Piovan: 50 years as a key player in the world of plastics

For Italian auxiliary equipment maker Piovan (1964-2014), with 50 years in existence and with more than 50,000 customers worldwide, it has attained important milestones which for it are the fundamental building blocks for pursuing new goals.

This year, Piovan celebrates 50 years of leadership in auxiliary machinery for the plastic industry, years that are characterised by coherence and an entrepreneurial idea whose roots may lie far back in time, but which remain deep and active, says the firm.

In 1934, Costante Piovan & Figli was founded in Padua as a metalworking shop equipped with machine tools, such as lathes and a few milling machines, and it took its name from its founder. It was not enough for Costante Piovan to produce moulds for increasingly prestigious companies (such as Magrini Galileo). He understood that he needed to go beyond meeting the market's expectations: he needed to deliver better quality, more ideas and more solutions.

An avant-garde idea, it thereby came about with customer orientation as a business approach from the word go, much earlier than the evolution of marketing defining this concept as being a necessity.

This guiding principle has linked the three generations that gave life to and have developed the industrial activity of Piovan: from Luigi, Costante's son, who joined the company in 1960, to Nicola, who took the helm in 2000, giving an additional, strong push towards internationalisation.

Reminiscing the years

A lot has been done, since 1964, the year when Piovan launched its first equipment on the Italian market – a granulator and a material loader. Today Piovan is a mul t inat ional company wi th f ive product ion facilities, in Italy, Germany, Brazil, China and the US, 21 subsidiaries, agents in more than 70 countries and 900 employees, of which 140 are customer assistance engineers.

Piovan provides the plastic industry with a complete range of products and services, including feeding, blending, drying and recycling systems. Moreover, Piovan produces industrial chillers and temperature controllers. It integrates its wide array of equipment with proprietary production monitoring and control software.

The experience gained over the years has enabled Piovan to acquire vast knowledge in the main polymer processing techniques. I t shares this knowledge with its customers, offering services not merely as a supplier of auxiliary equipment, but as a partner working alongside customers and shar ing thei r challenges.

These 50 years of accomplishments would not be possible without the dedicated sharing of those ethical values – individual and collective – that gave life first to a dream and then to a leading enterprise, says the auxiliary maker.

The quality of Piovan products, in fact, would not exist without the quality of its staff , without their enthusiasm, their concrete ability and vision, and most importantly, without their pride in "being Piovan", according to the firm.

The best way to celebrate our first 50 years in the world of plastic is to continue to do so with passion for our work , living the life of a company well aware of its key role, going on step by step , innovation after innovation, always by the customer’s side. Because we believe that there will be a lot more to write about our history.


1934: Piovan before Piovan
Costante Piovan & Figli (then Centro Meccanica), a specialist in precision mechanics, is established in Padua. It makes quality, reliability, and partnership its strengths.

1950s: the industrial evolution
These are years of consolidation and reorganisation in an industrial context. The company lays the foundations for a widespread commercial expansion in Europe.

1960s: the era of plastics begins
Luigi, Costante's son, guides Piovan to gain a leading role on the market of auxiliary machinery for the plastics industry. In 1964, it produces its first granulator, soon followed by the Convair dryer and Convector feeder.

1970s: from product to system, from machine to plant
Piovan produces a complete range of auxiliary equipment for plastic processing. The first refrigeration line, in 1972, and the first central feeding, blending and drying system characterise Piovan’s production in the decade. A joint venture with Star, a Japanese robot manufacturer, gives life to Star Automation, a key brand in industrial automation. In 1974, Piovan Germany opens in Garching, near Munich.

1980s: leader in niche markets
Technological innovation, engineering, specialisation in PET, introduction of electronics, partnerships with key OEM, further growth on foreign markets: these are the main keywords of a decade marked also by the largest drying system installed in Europe and, on a logistics level, inauguration of the new facility in Santa Maria di Sala (near Venice), the Piovan’s current headquarters. In 1986, Piovan France opens in Brion.

1990s: a global company
In the production sphere, Piovan increases its market share not only in the PET sector but also in other strategic fields like Automotive, Electronics and Textile, while the international organisation expands by opening new branches in Canada, Brazil and Asia. A software company is purchased in order to develop remote plant monitoring and control systems.

2000s: close to the customer, everywhere
A close and direct collaboration with customers is the key factor of Nicola Piovan's strategy. Two factories are started in Brazil and China, and new branches are opened in Mexico, UK, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, India, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In 2008, Piovan purchases US-based Universal Dynamics (UNA-DYN) and in 2010 it acquires a majority stake in FDM, a German company specialising in extrusion technology.

With five production facilities, 21 subsidiaries and representatives in more than 70 countries, Piovan has consolidated a leadership that is recognised globally.


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