Each company has its own history, similar to that of many others, albeit with small and big facets that make it unique, just like that of Gaiapack, a young and dynamic reality that is the protagonist of a very peculiar path in the world of flexible packaging
We have already written about Gaiapack, the San Marino-based company specializing in the production of flexible packaging (in January/February 2020 issue of Converter – Flessibili – Carta – Cartone) to celebrate 10 years of activity. Young and dynamic company that is climbing the positions in the market of producers-converters of flexible films, driven by the engaging enthusiasm of its owner, Nemo Mazza, whose dream has always been to create a complete and autonomous company in all phases of the productive, organizational, human and relational process. A dream widely shared with collaborators, customers, suppliers ready to listen to him but also to advise him on the possibility, in an increasingly difficult economic situation, to give up, wait, be satisfied with what has already been done.
But we know that dreams help to live and Nemo Mazza, an incurable dreamer but also an entrepreneur with the desire to take risks and throw his heart over the obstacle, while understanding the reasons of all his advisors, has never given up on carrying out his project.
An unprecedented production flow: at the beginning it was the slitting
The element that distinguishes Gaiapack is they built an opposite production flow in comparison to the usual flow for converters that foresees printing, laminating, slitting (and making preformed bags). To do this, Nemo Mazza was pervaded by a great instinctive energy, which resulted in his decision to create a backward production path.
Gaiapack was founded in 2009 with two slitter-rewinders and a core-cutter to perform web slitting activities for third parties, and placing itself on the market as a subcontractor to meet the needs of large groups, whose slitting department is often saturated. Three young guys, including its owner, called to slitting webs for customers with high-sounding names, mainly in the food sector.
It is precisely by observing these webs that the stimulus to build an alternative path is born: the webs of semi-finished products, composed of highly technological plastic films and with complex graphics, most of the time had all the typical defects of printing and laminating that had to be cut in perfect webs, without errors, to be destined for the packaging of the products, the penultimate link in the chain before the shelf.
Gaiapack learns quickly, not without difficulty, to know the defects in order to eliminate them, to read and understand work instructions, elaborated by advanced management systems from various customers, to make and formalize registrations and checks in the most disparate formats, engaging the staff in the difficult undertaking to understand and speak different languages in a fluid way and with more and more mastery.
From pouches to laminating, the growth of Gaiapack continues
The slitters increase, up to the current nine and Gaiapack expands and moves its headquarters in 2016, not before having understood the need to give guarantees on food safety to its customers. Already in 2015, it obtained BRC certification, and the company thus equips itself with a management system that incorporates Food Safety, Risk Analysis and Quality recognized worldwide.
The slitting of webs gives rise to new ideas, in fact the acquisition of a machine to make preformed bags takes place in the same year of transfer of headquarters. The small production company that slitting webs for third parties acquires tone and strength, becomes a SpA, invests in new staff and in 2018 creates a complete structure with commercial, purchasing, programming and quality function.
Also in 2018, the company purchases a solventless laminating machine to produce laminated products with various combinations of films, so once cut or formed into bags, the material can be sold directly by Gaiapack.
From subcontractor to independent company
In this particularly delicate phase, it becomes essential to identify trustworthy people you can rely on. At the top is inserted Antonio Milano, a person with proven experience in the sector who first, as a consultant, helps Gaiapack to implement IT tools, then subsequently assuming the role of operation manager to evaluate the data and fundamental trends related to business performance and the consequent operational and strategic choices.
In a company, however, some people must emerge from the historical team, as they are indispensable for transmitting the founding values of the company to new colleagues. Nemo Mazza chooses Mirko Piscaglia as production manager, offering an opportunity for growth to those who have worked with him for years on slitters. Mirko is a boy from San Marino, young and very enterprising and has an enviable memory in remembering details and aspects concerning the machines and nothing escapes him of what happens in the company.
“Beyond the continuous feedback that I receive daily from my trusted collaborators, we have invested in the IT part for the management of information, activities and processes with a management system customized to our needs that has been operational for over a year”, says Nemo Mazza.
From Covid emergency the decisive push for the purchase of the printing machine
Putting all the necessary actions in place with extreme timeliness to be able to continue working, no day was lost at Gaiapack and with the commitment of all employees, the company continued to serve the market at a dizzying pace; and it is precisely in April that Nemo Mazza’s dream becomes reality with the opportunity to purchase an 8-color flexo printing machine. In a few days the company structure changes completely: the warehouse is moved to an adjacent building capable of hosting up to 1500 pallets, rationalizing the flow of goods being shipped under the responsibility of Alessandro Palazzi, another long-time collaborator of Gaiapack, promoted to warehouse manager. A well-deserved on the ground charge, thanks to its ability to move tons of material with extreme speed, from the warehouse to loading/unloading of trucks. In the new modern and automated warehouse, the flow of raw material destined for production now moves on an automatic roller conveyor, while the flow of ready goods follows the reverse path on the other side of the warehouse, for a safe and orderly workflow.
The space for the new printing machine is therefore obtained in the warehouse, with all the staff involved and increasingly passionate about the new project. Two people, among the most suitable for the role of press operator, are identified and trained for the necessary learning process by a veteran of flexo printing machines. Next to the machine, a second Quality Control Laboratory wanted by Nemo is also created, connected to all the other Quality Management processes, whose System is coordinated by Massimo Benintendi, another long-time collaborator of the company who is an expert in Integrated Management Systems.
Gaiapack, after 11 years of activity, finally has its 8-color flexo printing machine. “On 10 August I communicated to all my collaborators with joy and emotion that a dream had come true”, says Nemo Mazza – “Today, during the normal daily routine at the end of the shed, the new flexo machine printed the first packaging made in Gaiapack. I am excited and positively ‘dazed’: the dream become true! But we also know that the most exciting things are ahead and from now on all of us will be called to give even more”.
“Thanks to the internal company resources, with the coordination activity of Massimo Benintendi and with the help of external collaborators, we are implementing new materials and new eco-sustainable, safe and manufactured products, according to the new BRC GS 6 standard, which came into force all over the world from 1st February 2020, whose certification renewal for Gaiapack was obtained on 4th February 2020”, concludes Nemo Mazza, because the future cannot wait and is already part of the present for this constantly expanding company.