From Montebello Vicentino to Arzignano: THIMECO, an internationally recognized tanning group, in the frame of 4.0 industry, has recently expanded its plants moving to another city, in order to carry out several processing stages directly in-house and making production even more efficient.
THIMECO was founded slightly before the beginning of the 2000s and today it is acknowledged as one of the most prominent companies worldwide in the leather production, mainly addressed to high-end footwear and leatherware brands.
The joint-venture with the tannery VKP LT, based in Vjazma, results in a yearly output amounting to approximately 9 million hides. The collaboration between groups has guaranteed a steady growth: as a matter of fact, the tannery is ranked among the first in Russia in terms of production capacity and size. Thimeco, in addition to using leathers from Russia, relies on materials from New Zealand, Eastern European countries and South America. In terms of distribution, its main outlet markets are Spain, Portugal and Russia, as well as the Italian market of course. This growth was reconfirmed even during the pandemic: in the first 8 months of 2021, the turnover exorbitantly increased compared to 2020, a stormy year due to Covid, and to the same period of 2019 by 15%.
On the wave of success, a new plant in Arzignano was recently inaugurated: spread over an area of over 300sqm, the new headquarters is equipped with photovoltaic panels and integrated machinery and systems that make the tanning production phases more efficient and respond to those quality and sustainability criteria that have always been essential for the company.
Davide Baldo, General Manager of Thimeco, made an overview of some of the goals that the company wants to achieve through this upgrade.
Why did you move to Arzignano?
“We decided to move and enlarge our plants by bringing in-house processes such as staking, grouting and buffing, operations that we previously entrusted to subcontractors, to ensure more stringent quality control of our leathers. The new plants are a perfect example of Industry 4.0, with integrated machinery and systems that make the stages of tanning production more efficient and guarantee quality and sustainability features to our customers. In addition, both offices and the showrooms are located at the new headquarters where customers can view the innovative and trendy proposals we manufacture.
The new plant is also attentive to energy sustainability and takes advantage of renewable sources. Currently, our photovoltaic panels only partially fulfill our energy needs, but the goal for the future is to be 100% supplied through this source.”
Speaking about sustainability, how did you shape your production according to the increasingly stringent demands of the fashion world?
“The leathers that come out of the new Arzignano plant are finished by subcontractors, carefully selected for qualification and certifications, and then brought back to the company for a second quality control, so to comply with the high standards of ISO 9001 (quality control) and ISO 14001 (systems environmental management) certifications of the tannery. We also comply with the LWG Leather Working Group standard, which allows us to monitor our leathers throughout the supply chain, from slaughterhouse to delivery: this is further guarantee we offer to our customers.
Among our sustainable line, stands out the brand THIMECO WHITE, that is devoid of heavy metals and it’s made by means of a fully ecological process. Throughout the manufacturing cycle, we have eliminated degreasing and antibacterial substances as well as chemical derivatives, thus reducing by 80% the use of sulphide and hydrogen sulphide during the liming phase. Hence the hide is fully eco-friendly.”
What do you offer customers more than competitors?
“A safe, guaranteed, qualitatively excellent and sustainable product, delivered in a very short time.
We buy leathers from the most important breeders, choosing only the best hides, coming from cattle that are raised in a natural way to avoid coat defects.
Regarding the timing, thanks to the prompt delivery service called “Speedy”, that allows to choose and purchase, either in the virtual showrooms or via our website thimeco.it, an ample range of articles, whose delivery is carried out within 48 hours, often the following day. This channel accounts for approximately 20% of our turnover, yet said percentage is set to further increase. It is not a mere online sale strategy, we provide the clientele with a warehouse featuring regularly over 400 thousand square meters worth of crusts, thus succeeding in fulfilling every type of demand.”
What are the projects for the future?
“We certainly intend to continue supplying the fashion market, offering certified, sustainable quality products, to further establish ourselves on the European and international markets. We work mainly with the major brands of footwear and leather goods, as our group is able to guarantee high quality leathers, but we also have several requests from the aeronautical sector.
Our policy brings together experience and professionalism, combined with state-of-the-art tanning technologies. A successful strategy, which we intend to always perpetrate by relying on skillful operators, increasingly advanced systems and constant research.”
The general manager of Thimeco Davide Baldo, right, with the Sales Director Marco Calearo