Men of steel

Ever since Luigi Manni took the decision to found his own company trading in products in 1945, the Manni family has been linked with steel. Over the course of three generations, Luigi, Giuseppe and Francesco Manni have guided the Veronabased Manni Group to the point that today it leads the market in steel products (Manni Sipre and Manni Inox), insulated metal panels (Isopan), MS 152 brenewable energy and energy efficiency (Manni Energy).

Comprising of 12 operating companies, and incorporating 21 production, service and distribution centres around the world, Manni Group’s 1000 employees combine to serve a global client base of more than 10,000, and in 2016 contributed to a group-wide revenue of 520 million euros.

A number of key subsidiaries allow Manni Group to be present across both its domestic and the international market. These includeManni Sipre, the Italian market leader in the field of pre-processed structural steel elements, and Icom Engineering, which specialises in delivering technical assistance and managing the supply of steel constructions. “Today, Manni Sipre is the largest service centre in Europe for steel structural elements that areused both in Italy and across a wide rangeof global projects,” explains Export BusinessDevelopment Manager, Lino Matteo Tosoni. “We specialise in the buying and selling ofboth off-the-shelf and pre-manufactured finished steel structural elements for key customers such as steel contractors, general contractors, and oil and gas plant builders.”

For over 50 years, Manni Sipre has offered customers the benefits provided by the mostadvanced technologies used in its ServiceCentres, which significantly increase thecompetitiveness of steel solutions. These centres offer standard European and special beams, pre-processed beams (e.g. cut and drilling to drawing), built up sections, hybrid sections, equal and unequal angles, Burbackrails, joint and reinforcement plates, steel sheets, structural tubes, merchant bars andstainless steel. They also provide the facilities necessary to perform a number of important production tasks, including cold or thermal cutting to drawing, drilling, marking, roboticflame cutting, robotic plate welding, mechanical bevelling, painting and hot galvanising.

In 2016, the six Manni Sipre Italian production plants processed and distributedapproximately 260,000 tonnes of steel. “Thisvolume is achieved through a combination ofbuy/sell products and product that is supplied focus on our core activities of supplying afinished or semi-finished product, and our customers can focus on great final project execution. This innovative, service-centre approach reduces customers’ costs and increases their competitiveness.

“Our main activity is product manufacturing, and our aim is to supply to the steel shop and/or oil and gas playersteel products manufactured as per their drawings. Our intention since the very first day of operations has been to be apartner to those companies doing business in the steel building industry, and in newor emerging sectors,” Francesco continues. “By delivering steel products and elements of the highest possible quality, at the fastest timescales, and to the exact specifications to meet our customers’ needs, we establish this ‘partnership’ which allows them to focus on their core activities, while we help to handlethe whole steel construction sequence. This means that the customer benefits from the significant cost savings that arise from the ability to simplify project management, outsource low production works and reduceproject lead times.”

An important extension to Manni Sipre’s customer service offering can be foundin the activities of Icom Engineering, an engineering and construction company established by Manni Group to MS 152 c guide andmanage its customers through the metalconstruction process in the best way possible. By being able to manage the productionof finished, ready-to-be-assembled steel structures, Manni Sipre has effectivelyintegrated both the steel engineering and production processes in order to promote the best choices available to those customers wishing to optimise the timing, and the qualitative and economic aspects of projects.

“Over the years, we have built up a considerable reference list of projects that spanacross a number of different industry sectors,” Francesco states. “Projects that we have helped to realise include power stations andlattice transmission towers, civil and industrial buildings, turn-key factories and plants formetal building systems, water dams, andpetroleum and chemical processing plants. Inthe case of the latter, we have been supplyingsteel structures to the oil and gas sector sincethe 1980s, and in that time we have serviced many of the leading players including, Esso,Gazprom, SAIPEM, ENI, Tecnimont, RENCO and Kuwait Oil Company.”

The aforementioned list of projects, and oil and gas customers also provides a perfect example of the geographic reach that Manni Sipre has been able to cultivate. While the majority of its customers’ projects are based in Europe and North Africa, given the latter’s proximity to Italy, it has been involved in several major, ground breaking undertakings further afield.
One such example would be the company’s contribution to the expansion of the Panama Canal. Through its Finished Structural Element (FSE) Division, which was created to satisfy market demand to reduce thecost of steel constructions, Manni Sipre has supplied a total of 2200 tonnes of steel to one of the project’s contractors, ICM, which will be utilised within various crushing plants. Elsewhere, steel from Manni Sipre has also been used in vital infrastructure projects like water dams in Iraq and Ethiopia, as well as a series of major gas turbine installations in Egypt.

Wherever its steel products may eventually find themselves, each is subject to a fulltraceability process, providing both thecompany and the customer peace of mind as to where a particular item originated from and how it was manufactured. The level of responsibility and sustainability also extends to recording what becomes of the wastage and scrappage of each steel product.

“Sustainability is a massively important theme for Manni Group and one which itsees as being a key driver of growth for thefuture,” Francesco says. “For our part, wehave an Energy Manager in place at eachof our plants, whose role is to ensure thatwe are doing all we can to reduce energyconsumption and costs, and make ourselves a greener business. Our Energy Managershelp to oversee the energetic auditing of ourplants on a yearly basis, the results of whichinspire the sustainable actions we then putinto effect. Examples of these actions include the installing of solar panels on all of our buildings, efforts to reduce noise and light pollution, and improve air quality. As a result of our work, in 2016, for each tonne of steel sold, Manni Sipre alone released 37 per cent less CO2 compared to the average value of the period from 2010 to 2012.”

Equally as vital to the group’s long-term future is the next generation of employees and theinnovative ideas these young minds can bringto the business. As a way of nurturing these ideas and this talent, Manni Group createdManni Young Generation (MYG), a group-wide academy with the aim of investing in those under the age of 30 and using their ideas to shape its growth in the years to come. Meetingon a monthly basis, MYG is seen as a place forintegration, training and the development ofpotential, where ideas are exchanged. It is the hope of Manni Group that as the MYG team grows it will be responsible for accelerating the innovation, synergy and change withinthe group so as to increase value for all its stakeholders.

Returning to Manni Sipre, Francesco is enthusiastic about the fact that revenue hasbeen growing steadily for the last several yearsand that this pattern has placed the businessis a financially strong position, which gives itthe freedom to embark on its growth plans for 2018 and beyond. “In 2018, part of our focus will be on entering into more new markets with our finished products, including those in Europe, Africa and the United States,” reveals Lino. “In terms of industry sectors, meanwhile, the oil and gas market will be of increasing importance as we look to further advertise ourability to deliver our steel structures to complexprojects including the above mentioned oil and gas plants and power stations.”

As Lino concludes, it will be the company’s job to spread the word of its core capabilitiesand strengths in order to secure the projects it hopes to: “Our technical ability to solveproblems and meet customer specific needs at an affordable price is what has helped set Manni Sipre apart from its competitors, and this is what needs to remain our focus as we move into 2018. Our track record of utilising our addedvalue proposition to help create a big increase in financial value for our customers is well documented, and we look forward to transferring this to many new, exciting projects in the future.”

Manni Sipre
Services: Steel structural pre-fabricated elements