THE DIE IS CAST
In the front line in Europe for the manufacture of rim accessories like screws, nuts and centring rings. With 25 years’ experience behind it and high Made-in-Italy quality, Bimecc is known and valued by the entire world of wheels
APART FROM THE INNER CIRCLE of sector operators, there aren’t many who can state that Bimecc (www.bimecc.it) is one of the main players when it comes to vehicle operation. But this is the name that comes up most frequently when you operate in a sector that deals with components for keeping wheels attached to their hubs. They are the screws, nuts and centring rings, not to mention spacers, bushings, studs and all the other elements that people normally handle only in an emergency situation like a puncture and almost always at the side of the road in the pouring rain! It is a sector that is closely bound to the world of wheels, where the guarantees of solidity and safety imposed by automotive industry specifications take priority over strict product standards.
They are parts that have an extremely important job: ensure that each wheel of the vehicle is securely attached, cope with all kinds of mechanical and other stresses transmitted by the dynamics of motion and directly proportional to the weight, power and speed of the vehicle.
The major players in a sector that involves parts that are small in size but certainly not in volume are the colossi of steel, which manufacture most of the nuts and bolts used in vehicle construction, but only a few firms that are specifically dedicated to the manufacture of wheel attachment components. Among them is Bimecc, a company that has been based in the Veneto area since 1987 and specializes exclusively in car wheel solutions and accessories which it supplies as original equipment and, primarily, as spare parts.
We spoke to Alberto Rullo, sales director at Bimecc. The firm has a vast range of accessories for wheels and operates in accordance with the strictest certification and homologation parameters. The company is ISO 9000 and ISO/TS 16949 certified and TÜV certification for the wheel units – nuts and bolts included – as described in the strict German standard, is the unavoidable guarantee of high quality that is demanded by the German market, the main player on the European stage.
A globally successful Italian company with a 65% share of the aftermarket on the Continent, the indissoluble partner in construction synergies with the best-known manufacturers of alloy and steel rims, Bimecc components are to be found in the most widely distributed cars, in rims dedicated to tuning and personalization, in spare parts and, since 2012, also in commercial vehicles, thanks to a specific department that was set up recently to meet the requests of the truck segment.
The Italian headquarters in the historical Veggiano complex bear Padua is the location of the main production and logistics centres, where orders for most of the foreign markets are despatched in an average of 24-48 hours, thanks to the recent expansion of its storage capacity with the acquisition of new 1,500-square-metre premises that will hold about 30 million articles.
In addition to the main complex, the British subsidiary has a logistics centre and warehouse for north Europe, and the United States subsidiary based in California rapidly serves all the American markets. A total of 450 customers in 40 countries on five continents and turnover of about €18 million (for 2011) are the numbers of this really widespread distribution.
A matter of spare parts
Original equipment wheels are conceived to be attached to the hub of a specific vehicle, but as far as aftermarket equipment is concerned, the industry has to use completely different channels and inevitably looks for more flexible solutions that will meet the need to use different types of rims on numerous vehicles. These are the prerogatives of a highly specialized process, with cold-formed steel, thermal treatments, galvanizing with a minimum thickness of 12 microns and other galvanized coatings that will guarantee anticorrosion in accordance with a 700-hour salt spray test, and raw materials exclusively from Europe – like boron steel (resistance class CL 10.9) and high-tensile aluminium alloy (Ergal) – where all the components are made. At least 90% come from the Italian base where product traceability includes steel casting.
Advanced technology that makes use of latest-generation computer numerical control (CNC) machinery for mass production as well as small quantities of personalized articles. Backed up by the homologation and supply of original equipment and original spares for manufacturers of the calibre of Toyota, Peugeot and Lotus, as well as the majority of manufacturers of alloy and steel rims for the aftermarket on the Continent, the company produces a total of 50 million articles that every year equip about 2 million cars, worldwide.
Advanced specialization with outlets in automotive-oriented sectors and natural evolution in the commercial vehicle segment, which is Bimecc’s challenge in the future, with penetration over the next three years estimated to give the company a share of about 10% of the world market for accessories dedicated to the wheels of heavy duty vehicles.