A Perfect Blend for an Ideal Future

25 September 2019


WBPI catches up with CMC Texpan, which is currently involved in supplying its first complete glue dosing and preparation system autonomously designed and produced by this forwardlooking Italian company

For nearly 60 years now, CMC Texpan has been conducting its engineering and plant building expertise in the municipality of Colzate in the province of Bergamo, Lombardy.

Nestled in the foothills, the company’s factory has seen a busy time of late, enjoying a successful Ligna 2019 where it received good enquiries for its wide range of services for the wood based panel manufacturing industry.

The company has expanded its operations greatly since it was formed in 1962 as CMC S.r.l. (Carpenterie Metalliche di Colzate) by a group of entrepreneurs working in the textile-mechanical field for the production of metal structural elements.

Having co-operated extensively with Krefeld-based Siempelkamp Group since the 1980s for the production of forming machines for MDF and OSB production, a majority stake in the company was acquired by Siempelkamp in 2010, followed by the remaining stake in 2013 to make CMC Texpan a fully-fledged part of the Siempelkamp Group.

Today, the company’s specialism in the wood based panels industry extends to multiple areas including chips and particles – extraction systems for storage silos, chips cleaner, magnetic separators, roller separators, gravimetric separators and oscillating screens; as well as glue blending systems and of course forming systems.

CMC Texpan also undertakes after-sales services for Siempelkamp production lines in Italy, consulting services and panel product analysis at its laboratories.

As reported in WBPI’s visit to CMC Texpan last year, some fabrication activities have been relocated to other units of the Siempelkamp Group as part of a desire to improve service availability, especially in the South East Asian market. But key components are always manufactured in Colzate.

New Projects

CMC Texpan chairman of the board Paolo Gattesco gave an update to WBPI on its activities and how it sees dynamics in the international wood-based panels markets.

“The main project being currently developed by CMC TEXPAN is the erection, commissioning and start-up of an extensive supply package delivered to an Asian customer,” he said.

“This is a very important job encompassing a vast range of machinery and equipment, partly supplied through Siempelkamp, CMC TEXPAN's German-based parent company, and partly on the basis of a direct sale contract.

“This project has a particular meaning also because it includes the first complete glue dosing and preparation system autonomously designed and carried out by the Italian company.”

The company’s participation at LIGNA 2019 was also described as “extremely fruitful”.

 “Besides consolidating the relationship with long-term business partners, CMC TEXPAN’s salesforce is developing contacts with potential customers and qualified professionals, with extremely positive perspectives and expectations.”

In terms of market dynamics, the company cited discussion at the last Annual General Meeting of the European Panel Federation (EPF), namely increasing the demand for wood based panels, in applications beyond furniture.

More applications in interior design and construction are being targeted, benefitting from wood’s positive links with sustainability, the circular economy and climate neutrality.

“So-called hybrid panels are becoming more and more popular due to their versatility of use,” explained Mr Gattesco.

Hybrid panels may have OSB on the surface layer and particleboard in the core layer, or vice versa. Several combinations of wood composites are possible.

“A sound technological knowledge is indispensable in order to propose machinery and equipment (for example, forming stations) expressly dedicated to these type of products.

“Obviously, top-flight quality remains one of the highest priorities as well, so there is a high demand for solutions enabling the best possible use of recycled material, and also combining quality and cost efficiency.”

CMC Texpan News

The company says strategic quality management practices required a global approach and that each and every step of the production process must be focused on quality.

It said a major role in this process is played by machinery and equipment aimed at processing raw material.

“CMC Texpan machines are designed to achieve a very precise selection and preparation of wooden chips and particles: achieving efficiency and linearity are among their main goals,” it said.

“Furthermore, the settings of the machinery can be changed very quickly to ensure an immediate reaction to any possible variations in the parameters of the material.”

The company’s product portfolio also includes a whole range of equipment and devices, such as weighing scales, sensors and electronic systems, which measure and control the moisture and density of the particles or fibers being processed, thus enabling the operators to undertake inline corrections of the production parameters if necessary.

Among the most recent developments of CMC Texpan is a machine learning based system, currently going through the experimental stage: its function is to collect and process data obtained from the different machines.

“This will make it possible to detect potential problems before they actually occur and implement adequate corrective actions, so the features of the product will remain constant throughout the whole production batch,” said Mr Gattesco.

“This system will be an attractive option for the optimization of existing facilities, at the same time providing great support to the staff assigned to the operation of the plant: of course, it can't replace operators' experience, but it can undoubtedly help them enhance their skills more quickly.”

This focus on innovation ties in neatly with CMC Texpan’s motto, emblazoned on its website - "Always keep one foot in the past, your head in the present, and your eyes to the future".

CMC Texpan dosing bin for glue blender
Glue blenders on the factory floor
Paolo Gattesco and Fred Holmer, managing director
CMC Texpan extraction systems for silos