Daniele Scabini was born in a home of refractory makers. He has worked hard to carry on the commercial activity that concerned refractories dedicated to the domestic and industrial heating boiler sector since his seventeen. He studies chemistry in the evenings and works hard in the daytime. The need turns into passion and the business changes address: prefabrication intrigues him and monolithic to prefabricate become a necessity. Over the years he met and developed strategic collaborations with several important companies in the sector (eg Atlas Refracotry, Belref, GR-Stein, Vesuvius, Radex, R. Likely Refractory and SR Refractory) up to specializing in the production of high quality castable mixes in-house. In 80-90s, assisted by his sons Corrado and Massimiliano, he collaborated with American companies such as Stellar and Whal to increase knowledge in the field of special refractories: introduces Allied Mineral in Europe by founding “Allied Scabini International” which it then acquires in full. He continually invents new formulas and solutions in the field of preformed shapes. He defines himself as a dreamer and firmly believes that his best formula is the one that is yet to come. Despite of 56 years of intense activity, he steel finds it difficult to stop dealing with refractories, for him now comparable to a drug!
Refwin: Mr. Daniele Scabini, would you please introduce Eredi Scabini Srl - Advanced Refractory Solutions.
Mr. Daniele Scabini: Eredi Scabini is a family company, established in 1945 by my father Osvaldo and now, in its third generation, is under my direction assisted by my sons Corrado and Massimiliano.
Our company specializes in advanced refractory solutions for a number of industrial sectors, in particular where there is contact with molten metal. Eredi Scabini solutions are based on monolithic, preformed shapes and ceramic matrix composites, produced with our exclusive formulations. We can be defined pioneer producer of monolithic refractories; for over 40 years we have designed and manufactured preformed shapes up to 15 tons in our factories.
Eredi Scabini is recognised as the key to solving problems:
It offers customised solutions for specific needs ensuring a ‘turnkey’ service, from the careful analysis of specific requirements to the design, production and installation of the refractories, backed up by a comprehensive after-sales service including the maintenance of the refractories during the whole lifetime of a furnace.
Its far-sighted adoption of preformed shapes, a major part of the business for more than 35 years now, further reinforced Eredi Scabini's standing, especially on the export markets, enabling it to make a name for itself all over the world.
Eredi Scabini produces more than 20.000 t per year of monolithic refractories in its plants, and more than 30% of the material produced is transformed into preformed shape products.
Refwin: What have supported your company’s development over the past 76 years?
Mr. Daniele Scabini: The company commit itself to invest every year half of earnings in the research and development department that I personally lead. Throughout our rich history we have created, consolidated and developed our business by keeping a very close eye on the market, identifying its evolutions and - where possible - keeping ahead of its trends. This has enabled us to grow, evolve and - in spite of the many difficult moments on its key market and in the economy as a whole - to face challenges and press forward without ever flinching. But that is not all!
Eredi Scabini has recently created the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC), a new company division entirely dedicated to the research and development of new products and technologies, as well as the design of constantly more innovative, high-performing refractory linings.
The new ATC has been built next door to the headquarters to house professionals with vast experience, including engineers, chemists and designers, who interact and collaborate every day, on an organised basis, to create products and services of excellence.
The structure is equipped with state-of-the-art technological tools including Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometers, Electric Fusion Machine for preparation of beads (XRF analysis), compression and flexural strength test presses also for large size preformed shapes, equipment for analysis of apparent density and porosity, pH, viscosity and much more.
The ATC is the place the company also likes to define as the "Home of Ideas", because it brings together this important - not to say fundamental - branch of the company in which every new project is born, under a single roof.
ATC is also the function that interfaces with the company's production side and sales function to oversee projects throughout their whole lives, monitoring their progress and ensuring that every step takes place in accordance with the set aims.
Refwin: Against global economy recession and pandemics, what has your company done to overcome this hard time, and what’s your strategy for the future development against the influence by COVID, which is predicted to last over 2021 -2022?
Mr. Daniele Scabini: In three words: never give up! I am very proud to say that, despite of the pandemic emergency, we have continued to work safely, protecting and facilitating our staff without having to resort to government aid and financial support; it has been and still is very tough and certainly the numbers in the financial statements have undergone significant decreases, but we firmly believe that the firm -understood as a set of people working as a team- is the first thing to protect and safeguard. The company must meet the needs of customers but also has a social function, the well-being of many families depends on it!
Refwin: How do you see the future development of refractories industry in Europe?
Mr. Daniele Scabini: The situation is very critical: costs have increased considerably, first of all in raw materials, on the other hand there are customers who need to keep costs low in order to restart business. The key word is therefore: EFFICIENCY.
I believe that the solution is to offer more and more performing products with an increasingly optimal price/quality vs performance ratio. Other fundamental aspects are certainly the reduction of production downtimes and the times dedicated to maintenance, as well as the achievement of faster plant restarts.
Our ready-to-use preformed product certainly meet these needs perfectly; moreover, we can count on entire families of new products that push us to think about the future in an optimistic way: to give just one example, our most recent range of Nanoplast nano-structured products that every day gives us new and important goals.
Refwin: What do you think are the key characteristics that a refractories producer should have in the coming decade? How do you keep your company with those characteristics?
Mr. Daniele Scabini: As already said and demonstrated by facts, Eredi Scabini intends to consolidate its position as segment leader and to offer the refractory market products and services with high value added.
This is a real mission, our mission, rooted in the firm intention to build an increasingly close relationship with customers, based on the offering of exclusive products and services which are more and more specific (personalized) and deliver higher and higher performances.
Now more than ever before!
Refwin: Would you please introduce your current operations in developing markets? Do you have any special strategies to those markets?
Mr. Daniele Scabini: Our market is about 65% European, the remainder global including Eastern countries. Over the past 15 years, even the latter have understood that quality is more important that price and that this is the only way to build customer loyalty. This thought fits perfectly with our mentality and therefore after an initial period of mutual knowledge, we are forging important collaborations also in these markets.
Refwin: From the raw materials and production links, how does your company control costs and optimize efficiency and strengthen competition?
Mr. Daniele Scabini: Unfortunately raw materials costs are considerably increasing and it is not easy to cope with them. We do our best to optimize production as much as possible, even designing and producing some equipment in-house, in order to maintain our quality standards while also remaining competitive.
Refwin: Thank you very much for sharing the insights with us. Wish Eredi Scabini a brighter future!
Mr. Daniele Scabini: I would like to conclude this interview with a quote that is meant to be an encouragement for our future, which never unites destinies of all the peoples in the world as in this pandemic situation:
“Hope ever urges on and tells us tomorrow will be better”. (Albio Tibullio)
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