Fratelli Alberti AV, the fleshing machine par excellence

Knowing how to read the market and forecast the future. This is the mission of Fratelli Alberti, a manufacturer of leather processing machines that has always been committed to finding the right compromise between the need for automation and the uniqueness of human intervention

Without recanting almost eighty years of history spent in the name of a quality product known and appreciated all over the world, Fratelli Alberti intends to express the drive for change according to Industry 4.0 parameters through new energies. The Varese-based company faces the difficult challenges of the market by focusing on digital development and the implementation of machinery that expresses its know-how, to improve its performance in terms of efficiency, savings and sustainability. With a close eye on internalization, Ilario Monterisi, born in 1986, Sales manager of Fratelli Alberti for the last three years after a long experience in another sector acquired in New Zealand, and Giacomo Capra, Chief Financial Officer, illustrate the internal research guidelines aimed at meeting all innovation requirements.
Please tell us about your career path and why you chose Fratelli Alberti.
I.M. “Having completed my studies in economics, I initially pursued a career in a sector different from precision mechanics. Although I had the opportunity to grow professionally, I decided in contrast to leave a good position in an important company to gain experience abroad. I wanted to get to know, to see other places, to experiment with new business paradigms: I initially chose Oceania, a continent as far away as possible from my own experience, where, however, being Italian was an added value at the time, a recognized identity. I was thrilled to be its spokesperson, to represent the Italian way of life in the world. The experience I gained in New Zealand in the commercial sector of a wine and spirits company is different, but linked with my current role at Fratelli Alberti: bringing the Made in Italy label to a global level through FAV products is what keeps me alive and passionate.
As soon as I returned to Italy and to my hometown, I started to deal with a sector that was totally unknown to me: I had no experience in the mechanical field and especially in a very particular and niche area such as that of machines dedicated to leather processing, but it was precisely this aspect that attracted me. I have always had a passion for fashion, I am above all a collector of shoes of every style, and what surprised and enlightened me was to learn how our machines, in a supply chain as important as that of footwear and leather goods ones, are essential to complete certain processes. It is fascinating to see how many companies and people are behind the making of an accessory, in the long process from raw material to finished product.”
How would you describe Fratelli Alberti?
I.M. “As a beautiful company, also from a human point of view. It is a family business in its third generation that has the will and desire to carry on an important name built up over almost 80 years. We are grateful for what has been achieved by the people before us who are now retired, but we are also aware that on this solidity we must evolve according to the demands of our clients and the market in general. We have to direct our efforts in unceasingly innovating our product and this is what we have always tried to put into practice.”
Today, your name AV identifies a certain category of leather processing machinery.
G.C. “A name associated with a machine model: this is what we have managed to achieve over many years of commitment and passion. It is gratifying to know that our customers identify the AV brand with the entire category of fleshing machines, without knowing that AV stands for Alberti Varese. A bit like what happens when the trade name or brand name of a successful product is transformed into a common name, coming to designate entire classes of similar objects (think ‘Scotch tape’, but the examples are endless). The same thing applies to AV machines.”
It is like telling the world who you are and what is most important to you.
G.C. “At the moment what we care most about is modernization and user safety. We have made products that have evolved in terms of Industry 4.0, sustainability, user-friendliness and safety. We have made significant changes on our machines to ensure greater safety for the end user, a reduction in waste, and a high level of quality according to the standard that has made us internationally famous.”
The market is proving you right.
G.C. ‘Yes, we are happy despite somewhat fluctuating periods dictated by socio-political conditions that are not too favorable and an increasingly complex Asian situation. However, we keep on being present in many markets both east and west of our continent, none of which we intend on abandoning.”
From a commercial point of view, Fratelli Alberti is historically linked to distributors.
G.C. ‘Yes, both in Italy and worldwide we historically rely on distributors, which we still consider decisive, as we would not have sufficient strength to provide assistance in all the countries we cover and to all the companies that use our machines. We supply them with the full range of products needed to meet the different demands of clients. Thanks to in-house production control, we can also offer a customization service for both special parts and integrated solutions based on the required results.
A much appreciated strength.
How do you define your technological offers?
I.M. ‘We produce three macro categories of leather processing machines: skiving, splitting and combining machines. Several innovations have been made, starting with the skiving machine tables featuring guards to prevent accidental operations. The graphic interface has become even more user-friendly. Computerized machines in the wake of the Industry 4.0 plan make work more precise regardless of the user, replicable and above all more productive without altering the high quality. The central figure in this evolution is the AV2 NET electronic skiving machine. Named after the network concept, it is highly intuitive and fully prepared and certified for integration in 4.0 factories. The new machine improves on the already outstanding qualities of its predecessor model AV2 TEV with the possibility of exporting data and storing work programs (which are read by barcode scanners), with optimized consumption, increased execution speed, the use of predictive maintenance and much more.
However, it is necessary to find the right compromise between the need for automation and the need, given the intrinsic variables of the leather product, for manual intervention by the worker. The footwear sector is still very much tied to mechanical equipment and we do not intend to replace people, but to facilitate them by making their work more precise, easier and safer.”
Are there any other innovations on their way?
G.C. “We are always looking to introduce a few innovations in terms of 4.0 machinery belonging to the macro categories that have made us famous. In the last two years, since we presented to the public the AV2 NET electronic skiving machine and the AP6, the first of the new line of flat combining machines capable of connecting to the server and transferring all the processing parameters directly to the office and vice versa, we have been satisfied with the market response, but we keep on having a keen eye to the future to try to grow more and more. Our R&D department already has some ideas for Simac 2024, but we do not want to be in a hurry to launch a new item on the market that risks not meeting expectations. We will take our time to present a really interesting, reliable and competitive product.”

The Fratelli Alberti team

Fratelli Alberti Varese serves three macro categories of leather processing machines, developing increasingly precise, easy-to-use and safe skiving, splitting and combining machines