CMC Texpan’s speciality has always been at the front end of the panel production line and its product range today includes: chip and particle handling; chip cleaners; extraction systems; magnetic separators; roller separators; gravimetric separators; oscillating screens; glue blending; and forming lines.

The company was founded in 1962 by Ing Dario Zoppetti. Gradually, from 2010, the company became part of the Siempelkamp group, a long-standing customer of CMC, with the takeover being completed in 2013, when Mr Zoppetti retired.

WBPI interviewed Alessandro Brembilla, who has worked for the company for 18 years in technical, then sales, roles and today is its managing director.

WBPI: What is exciting you about the future for CMC Texpan?

Alessandro Brembilla: CMC Texpan is a vibrant, forward-looking company with room for improvement. Research and discovery of new products excites me most of all.

We have many initiatives under way and we are also planning a modernisation effort, which will make us more competitive.

WBPI: What is the current market like for CMC’s products?

AB: The main market is the established wood-based panel industry, but we are expanding our business into other markets where we can use the same machines. We are also exploring, as we have always done, different sectors where we build machines according to the customers’ unique specifications. We have also created a laboratory area where we test prototypes developed in the R&D department and then we can show them to potential customers.

WBPI: What are the challenges for the company in the market, now and in the future?

AB: The biggest challenge is to increase our sales, differentiate our markets and have a steady growth year after year.

WBPI: What was the turnover of CMC like in 2022/23 and how did it compare with 2021/22?

AB: Although markets are down at this time, the current year will be better than the last one.

WBPI: We have previously reported on the LYNX cleaning tower system, employing SWIR (short wave infra-red) technology, in WBPI, in 2021 and 2022 [October/November 2022]. Has there been any further development of the system since then? How has the market responded to LYNX? What was the driving force behind the invention of the LYNX system? What are its advantages? How does it, and other CMC equipment, fit into your chip cleaning tower concept?

AB: Cleaning towers are an efficient, compact and modular solution for the complete processing of recycled wood chips. For this requirement, LYNX integrates very well as it allows the removal of contaminants from the continuous flow of recycled material.

CMC Texpan always tries to enhance and suit the LYNX system to any request or need of our customer. As it is a versatile machine, it can be equipped with different accessories. Thanks also to its compact design, LYNX can easily be installed in existing plants.

WBPI: I know that glue blending is an important part of CMC’s product range. Formaldehyde emissions obviously continue to be an important focus for the panel industry. How has CMC addressed the issue of formaldehyde emissions in its glue blending systems? Also, the cost of glue is important to the industry. How has CMC addressed this in terms of more economic use of glues?

AB: Formaldehyde emissions are a very important global issue, which CMC is addressing from both environmental and technological considerations, as well as economic aspects. These three factors are closely related and CMC Texpan is making a concerted effort in facing up to these different, and sometimes conflicting, requirements. Our R&D department, in collaboration with our subsidiaries and the knowledge and synergy of the Siempelkamp group, is developing and perfecting new systems.

Also, why not use alternative resins and components to the current ones, considering the ‘green’ trend of recent years? Will our R&D be able to provide an answer in the near future? Stay tuned and you will find out…

WBPI: I believe CMC has made improvements to its EcoFormer. Can you tell me what those improvements were and why they were necessary?

AB: The improvements are real and clearly recognisable because there is a considerable saving in energy costs. At current costs, the customer can achieve pay-back of the cost of the machine in a year; as a consequence of reducing consumption, we also achieve less impact on the environment. The EcoFormer is a really fully-fledged ‘green machine’. In addition, we have been able to improve the surface quality of the panels.

WBPI: I Siempelkamp put a lot of emphasis on forming during Ligna. How does that involve CMC Texpan?

AB: Our experts attended the Ligna fair in order to answer, explain and give information regarding EcoFormer to our customers and potential clients.

WBPI: Could you explain the concept of the Magnetic Shell coating system for worn blenders?

AB: The Magnetic Shell system consists of metal sections to which tungsten carbide is applied directly in the mixing chamber of the blenders using a strong magnetic field.

It is a system designed and patented by CMC Texpan and it allows for the refurbishment of the worn blender mixing chambers without the need to replace the entire machine. Therefore, in the case of wearing over time, the replacement of single sectors becomes easier and faster.

WBPI: This year marks 10 years since the retirement of Dario Zoppetti and Siempelkamp taking full control of the company, completing its gradual takeover, which began in 2010. What did Siempelkamp bring to CMC?

AB: I had the good fortune to know and work for Eng Dario Zoppetti: a person who taught me a lot. He had the ability to create and intensify the collaboration with Siempelkamp, transforming a provincial company into a well-structured one with a clear identity.

What does the Siempelkamp Group give us? Oh, so many things!

Above all, the relationship has led us always to improve in every department, raising our products to an even higher quality.

The Siempelkamp Group gives us worldwide visibility and, thanks to Siempelkamp, CMC Texpan and its machines are well-known everywhere.

WBPI: Which components of CMC’s machines are made by other companies in the Siempelkamp group?

AB: There is no fixed rule. Basically, it depends on the workload of each group subsidiary.

WBPI: The Ligna exhibition did not take place in 2021, so the 2023 exhibition was the first for four years. How was the show this year? Was it as good as in the past in terms of visitor attendance? Was it a success for CMC Texpan and for Siempelkamp?

AB: We expected a lower attendance, due to the absence of the fair for four years, but we were thrilled and surprised by such a high flow of qualified visitors, but especially by the interest in our products, solutions and teamwork. The single and compact booth of the Siempelkamp group reinforced the image of strength, competence and cohesion of the group by conveying unity and cohesion among the various companies and it emphasised the idea of a solid group of companies.

We received visits by clients from all over the world and the location made it possible to converse in the same booth without moving around to bring all the various partners together, establishing comprehensive and global meetings even if the topics were different. We can say that the idea of creating dedicated ‘corners’, but in the same booth, was successful. Without a doubt we can say that we are now reaping the benefits of an extremely interesting and lively fair. The ‘litmus test’ of this is the increased contacts and enquiries we received. The onsite visits are also proof of this.

WBPI: What are the opportunities that you see for CMC in the next five years?

AB: There are a lot of opportunities, but we will have to be good at catching them. We will have to be ready for the change, evolution and development and to evolve, starting with digitisation and a lean factory.

As for products in the development pipeline, CMC Texpan is currently working on its new Speed Classifier System. This system is still undergoing experimentation and testing in CMC Texpan and Mr Brembilla said that he was unable to give any information as yet. However, it seems that we can expect to hear more of this development in the relatively near future.