Grand Opening and ribbon cutting at the new plant Modula (China) Automation Equipment Co.,LTD
Last November 13th, Modula SpA, the Italian company with headquarters in Salvaterra (Reggio Emilia) specialising in design and production of automatic vertical warehouses, cut the ribbon at the new production plant located in the industrial district in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, not far from Shanghai. Modula (China) Automation Equipment Co., Ltd was born in 2018 thanks to a total investment of 25 million dollars, becoming one of Modula’s 3 global production sites after Salvaterra (Italy) and Lewiston (USA). The 100% active, functioning production centre occupies an area of 25,000 square metres, 15,000 square metres of which are covered, 80 employees who will increase to 150 over the next few years.
The event in detail
More than 300 people attended the inauguration ceremony, which had Modula’s board alternating with Italian and Chinese authorities, following the traditional Lion Dance.
Participating were Franco Stefani – President of Modula SpA, Valeria Petroli – Deputy Trade Commissioner for Agenzia ICE – Italian Trade & Investment Agency in Shangai, Valtero Canepa – Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China, the Vice Consul Maria Ludovica Murazzani and the representative of the Suzhou municipality (SIP). Pride in their own words for the ever more active cooperation between China and Italy, two countries linked in economic terms, and for the Italian business leaders who invest in the Far East. In this context, the new Modula subsidiary represents another investment in this area for Franco Stefani, and it confirms the choice already made in the 2000s, when he had focussed on these areas, founding System China, dedicated to ceramic production plants.
The Guided Tour
When the festivities were over, the guests were able to tour the Chinese plant, guided by the staff, who showed the production processes for automatic warehouses, from raw materials to the finished products, going past robotised islands to the Linee Salvagnini, in a super-modern building that draws inspiration from industry 4.0 principles.
From an output point of view, the establishment started with a production capacity of 5 machines a week to reach 1,000 units a year and serve the entire Asian market starting in 2021, with the same European quality.
“Another major milestone for Modula, one that not only underpins its international footprint, but also strengthens its presence in the territory, transferring know-how and investing in countries with a high potential for growth, like China. Designed like an Italian factory, here too the absolute lead player is innovation: from raw material to finished product. The reality is cutting edge, overseen by highly qualified Italian and Chinese personnel, an Industry 4.0 model that is still human-centred,” states Franco Stefani, President of Modula SpA.
Modula was originally born as an operating unit of Systems Logistics SpA (now part of the Krones Group), and became a listed company in 2016, but the first vertical warehouses with trays were made at the end of the 1980s, thanks to Franco Stefani’s intuition, thus creating a turning point in the intra-logistics sector. Today, Modula’s industrial reality consists of 600 employees throughout the world, 50% of whom are employed in the headquarters in Salvaterra (RE). The Modula group boasts 8 subsidiaries in the world, more than 100 dealers and 15,000 clients in more than 50 countries. In 2018, Modula warehouse sales exceeded 2,500 units. Invoicing over the past 5 years saw a 26% growth (CAGR) arriving at 160 million Euros.
Modula’s internationalisation process, becoming a top tier player in the intra-logistics sector, shows how Franco Stefani’s enterprise is constantly evolving, how important business continuity is on the one hand and the role of lead player in expanding Made in Italy excellence on a world level.