CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tria SpA, the Italian maker of granulators, is expanding its U.S. operations in Charlotte, N.C., by adding a new test facility.
Daniele Finazzi, vice president of operations at Tria America LLC, said customers can visit Charlotte to run material tests, or send in the material for testing by Tria staff.
"We really appreciate if the customer comes here and we do a test together. Because one of the important aspects of the relationship is to understand the process," Finazzi said.
He said Tria America is running about two or three material tests a week.
Tria, based in Cologno Monzese, Italy, specializes in manufacturing only rotary knife granulators, but makes different versions for the five plastics processes of thermoforming, blow molding, injection molding, extrusion and film, and recycling. Tria also supplies complete grinding systems, that includes the granulator with a conveyor, blower, gaylord dumpers and other support equipment.
"We are focused on the process," Finazzi said. "And the solution is really customized. Of course, we have a standard solution for standard applications, but we are also able to propose to the market customized solutions in each of these five fields."
The Italian company opened the 6,500-square-foot Charlotte facility in 2011. "We decided to open this branch after selling something like 800 machines in the U.S. market," Finazzi said. Six people work at the operation, including service technicians. Charlotte handles sales, parts and service support.
Finazzi said the U.S. center normally has six to eight granulators available for material testing. "We also have a good stock of ready for delivery," he said.
Tria SpA was founded in Italy by Angelo Anceschi. At the time, he was an engineer studying developing machines that would process pasta and other foods. Then a friend who was introducing plastic food packaging into the market asked him to create a machine that could grind the plastic scraps.
Anceschi build the first granulator in his garage. He started working two jobs, designer by day and entrepreneur by night and weekends.
After a few years, he devoted full time to the machinery business and moved out of his garage to a site in Milan.
His son Sergio joined the business in the early 1960s, building a sales network throughout Europe. Today the company is owned by three of Sergio Anceschi's sons.
The three brothers have leadership positions at Tria. CEO Luciano Anceschi also serves as the current president of Euromap, the European association of plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers.
The other brothers are: Marco Anceschi, the engineering manager, and Claudio Anceschi, operations manager.
They are on the Tria board of directors. The other board members are Stefano Venturelli, vice president of sales and foreign branches, and Virginio Lavizzari, chief financial officer.
Today, Tria SpA builds more than a thousand granulators and recycling systems a year. About 90 percent of them are exported out of Italy.