Piero Salvini founded ALTECH in 1991 to exploit the skills and experience he had gained in over 20 years in management.
Today, his children Laura (Finance and Personnel) and Paolo (Marketing) also contribute to the success of the Bareggio (Milan)-based company.
What are the current trends in food labelling?
In the food sector, which represents 35-40% of our production, the marketing and distribution are highly innovative and so we always have new challenges to meet in order to provide greater appeal to or revamp the image of products via labelling.
A manufacturer who is able to offer flexible, precise and reliable labelling machines has a good chance of succeeding in such a competitive market.
Is it easier to satisfy marketing requests, or functional and logistical ones?
We concern ourselves simply with applying the labels while meeting the customer's requirements and the specifications we have previously agreed with them. But that's no small matter, believe me!
To succeed, we make use of our many years of experience, as well as the wide range of products and applications we have developed in collaboration with our dealers and main customers.
The sector is pretty crowded, both in terms of manufacturers and distributors – how do you distinguish yourselves?
ALTECH is a successful manufacturer, but we couldn't do without our distributors. We have about 90 across 50 different countries – two thirds of our output is sold abroad. Our distributors are often system integrators who offer complete turnkey solutions using the products we provide them with.
But for major players such as Giovanni Rana, Ferrero, Danone etc. we go to meet with them directly, and our reputation as a reliable manufacturer often makes the difference.
Alongside our essential main role as manufacturer, we also distribute thermal transfer label printers from Japanese firm SATO, world leader in this sector, in order to provide the most complete service possible to our customers.
What does your company have that is typically Italian?
Everything in ALTECH is typically Italian: the ingeniousness of our solutions, our design and planning, our production formula which focusses the core business on the design, assembly and final testing of the product, outsourcing machining of parts to a network of suppliers, and finally our attention to aesthetics.
And which factors make you international?
Our distributors, who operate in the most advanced and competitive markets in the world, stimulate us to develop solutions which then prove to be at the cutting edge in our own country. Our relationship with large multinationals in the food sector stimulates our continuous innovation and development of labelling systems which aim to offer ever-greater value for money.
What point are you at in terms of automatic identification?
We only deal with printing and application of self-adhesive labels in this area, but on various materials: from the individual outer packages (with expiry date, lot number and bar code, where applicable), to boxes, packs and pallets, in which the labels become progressively larger and the rates change significantly.
Which of your labellers are most in demand in the food sector?
Our ALcode P pallet labeller which uses a highly efficient anthropomorphic movement arm.
We have also seen good success with the ALsleeve, our unit for applying tamper-proof heat-shrink sleeves to lids.
But we also market ALline for complete wrap-around labelling of elliptical products and ALbelt for C-wrap labelling with wrap-around seals.