Company Cameo

Ladies Who Launch

August 25, 2008

Since its announcement this spring at INDEX08 that it would purchase a high capacity Giotto compact spunbond line from newly established Galileo Group, Aurora Nonwovens Srl, Imperia, Italy, is one industry newcomer attracting attention—and lots of it. Founded in April, Aurora was created as a new division of Patuano Zucchi Bassetti, a company well established in the conventional textile business since 1960.

Aurora Nonwovens Sr
Via S. Agata, 196
18100 Imperia – IM, Italy
Phone: 39 331 88 522 11
Fax: 39 0183 29 16 36

Aurora founder and major investor Giuseppina Patuano has been running Patuano Zucchi Bassetti—founded by her father—for more than 30 years and has been monitoring the growth of nonwovens, a sector that she describes as continuously growing versus conventional products for upholstery, bedding, garments and other technical textiles. “Thus, I came to the decision to open the new Aurora Nonwovens division for the production of spunbonded nonwovens mainly dedicated to the industrial market,” explained Ms. Patuano.

The company expects to export most of its production to European countries due to the lack of competitiveness versus the U.S. dollar. “On the other hand,” she said, “our plans show the potential of being able to produce quite competitive products that could supply any market.”

Aurora Nonwovens’ production site has about 1500 square meters of covered surface, and is currently under construction in the Liguria region of Northwest Italy. The plant is scheduled to be operational in spring 2009, with an initial capacity between 2500 and 3000 tons per year. The high capacity 1.6 meter line will produce colored nonwovens for home furnishing, upholstery and other niche end uses.

The technology purchased is Giotto, a new compact machine recently introduced by Spunbond Engineering Srl (Galileo Group) at INDEX08. “The reasons for that choice are a few special technical features presented by thistechnology,” said Ms. Patuano. “The machine compactness, the low investment, the short delivery and mostly the extreme flexibility, which allows efficient, quick and easy production changes—all of which are judged absolute necessities for the production of small quantities of niche products.”

The company intends to focus primarily on the production of small niche businesses such as colored fabrics, even in small lots, which are neither feasible nor efficient with most other technologies. Ms. Patuano said that Aurora’s newly established partnership with machine supplier Spunbond Engineering Srl contributed the most to the final decision to start this new project and purchase the new Giotto machine. “In addition to supplying the machine, this company takes full technical responsibilityfor the establishment of the whole production site—starting from a greenfield site all the way to process know-how and technical resources, personnel training andprocess/production management—until our staff becomes learned and autonomous.”

According to Ms. Patuano, these services were absolutely necessary for an inexperienced newcomer like Aurora Nonwovens, otherwise unable to enter a new business, with a new process. “This was definitely the key factor in our final decision,” she said.

For the near future, the company expects to double its initial capacity within a couple of years of start-up. With the planned installation of a second line, Aurora will produce 6000 tons per year in total with its two machines. “We also plan to upgrade our production with value-added products such as printed and laminated fabrics, as well as other special technical fabrics.”

Aurora’s all-female management team is already in place, formed by four colleagues who have known each other personally and professionally for many years. While Ms. Patuano is the company’s president, managing director and major shareholder, Sabrina Ferrari, who has 25 years of experience as vice-president of an accounting company, will serve as finance-accounting manager and minor shareholder. With a background in economy and international business, Elisa Morici is the sales-marketing manager and Barbara Vinci, production-process manager, comes to Aurora with 10 years of experience in various manufacturing plants.


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