Since 1928 CIFA designs and manufactures a complete range of machines and solutions for the production, transport and laying of concrete. Constructions and infrastructures that see the realization thanks to truck mixers, truck-mounted pumps and underground machines born thank to research, design, inventiveness and high technology Made in Italy.

Interview with Marco Polastri – Sales, Aftersales & Marketing Director at CIFA.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Marco Polastri: The company has been a leader in the technology sector for the entire concrete supply chain. With its European award winning design technology, CIFA has been present in the construction equipment market for over 90 years with its commitment to safety, improving machine performance, increasing work productivity and ease of operation.

A long history of research and passion has led CIFA to become an innovative reference worldwide, thanks also to its widespread distribution network, in the field of concrete technologies, with a series of real firsts, including the introduction on the market of the first plug-in hybrid concrete mixer (Energya E9) and the longest concrete pump in the world with the boom made in carbon fiber (Carbotech technology).

The Group has the headquarters in Italy with five production plants and has branches and a dealer network all over the world. We sold more than 1,000 truck mixers and truck-mounted pumps every year, the prototypes of which are tested within TEC (Testing European Center), a state-of-the-art center run by an international team of engineers.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

M.P: CIFA range products are truck-mixer pumps, truck-mounted pumps, stationary pumps, truck mixers, flooring machines, ready-mixed concrete plants, mixers, formworks and underground machines. The top of the truck- pumps range is available with the CARBOTECH Series which CIFA includes a range of models in carbon fiber made with complete configuration even in the standard version, 360° electronic management with control on the pumping unit, stability control and operating parameters, carbon fiber boom that guarantee sturdiness, lightness and less oscillations during the work phases.

Regarding the further offer on the market, the STEELTECH Series of truck pumps is a reliable and high performance rage of machines with a wide range of accessories and optional equipment. CIFA is going to streamline this steel made solutions in view of the next BAUMA International Fair with particular attention to the total weight within the European limits. This is the range with the greatest availability of models and configuration variations. Steeltech pumps range from 20 to 63 meters in boom length.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

M.P: CIFA constantly invests in the research and development of products and services to simplify work on site, maintaining quality as an absolute value. An example of this is CIFA VISTA the new system’s name that allows remote fleet control, emergency breakdown assistance and machinery operation. A real new concept in the remote technological services field launched last month by the CIFA company. What’s the peculiarity above all of this device? CIFA VISTA is now available for truck-mounted pumps, truck-mixer pumps and truck mixer (but will soon be extended to the entire range) and uses an electronic control unit that collects data from the machine and with a data SIM card sends it to the software, which thanks to a simple and intuitive interface, enables the monitoring of position, activities and different operation parameters of fleet machinery, thus facilitating troubleshooting and the programming of interventions. CIFA’s goal with this new service is, in fact, to simplify the management of remote diagnostics, predict maintenance check to save time and money for customers. From diagnostics to automation and remote monitoring, CIFA’s technological solutions are user friendly and have not the aim of simplifying knowledge, but work within construction sites.

The other great novelty placed on the market is the CSD Advanced system that literally allows to have the truck-mixer in one hand, thanks to the remote control that manage each function. CSD stands for Constant Speed Drive and refers to the electronic adjustment of the number of revolutions of the barrel regardless of the number of revolutions of the truck engine. The word Advanced indicates its evolution. In fact, the new system allows you to manage the mixer remotely via remote control monitoring performances and error with a convenient display.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

M.P: According to the last CRESME Report (International Market Research Center for the construction and building world), the next three years could be characterized by a stable recovery of construction and public works. But, the second wave of the pandemic has arrived and a new slowdown is expected for the economic system. At the same time the buildings look to the future with hope: incentives, policies, resources and new operating scenarios reshuffle the positions within the supply chain, designing the start of a new phase of profound reconfiguration, with new players and new operating models entering the field. The signals that the construction market gave after the first lockdown were positive, construction reacted and expectations have become those of a ferment fueled by incentives (which in 2020 will not have concrete effects on the market), by the spending programs of public works, from investments that can reach cities and territories, to construction and infrastructures. Everybody knows that, the exit times from the health crisis are getting longer, bypassing 2020, and also investing in 2021.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

M.P: Up to 2019 CIFA grew double-digit with a significant increase in market share. In 2020, despite the negative influence on the markets of the pandemic, the company managed to limit losses, showing business results less good in the first three months of the year and then high results as equal to 2019. Thanks to the latter overall the 2020, CIFA Business was in line with the average fall of the construction market. Despite the difficulties encountered, our European Business did not go so badly, especially in Italy thanks to the 4.0 industry. On the contrary, France is the country where we have registered the worst results. Therefore, 2021 promises to be a year of transition for CIFA and, due to public investment forecasts in the construction and infrastructure sector (as Recovery Fund Policy etc.) we expect to emerge from the crisis, to witness a rise and to be there perhaps in the Underground sector, contributing in public works and new projects.