Phoenix El-Mec encompasses a historical heritage of high-level competences and professionalisms in electromechanical components.
by Tiziana Corti
The roots of Phoenix El-Mec are far ahead its establishment in 2013. The company, in fact, was set up by transferring staff and equipment from Invensys, in its turn company that inherited know-how deriving from various operations and takeovers with other international realities specialized in household appliance components. This passing of baton has made Phoenix El-Mec a reality with sound foundations, highly specialized team and long know-how gained by implementing components for many of the primary household appliance manufacturers that have followed one another, starting from the second half of the Twentieth century, in Italy and abroad. «In 1963 – tells the president Tiziano Lazzaretto – W. Holzer Gmbh, leader European German company in the development and production of components for washing appliances, decides building in Belluno a factory for the production of timers intended for washing machines and dishwashers, so approaching outstanding customers such as Zanussi and Zoppas. In 1972, the company was taken over by Eaton Appliance, part of an important American Corporation, becoming world leader in the development of household appliance components. Eaton made Belluno plant become European centre for the development and the production of electromechanical programmers, in particular the design of EA, EB and EC timers. The first were given up along the years, whereas the EC model, latest implementation particularly appreciated by the world market, is still manufactured by Phoenix El-Mec».
Human heritage and his know-how handed over to Phoenix El-Mec
The heritage of competences of Eaton Appliance was increased by the takeover, in 1986, of Siebel (Carpano&Pons), a major French manufacturer of programmers and timers with headquarters at Cluses in France, homeland of watchmaking. However, in 1998 Eaton Appliance was taken over by the English Group Siebe (afterwards Invensys, with the takeover of the English Group BTR). It was once more a big multinational, with, among others, an Appliance division known with the name of Ranco. At the beginning of 2000, Invensys accomplished a strong policy of delocalization towards the Czech Republic, Slovakia and China, gradually shutting down West Europe factories. In this delicate phase, Tiziano Lazzaretto had to manage ad interim Belluno factory. «When the shutdown with delocalization loomed –Lazzaretto states -, I declared the high risk of the operation because the know-how of the main product lines was strongly connected with the human factor and I suggested alternative solutions, aimed at preserving the most skilled human resources, but my proposals were not accepted. Therefore, with some former Invensys managers, who in the meantime had followed different professional courses, we decided setting up Phoenix El-Mec, acquiring the property of the MS65 timer and the production and marketing licence of the EC programmer. Once signed the contract at the end of July 2013, we bought a building about ten kilometres from Belluno, we transferred and installed there the equipment purchased from Invensys, we engaged the necessary employees, workers, technicians and staff, all coming from Invensys and, at half September, we made the first supply of Phoenix products. Feasible result only relying on highly skilled manpower for that activity».
An unprecedented successful history
The long and articulated history that has led to the birth of Phoenix El-Mec embodies the struggle to preserve Italian competences’ excellence, which not few companies have tried unsuccessfully. Nevertheless, this Belluno company has never stopped believing in the importance of defending half-century heritage in electromechanics, «a sector –Lazzaretto highlights- in which the human competence is still the fundamental resource, which cannot be delocalized without a transfer of competences and a supervision of the new sites by technicians with consolidated expertise. This is, on the other hand, the secret of a reliable durable product in time, acknowledged abroad where we export up to 95% of our production. Phoenix team has absorbed expertise and competences by supplying excellent-level customers worldwide for decades. For this reason, we can now offer a high customization level at competitive prices, due to the development along the years of advanced automated manufacturing models».
The advantages of electromechanical components
Electromechanical products are the core business of Phoenix El-Mec, in which the company strongly believes as it is a solution characterized by notable sturdiness, precision, duration in time and reliability in critical environments owing to temperature and wetness. «Features that – Lazzaretto affirms – if provided by an electronic product would cost much more and could not be maintained with a purely mechanical product (in addition, the typical ticking of the spring-balance wheel system is not feasible in determinate environments). Moreover, currently, as it cyclically happens for various reasons, great criticalities have emerged in the provisioning of electronic components, thing that might hardly happen in electromechanics, since based on easily found components. Then, we are going to enrich our range with some electronic solutions, but just as completion of our offer of electromechanical components».
The strategy for the future
In the last two years, Phoenix El-Mec has achieved very satisfactory results, confirming the farsightedness of the course followed by the company until now. «For the next future –the president ends – we will evaluate also eventual opportunities that will appear to carry out takeovers or to create new synergies and partnerships». In the meantime, the company’s research and development activities are constantly going on. «Recently – Andrea Bogo, from the design office, explains – we have introduced a new version of timer that is used as a gearmotor. We are then sampling a specific timer for the Chinese market’s requirements. Among the activities that we are unceasingly performing, finally, there is the experimentation of new solutions to reduce and to eliminate lead and heavy metals from components, as the more and more severe Rohs regulation provides for».
It is always a partnership with customers
The success of a company such as Phoenix El-Mec is also enabled by a fast efficient service, which makes the company a reliable partner for each customer. «We take care accurately and timely of each job order – declares Laura Fant from the customer service office – fulfilling demands rapidly and always collaborating with customers, which can turn to us also after the supply, for any kind of problem».