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OPEM S.P.A. lands in Brazil: a new branch opening in São Paulo

Grand opening on Friday 16 September 2016


OPEM S.P.A. is inaugurating its new office in SÃO PAULO, Brazil. This legendary company from Parma founded in 1974 by its CEO, Fabio Binacchi, has become the international industry standard for the design and manufacture of industrial systems.

The new OPEM BRAZIL branch will have its grand opening on Friday 16 SEPTEMBER 2016, which the company management, local authorities and many customers and others in the sector will attend. OPEM BRAZIL is a new challenge which the parent company decided to take on in order to help continue the company’s international expansion and consolidate its presence in Brazil and South America, which has been based on the sale of vacuum coffee packaging systems over the past decades.

Today OPEM is the leader in the design and construction of systems for pods and capsules of all formats and materials for coffee, instant beverages, milk, chocolate and anything else currently requested by the single-serve market.

OPEM is ready for the innovations continually demanded by leading companies in this dynamic sector such as Illy, Lavazza, Cafe Noire, Vergnano, Bialetti, GMCR, Segafredo, Mondelez, Roestfain and many others which OPEM is proud to serve.

opemThe challenge of Brazil

Following the consolidation of the company in Europe, its expansion into major world markets as an exporter and its first positive experience with a branch in the USA, GPI Solution, the opening of a second office in Brazil represents the next stage on a path of growth which will mark OPEM’s gradual transition from exports to internationalization, which will require more in-depth knowledge of a country and the use of local staff.

OPEM has decided to make these investments and has chosen BRAZIL as the place to do it, despite the economic situation not being ideal. “But it is precisely such situations, said Ombretta Sarassi, General Manager of OPEM S.P.A., that brings out the best in entrepreneurs. It is not a shot in the dark, however – as previously mentioned, the company benefits from a large and important customer base which, like OPEM, is always focused on new products and technologies, above all in the coffee sector. This means that the foundations have already been laid to succeed in a new country with plenty of growth potential. The idea is to start up marketing activities as well as partial production of the systems in OPEM BRAZIL, while keeping control of all activities at the company headquarters in Parma. We are an expanding company, and it is our conviction that companies should remain where they were founded, even when undergoing international expansion and in the face of the difficulties that entrepreneurs and employees are facing in Italy, Sarassi added. Globalization means that it is no longer possible for us to work in a traditional manner – this change has been in course for some years now, and the preparation and skills of the old and new generations will need to work together to explore and conquer new areas. The technological product and its quality, and the connected services will, along with the human capital, be key in supporting this momentous development”.

The new office in São Paolo

The OPEM BRAZIL office, which required a three-year investment plan of around two million Euros, consists of a small building which has been renovated and refurbished to OPEM Parma’s aesthetic standards, and contains a production department, an overseas representative office and an aftersales office.

The office will have four local employees, coordinated by Director and shareholder Marcelo Provetti, who already has an excellent reputation among local coffee roasters. A production plant for various types of capsules is already present in the production department in order to help publicize and market this system in the coffee and related products industry.

The Brazil office will therefore be an outpost for the entry and integration of OPEM into the South American market, which has great development potential. Brazil, in particular, besides being a major raw material producer, has stood out over the years in coffee production, from grinding to processing, following the evolution of the sector in Europe.

It could therefore become a strategic partner for a company such as OPEM, which focuses on research into innovative solutions for improving the performance and quality of the company’s systems, while offering efficiency and a high level of customization, so it can adapt to customers’ every need.

“The market in Brazil is growing but requires much investment”, explained General Manager Ms Sarassi. “We are taking on this new challenge safe in the knowledge that we have quality systems tailored to the current context and strengthened by our ongoing commitment to research and innovation, which makes our products perfect for every packaging request, and the help of all our employees and partners. It will be a growth and learning experience for everyone.”

From pasta to coffee: a story of success

The story of OPEM S.P.A. took root in the Parma area of Italy and then rapidly spread its wings towards the wider Italian and European markets. It is the story of Fabio Binacchi, who in 1974 at the age of 26 invested his meager savings to purchase a small machine shop, which as well as its elderly owners contained the equipment necessary to set his dream in motion.

That dream was to design and manufacture industrial systems. Parma was already well known for the large companies such as Barilla and Braibanti which produce dry pasta.

Binacchi therefore started off in this sector, designing his first systems for weighing and packaging short and long (spaghetti) dry pasta. Some of these systems are still being produced, decades later.

The advent of packaged fresh pasta revolutionized the weighing and packaging systems market, and systems suitable for this type of pasta were designed and manufactured for Giovanni Rana.

OPEM also began exports to the USA and UK for the first time with this new technology, thanks to the numerous Italian pasta manufacturers present in these markets. Competition soon arrived, as in any sector, being as it was an attractive market niche.

Binacchi’s flexibility led OPEM to think of a move into coffee, a product with high added value and enormous potential for worldwide expansion.

OPEM, which by that point in the 1980s had around 45-50 employees, renewed its range of systems and began producing weighing, dosing and vacuum packaging machines for bags of coffee.

The company then continued to follow the evolution of this sector, arriving at the current low-, medium- and very high-production systems for coffee pods, capsules of all formats and materials, and packaging of the same.

A complete solution, from bean to bag (or box). Just ten years after it was founded, in 1984, OPEM moved to newly built premises in the SPIP industrial area. Both employees and customers increased, and the coffee sector became OPEM’s core business.

Binacchi was just 36 at this point, but he managed to grasp and implement the ideas of his coffee roaster customers looking for product innovations. His character meant he would not just manufacture the machinery, but also make his time and skills available, purely out of a love of innovation.

Two years ago OPEM moved once again, settling its 110 employees and external personnel into a beautiful new plant. The company still works with the same commitment and flexibility, but with even more expertise and the knowledge that globalization has brought many benefits but also significant (and not always ethical) competition; the goals the company aims to keep sight of are still the same: courage, investment, technology and training.

After all this, it was only logical for the company to expand internationally, one step at a time, opening offices in the US and Brazil.

opemThis history and success which is continuing into a new era is also thanks to excellent support from employees and other partners who have embraced and supplemented Binacchi’s style of doing business, as well as the support of Ombretta Sarassi, who with the necessary training, attention and commitment, has provided the President with invaluable assistance, as well as raising their three daughters. These partnerships continue with new generations of employees and the couple’s daughters Vittoria, Susanna and Elena, who now fulfill key roles in the company with diligence and competence.