months.
E.E: A short message for collaborators for the beginning of the year.
FIORI GROUP: For almost 80 years FIORI GROUP has streamlined its technological innovation, production processes, after-sales services, relationships with dealers and suppliers in designing and providing solutions to make on-site and on demand concrete with the right quality and quantity.
Our efforts are not only aimed on selling our products, but together with our partners, we want to produce systems capable to offer alternative solutions to everyday problems that arise on building sites, with the ambition of reducing costs and environmental impact. The focus on our customer’s need is constant and we will always continue to give them the attention they deserve assistance, consultancy, clarifications, suggestions and coaching.
We are the “concrete” people who aim concrete results!
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