IMPERTEK: “BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY IS OUR FIRST GOAL”
Established in 1985 as a specialist installer of PVC membranes and materials, IMPERTEK is now one of the best-known manufacturers and suppliers of waterproofing and building components, both in Italy and abroad. The company’s headquarters occupies a 27,000 sq.m site between the lively Jesolo coast and the hills of Conegliano, and just a stone’s throw from the splendours of Venice. For some years, Impertek has been pushing forward with a major growth drive aimed at developing all business areas, with a particular focus on innovation, internationalisation, sustainability and internal training. The activities that form part of this growth strategy include the recent upgrade of the production area, aimed at meeting constantly rising demand and improving time-to-market. We discussed these and other topics with Luca Giacomini, Impertek’s Marketing Manager.
Tile International: You have just brought your updated production area on-stream. What investments have gone into the upgrade? Luca Giacomini: One of Impertek’s aims is to continuously improve production, with a close focus on finding innovative technologies and new resources with which to enhance and automate our production processes. The work we have done on the production area involved the implementation of new technologies and machinery to boost production capacity, while at the same time cutting energy consumption and improving energy efficiency. We will now be turning our attention to the development of Industry 4.0, with a view to stepping up our digitalisation of production processes. Tile International: How are your products conceived and what developments have taken place in terms of R&D? Luca Giacomini: Some of our designs are conceived on the basis of direct input from customers, who are always getting in touch with us to solve problems they have on construction sites, or who are looking for higher-performance materials that are also sustainable, if possible. Every year we invest a substantial share of our revenues in Research & Development with a view to continuously improving our materials and making them fully recyclable and environmentally friendly, without compromising their performance and durability. Tile International: How much importance do you attribute to the circular economy and how do your customers perceive environmental issues? Luca Giacomini: Our business model places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability. We believe that a sustainable future is the best legacy we can leave our children, and customers have become very sensitive to this too. In line with our circular economy model, aimed at extending the product life cycle and thus helping to minimise waste, our products are made from recycled plastics that can then be recycled again. All production waste is channelled back into the production process, making it re-usable as part of a finished product. Tile International: What new developments has Impertek introduced to the market for coverings installation systems? Luca Giacomini: We’ll be unveiling a significant new system called “Skipper”, the first and only universal wind-resistant system for raised outdoor flooring. This new, patented system is set to become a benchmark in the industry because it can withstand hurricane-force winds, thus making outdoor flooring stable, safe and immovable, even in the face of extreme weather events, which unfortunately are becoming more and more frequent. “Skipper” is also completely independent of the type of support used and the choice of self-bearing plate, and can even be installed on finished or pre-existing flooring. Impertek will surprise visitors with more innovations previewed during the days of Cersaie and will also exhibit the entire range of Pedestal Line, both fixed and self-levelling supports: from the historic Jack supports to the most versatile support on the market, Balance Pro. Tile International: What are the main applications for your pedestals? Luca Giacomini: The entire “Pedestal Line” range can be used for creating raised flooring on terraces, pool surrounds, garden walkways, public squares and urban spaces. The pedestals can be installed on new coverings or existing flooring, thus avoiding the need for demolition. The adjustable pedestals have heights ranging from 10 mm to 1020 mm, while the height of the fixed pedestals is from 3 mm to 15 mm, but the entire range of products and accessories can be combined into multiple solutions and used on stone and ceramic flooring and wood decking, with floorboards and a mixed surface finish. Tile International: How much coverage of international markets do you have? Luca Giacomini: We are very focused on internationalisation and we have significantly expanded the portfolio of countries we export to in recent years, either directly or through local distributors. Exports now account for almost 60% of Impertek’s sales: from Europe to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the United States and Canada. This prestigious achievement testifies to the outstanding efforts of all our staff and partners. Tile International: Are there any stand-out projects that you are particularly proud of? Luca Giacomini: Lots of prestigious projects have made use of our products: the redevelopment of the Manifattura Tabacchi, a former tobacco factory in Rovereto, where the raised floor comprising large stone tiles and long wooden floorboards is supported by our “Rail System”, consisting of height-adjustable pedestals that support “Rail” aluminium joists; work on hotel and hospitality facilities such as the “Summer Houses” (Falkesteiner Group) in Jesolo (in the Italian province of Venice) by US architect Richard Meyer; the extra-luxury hotel “Il Sereno” on Lake Como, remodelled by the famous designer Patricia Urquiola… not to mention Castel Thun in the Val di Non (Trentino Alto Adige) where our pedestals were used for the construction of an indoor floating floor to allow ventilation and the routing of wiring, in order to solve the problem of high humidity in the building. These are some of our showpieces, but let’s not forget that our products have also delivered brilliant solutions for smaller projects, such private homes and terraces, especially for renovation work.