Since 1978, the Turin-based company has become a leading player on the market by focusing on the protection and well-being of workers through automated distribution solutions and much more. A constant growth over the decades.
Responsible safety is our mission since 1978, this is the most relevant slogan that can describe LANZI GROUP, Turin-based enterprise that, since 1978, has grown into a prominent player nationally and internationally, with a keen eye for occupational safety and health. The brand was established over forty years ago by Renato Lanzi, father of Luigi Lanzi, currently at the helm of the Group together with his son Matteo, Marketing Manager, third generation of a firm that, over the decades, has experienced a remarkable growth and evolution, thanks to its ability to step up its game and to successfully tackle the challenges launched on markets worldwide.
LANZI GROUP is currently divided into five operating divisions: Safety Systems Hand Protection for the production of protective gloves, still the company’s core business today; Safety Systems Industrial Vending for the design and production of PPES and industry indirect materials vending machines; Safety Systems Smart Tracking dedicated to intelligent safety systems; Safety Systems Workwear for corporate clothing. The fifth operating division, which does not produce but complements the previous ones, is Lanzi Safety Distribution aimed at the direct distribution of products and services to end users.
We met some of the LANZI GROUP members at their stand at the A+A fair in Düsseldorf (Germany).
“We have always worked in the safety industry,” confirmed Matteo Lanzi, “starting immediately with the production of protection gloves. An amazing idea for the safety sector especially in a markedly industrial city, thanks to Fiat’s efforts, such as Turin; we picked another successful strategy, as ours was the first company in Italy to import Shima Seiki machinery for the manufacturing of seamless knitted gloves. Then as now, our desire to protect workers’ hands gives us the possibility to create gloves that, from design to quality certification, are made not only from the deep knowledge of the applications for which the gloves will be destined, but above all from the careful research of materials and specific yarns used for each single model.”
How has your glove range evolved?
“Through the expansion of sourcing areas, especially in Eastern countries, such as China, South Korea, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India, finding local partners who produced under the our supervision of the certification body CTC Asia. The range of products was further expanded to include hand protectors made in close collaboration with the research laboratories of the user companies.
Despite your position as market leaders, that kind of business was not enough for you.
“The 1980-1990 decade featured a remarkable growth because, in addition to the manufacturing of leather gloves, our range of products widened, to include safety workwear, called “Pakistan”, with a close eye on the automotive market as well. The acquisition of a specialized Italian glove factory helped us gain a foothold in other fields too, such as glass and rubber, both domestically and Europe-wide: undoubtedly, it was a major commercial operation.”
Equally relevant for your growth was the final decade of the last century…
“Absolutely. The launch of the Safety Systems Hand Protection brand dates back to the early ‘90s, a result achieved only after the Group implemented an in-house testing laboratory, in order to promote the development of new products and quality control procedures. The laboratory was certified by CTC, European notified body for work gloves certification based in Lyon (France), a strategic asset for the company. However, we realized that making protection gloves was not enough; therefore, in 2003, we started supplying automated PPEs distributors, a true breakthrough for the sector. We took inspiration from food vending machines, removing the refrigeration part to add our technologies, but we soon understood that spiral systems were no longer suitable. After that, we focused on the production of first-generation automatic dispensers, the so-called stand- alone: OEM-version vending equipment, later upgraded with customized hardware as well as software solutions to distribute PPEs. However, we soon realized that the offline systems were no longer suitable, thus second-generation vending machines were born, equipped with an online interface connected in real time to the company network and through the development of software applications increasingly specialized in materials management.”
What about the evolution of your automatic dispensers’ range?
“A pivotal role was played by sourcing areas expansion, especially in Eastern countries such as China, South Korea, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India, with the selection of local partners who worked under the supervision of the certification body CTC Asia. The product range further widened with the addition of hand protection devices made in close cooperation with user companies’ research laboratories: this partnership led to the design of second-generation automatic dispensers, equipped with an on-line interface connected in real time to the corporate network, as well as to the development of increasingly specialized materials management software applications.”
Another turning point came with the business divisions, active since 2015: what was it about?
“A future-oriented strategy. More specifically, in the Turin-based facility, we set up an independent production unit for the design and manufacturing of automated systems for material distribution and management. This unit contributed to the development of third- generation, Industry 4.0-compliant machines, ready for the Smart Factory of the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), so as to meet Lean enterprises’ demands. The Safety Systems Industrial Vending was founded on that occasion. Our range of solutions grew some more with the addition of models devised for storing, distributing, and collecting diversified materials, resulting in the establishment of the first line of solutions for the automated distribution of PPE and MRO: ARGO PRO. The creation of a structured department, able to produce the machines independently, has made it possible to enhance the various activities of the company, from the historical ones to the more recent ones, giving the opportunity to identify the different operational divisions. Between 2015 and 2017, thanks to an effective reorganization division-wise, with specific marketing, R&D as well as compliance functions, LANZI GROUP managed to gain a stronger foothold in international markets via a specialized partner network.”
You are always at the forefront, even with the latest market challenges…
“Between 2019, when the project Smart Safety was developed, and 2020, – said Angioina Puglia, Social Media e Communication Manager – the new Safety Systems Smart Tracking division was opened. It is an evolution of the ARGO PRO line and allows the tracking of PPE, these are supplied by the new distributors of the ARGO SMART line, defined as SmartDPIreadyTM, validated by the machines themselves, and then detected in the area via a “gate”: it is an advanced safety system, that is, if the workers do not have the required PPEs, they can’t go in. This system was upgraded in the late half of 2019 and officially launched in early 2020. From the first adv teasers, that went like ‘Industrial Vending is growing smarter and smarter. Are you ready?’, we’ve been and we still are the only ones to offer this kind of solutions.”
“Responsible safety since 1978”, a slogan that keeps more than history.
“The firm was established in that year, grounded in that value, when Turin was “merely” the byword for a prominent car company. Over the years, we have grown, we have changed our organization models and structure, yet we keep providing state-of-the-art technical and economic solutions, by applying the “best practices” acquired through the cooperation with our clientele. We started off as work gloves manufacturers and then we have moved on to specialized automated material management systems installed in corporate customers’ facilities, offering machines that are all certified according to Industry 4.0 criteria and which are now also distributed abroad by an important network of partners.”
When it comes to market demands, what is your entrepreneurial strategy?
“Our mission is clear: we work to provide safety solutions in the workplace, designed and manufactured for workers, to protect them from potential injuries and to improve their organizational well-being. LANZI GROUP have become service supplier, a source of technical advice, with a keen eye for people and their needs. Our customers have shown us the importance of safety, health and environment, all strategic values competitiveness-wise. Bearing in mind this mission, we have kept investing in the development of increasingly safer, comfortable protection gloves, featuring an eye- catching design as well as innovative materials. We have enhanced the “easy-to-fit” concept, in the interest of personal satisfaction and of the employees’ productivity, two top priorities for enterprises, up to developing intelligent distribution solutions, which put the worker himself at the center, making him more aware of his safety. Our commitment to Responsible Security becomes stronger every year and able to adapt to the new needs of companies, the market and technologies.”
LANZI GROUP – www.lanzigroup.com
Matteo Lanzi, Marketing Manager with his father Luigi Lanzi, President
Angiolina Puglia, Social Media & Communication Manager
Part of the vending machine production department at the Turin plant
The marketing campaign of the line of ISO-SKIN protective gloves