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New ways for looking at waste

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Scraps from an ecological perspective

The secret to the success of the Franchini family-owned business is hard work, proper timing and special focus on the customer.
This Italian company has over two-thousand customers and a passion for ecological processing of waste.

The business covers different fields, such as: specialised waste processing, cleaning of residential and industrial waste processing systems, environmental reclamation, automated inspection of water pipelines, tank cleaning and maintenance and, most recently, sludge dewatering using mobile equipment.

The latter is a service geared towards customers who want to completely or partially outsource the draining of sludge produced by their activities.

New-ways-to-see-wasteIn recent years, the amount of sludge (the mixture of water and solids separated by different types of water resulting from natural and/or artificial processes) in factories and wastewater treatment plants has significantly increased. The problem regarding their disposal, which must be economically convenient and eco-compatible, has equally grown.

Now let us consider the “sludge dewatering mobile unit”. This piece of equipment extracts water from sludge, speeding up the water purification process and lowering transportation costs for the remaining sludge. The best piece of dewatering equipment produces the least amount of sludge and, consequently, guarantees the lowest transportation costs.


Franchini wanted to offer this service as an outsourcing solution for its customers, moving the machines by truck where they are needed, assisting in the dewatering process and removing sludge, then moving the decanter to the next customer’s facilities.

“To do this, we need equipment that is easily transportable and cost efficient, with high yield”, says Andrea Franchini, one of the partners and head of the Technical Department of Franchini S.r.l. Servizi Ecologici.

In 2003, Franchini purchased its first decanter. Since then, it has invested in five more decanters, for a total of €1.5 million. Four of the decanters are made by Alfa Laval. The Alfa Laval decanters satisfy Franchini’s need for speed, power and, above all, flexibility in a compact size. The ability to adapt the decanters so that they can satisfy the specific requests of a wide range of customers was a crucial aspect for Franchini. Equally crucial was a decanter with a size that was easily to handle, due to the narrow Italian roads and limited access to municipal waste treatment plants.

In 2006, the Company purchased two Alfa Laval decanters. One of these, the G2-95, represented a pure act of faith by Franchini. "This was a prototype and we purchased it based on our trust in Alfa Laval", says Franchini, who then added, "We had never even seen it before we decided to buy it”.

“The machinery did not fall short of all our expectations”, says Franchini.

“In three days the decanter accomplishes the amount of work a standard model would accomplish in ten days and, considering its size, it is much more powerful compared to the other models available on the market. Another advantage”, continues Franchini, “is the quick set-up. The decanter can be assembled in two minutes and it is fully operational in thirty. Packing up the equipment at the end of the job takes just thirty minutes. The decanter also produces drier sludge compared to competing machines, therefore reducing the number of trips required for its transport and consequently, reducing costs.

In addition to hard work, skilful evaluations and marked attention to customer needs, it is Franchini's use of the latest technologies that represents a strong factor in terms of its success. A good 80% of its customers turned to Franchini thanks to word-of-mouth marketing.

“We started as an agricultural company, but we have always been organised as an industrial company”, says Franchini, whose grandfather Luigi founded the company in the 1930s as a family-owned business. Back then, Luigi provided agricultural services to farmers in his hometown of Bergamo, which is still very rural to this day. Since the region became highly industrialised as a result the economic boom of the 1950s, his sons, beginning in 1976, adapted the business by offering environmental services under the name F.lli Franchini S.n.c. Spurghi.

In 1990, the five partners had a turnover of approximately €400,000 a year. Three years later, the third generation of Franchinis decided to give a new mark to their company. “You need to continue to redefine your company, adapt it to the market and listen to your customers”, says Franchini.

Since environmental matters have become increasingly important and the processing of waste evermore urgent, the Franchini family decided to jump into the emerging industrial waste processing industry, and they changed the name of their company to "Franchini S.r.l. Servizi Ecologici".

Adapting to the market is a continuous process.

The Franchini family has already focused their attention on a service geared towards future customers, offering to dispose of waste under safe conditions for themselves and their customers.

“Our goal is to strengthen our know-how and stay at the top of the market." says Franchini.


Below, the original article in PDF:

  ALFA LAVAL n.21 2007 article 1.71 Mb