In more than five decades, WAMGROUP has become the world's leading manufacturer of screw conveyors and feeders, with an annual production of tens of thousands of units in various sizes, ranging from mass-produced types with smaller diameters to Archimedean water screw pumps with a helical diameter of more than four metres.
To date, WAMGROUP has manufactured nearly one million screw conveyors in various lengths and configurations.
Headquartered near the northern Italian city of Modena, the Group currently employs over 2,400 people worldwide.
Since 1968, the year in which Vainer Marchesini, founder and current CEO of the Group, manufactured his first screw conveyor, the name WAM has stood for innovation in bulk solids technology and an extensive range of machines and plant components that by now extends far beyond the former core product of screw conveyors.
The beginning was made in the concrete industry. The construction boom of the 1960s in Italy had produced numerous manufacturers of concrete batching plants who had a high demand for cement screw conveyors. After the first customers had been acquired, investments could be made. At that time, commercially available bearings, power transmissions, and drive units were used to build screw conveyors, but they often did not meet the special requirements under tough operating conditions.
Marchesini first began developing end and intermediate bearings, followed later by gear reduction units with integrated drive bearing assemblies. Both bearing units and gear reducers were precisely matched to customers' requirements. For the end bearings, flanged cast iron casings with integrated, self-adjusting shaft seals were developed. Special casing apertures prevented the infiltration of material into the bearing area. The main feature of the intermediate bearings was a particularly flow-dynamic cast hanger with a built-in slide bearing bush. Marchesini's idea of manufacturing his own gear reduction units could be described as revolutionary. Until then, manufacturers of screw conveyors had been dependent on flanged or foot-mounted geared motors available on the market, which were connected to the screw via a flexible coupling or chain transmission. Marchesini's solution, on the other hand, was a single casing for shaft seals, end bearings and gears.
The production of mechanical components on custom-built machines and jigs guaranteed perfect centring of the screw shafts and parallelism of the housing coupling flanges. Special machines and tools were also used to produce fabricated components as well as for final assembly of the screws to achieve the highest possible quality with the smallest possible tolerances. The aim was to obtain higher throughput rates without changing the screw diameter. However, a prerequisite for higher speed was a particularly suitable shaft coupling. The solution were splined shafts and corresponding shaft bushings mounted on the centre pipe of the screw.
The new technology was soon used in other sectors besides the concrete industry and modified according to the respective requirements. After the asphalt industry came cement, lime and gypsum plants, screw conveyors for dewatered sludge, for feed and grain mills, screw feeders for the chemical, food and glass industries, to name but a few.
In 1978, the former artisan business became a private joint-stock company, WAM S.p.A. In the meantime, the product range was expanded to include butterfly valves, slide gate valves and dust collectors. The successful philosophy of series production prompted the management to invest in new production areas.
In 1979 the SPECO Division was founded, manufacturer of machines for wastewater treatment such as Archimedean water screw pumps, sand separators and recycling screws, screw screens and screw compactors.
In 1983, MAP started manufacturing industrial mixers and dust conditioners. With more than 10,000 units supplied, MAP is today the world's leading manufacturer of horizontal single-shaft mixers.
In 1987, the newly formed TOREX supplied its first rotary valves, followed by telescopic loading bellows, pinch valves, level monitoring and silo safety components.
In early 1991, a new Division called EXTRAC introduced its newly developed product range, which included manual and automatic bag splitters, bulk bag emptying and filling stations, and bin activators, in which EXTRAC now holds a leading position among manufacturers worldwide.
In the same year, TECNO CM was founded with the aim of developing and manufacturing components made of engineering polymers for installation in a wide range of the Group's machines and equipment.
In 1995, with the foundation of WAM Shanghai, internationalisation of manufacturing began with the establishment of a production line for cement screw conveyors and silo dedusting filters.
In 1997, after the introduction of the WAMGROUP brand, the takeover of OLI, a well-known Italian manufacturer of industrial electric and pneumatic vibrators, took place.
In 1998, RONCUZZI, a local manufacturing company based in Ravenna since 1898, was integrated into the Group of companies. From then on, heavy-duty machines and equipment such as the water screw pumps taken over from SPECO and hydrodynamic screws for the generation of renewable energy were produced by RONCUZZI.
Also in 1998, WAM Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, began manufacturing cement screw conveyors and feeders as well as bin vents for the North American market. As three years earlier in China, this was not a delocalisation of production, but rather the adaptation of products to the specific needs of the local market at close range, a global strategy that WAMGROUP continues to pursue to this day.
In 1999, OLI-WOLONG, founded together with a local partner in China's Shangyu District, started producing industrial vibrators. As a result, the WAMGROUP daughter OLI became the world market leader within a few years.
In the same year WAM do Brasil began producing screws and filters for the South American markets.
In 2002, a second U.S. manufacturing facility was opened in Fort Worth, Texas, where screw conveyors and other mechanical conveying equipment were henceforth produced to local standards.
2002 was also the founding year of WAM Romania not far from the capital Bucharest, where today mortar mixers, micro-batch feeders and concrete reclaimers, among other equipment, are manufactured.
In 2003, WAM Product, located north-east of the Croatian capital Zagreb, was launched, today a manufacturer of bin activators, bulk bag discharging and filling stations as well as bulk solids flow intercepting valves.
Since 2004, FLITECH has been manufacturing helicoid flighting and augers of all types and sizes both for the Group's own needs and for the world market.
In 2005, WAM India started manufacturing screw conveyors and silo vent filters in the Mumbai area.
In 2007, WAM Eurasia in Kütahya, Turkey, follows by offering the same product range on their domestic market.
In 2008, OLI-VIBRA MALTA is established in Malta, where semi-finished vibrators coming from OLI-WOLONG in China are adapted to the needs of the European market in the company's own assembly plant.
In the same year, the largest production facility alongside WAMGROUP's Italian headquarters was inaugurated in Wuxi, China, where various machines and equipment from the Group's extensive range were now being produced for the markets in the Far East, Australia and Oceania.
In 2011, manufacturing and sales are separated at the headquarters in Italy with the foundation of the service company WAMGROUP S.p.A. on the one hand and the manufacturing company WAM Industriale on the other. In the same year, TOREX opens its own assembly plant in Malta in next-door neighbourhood to OLI.
In 2012, the Italian headquarters in Ponte Motta is shaken by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake. As a result, about 50% of the factory buildings have to be demolished. Within a few years, the site is restored to its former glory with new buildings and modern logistics.
In 2014, SAVI from the province of Mantua, Italy, which specialises in the development and production of machines for mechanical wastewater pre-treatment, is taken over.
2016 WAMGROUP sells its shares in the OLI Group to its Chinese partner.
2017 is the founding year of OWC, manufacturer of oscillating mounts for vibrating devices like vibrating screens, feeders, driers, compaction tables and vibrating machines in general.
The same year sees the inauguration of MVM in the Italian province of Rovigo, where special screw and drag chain conveyors are manufactured.
In 2018, the year of WAMGROUP's 50th anniversary, CHIOR from the province of Mantua, manufacturer of submersible pumps and submersible agitators, is integrated into the Group.
At the same time, the SAVECO brand is introduced, under which WAMGROUP products for the areas of municipal and industrial wastewater as well as manure treatment in livestock farming and fermentation residues from biogas plants are marketed from now on.
On the occasion of the Company's 50th anniversary, a Technology Centre with its own training academy, permanent in-house exhibition, test laboratory and outdoor test plant is opened at the WAMGROUP headquarters in Ponte Motta, Italy.
Along with the manufacturing divisions, more than fifty foreign trading subsidiaries have been established in various countries since 1984, which are also controlled by WAMGROUP Holding. In those countries where no subsidiary under the Group's control takes care of a steadily growing number of customers, a widespread dealer network guarantees professional advice, smooth order processing and spare parts service around the clock.
Today WAMGROUP aims to be the main global reference point in providing solutions in the areas of Bulk Solids Handling and Processing, Wastewater Treatment and Renewable Energy Generation.