Evolving tannery machinery

16 June 2003

Olcina are one of the most recognised manufacturing companies for tannery equipment, particularly drums and paddles, in the world. In recent years they have invested heavily in new technology and automation systems to enable tanners to remain competitive in ever-shifting global markets. The company headquarters are located in the southern Spanish tanning town of Lorca in the region of Murcia. The Olcina Group are made up of three companies including the Olcina Group Trading Company, Talleres Olcina and a small R+D based electrical engineering firm called Dido. Dido have recently developed a new rotary coupling device (see Leather International February 2003, page 44) to enable wireless feedback from the tannery drum during processing. In recent years they have teamed up with a company from Valencia called ServiSystem who manufacture electronically controlled dosing, monitoring and mixing systems which have been tailor-made to operate with Olcina-made equipment. For example, some of their equipment has recently been installed inside the new Colomer Y Munmany tannery mentioned earlier in this survey. Other recent developments include the radically new Cangilones drums (see November 2002, page 110) which enable the tanner to reduce the levels of water and energy compared with traditional tannery drums. Initially the new system was installed in liming and tanning drums. During the Tanning Tech fair (see December 2002, page 50) last year they launched a stainless steel version of Cangilones called Cangilones-Inox. The new metal drum is aimed at the retanning and dyeing aspects of leather processing. This year marks a significant anniversary for the Olcina Group as it is 125 years since the company were formed. Some kind of celebration is being planned for later this year, possibly at the Tanning Tech fair. Olcina are a family owned business which is now controlled by Alfonso and Angel Olcina who are the 4th generation to be involved in the business. The business was founded by the then 17 year old Jorge Olcina Girones who started a metal workshop in the St Cristobal area of Lorca in 1878. Today the group have 85 employees and approximately 70% of their production is exported across the world. Olcina's major markets are spread throughout the world where tanning and, more recently, tannery automation are required.

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