Simem celebrates 60 years of concrete plants
By Roberta Prandi21 April 2023
Simem is a family-owned manufacturer of concrete plants, located since 1963 in the Verona province of Italy.
Like many other small and medium manufacturing companies in this area, Simem was founded by the intuition of a single entrepreneur, Piero Furlani, who started with the production of cement mixers with reversing drums.
In the 60 years since, the management of the company has been passed on to his two sons: Federico, now president, and Michele, managing director. Together they now manage an international enterprise which can be counted among the top players in the market for concrete plants worldwide.
Simem has supplied its plants to many key construction projects around the world, including the Panama Canal expansion, Hong Kong airport, the EuroTunnel beneath the English Channel, the Petronas Tower in Malaysia, the Olympic Stadium in Sydney and the Brenner Base Tunnel, currently under construction beneath the Alps.
Simem employs 250 people at its Italian headquarters and in several subsidiaries located in its major markets of Canada, United States, India and, more recently, in Germany. The company has also opened its second production plant in India, from where it serves areas in the Middle East and Asia.
In other countries, Simem has distribution agreements with companies representing well-known OEMs such as Caterpillar and John Deere.
The expansion into international markets got a major boost in 2016, when Simem acquired two companies that are now fully integrated in the group: Simem Underground in Canada, that produces technologies for underground construction; and Simem Spil in Treviso, Italy – a specialist in automated systems for concrete precast.
According to the the company’s president, Federico Furlani, the construction market is going through a fourth industrial revolution, driven by digital transformation and by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).
He says, “Digital and ESG are new directions the whole industry is embracing, and Simem is fully committed since quite some time to anticipate the opportunities that these changes will bring to the concrete market.
“We are confident that the next 60 years will bring even more growth to our company.”
Partnerships are key
Simem recently celebrated its 60th anniversary at its Italian headquarters, hosting a gathering of partners, customers, and experts from the construction industry.
Santo Accogli, executive assistant director of plant & equipment at Webuild Group, celebrated the cooperation between his company and Simem spanning over 15 years, in which WeBuild utilised approximately 30 million m3 of conventional concrete and roller-compacted concrete (RCC) produced by Simem.
He reminded guests at the anniversary celebration of some of the projects his company had realised with the contribution of Simem, including the Panama Canal expansion, for which Webuild used two Simem RCC plants.
Another example was the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project (GERDP) – a huge (and fully Italian) construction project, realised with RCC produced in Simem plants.
According to Accogli, the building site reached a production of almost 12 million m3 of concrete, with a maximum peak of 1,450 m3 per hour.
Federico Furlani believes the company’s growth and success derive from the work of all the employees who strive every day to imagine, design and build some of the world’s biggest concrete plants.
He says, “Among the projects in the works right now, we have a large 3D printer for dam construction, a system for CO2 sequestration from concrete (using wood chips and lime), and a digital platform that will integrate BIM, IoT and Blockchain.”
With this combination of digital technology and a sustainability ethic, the future for Simem would appear to be bright…and green.