XIX – XX CENTURY
Metallurgica Rusconi was set up at the end of the XIX Century in the Gerenzone Valley near Lecco (Italy), to produce any derivatives of wire rod, more specifically: wire, nails and fences. The end of the XIX century saw the introduction of new techniques that increased the productivity: the spread of the ovens and souder puddle and the diffusion of mechanized processes in many stages of production are just some of the most significant innovations that were made.
Energy power was provided by ancient wooden wheels that, using water power from the Gerenzone river, actuated a series of gears which, by means of leather belts, moved the flywheel of the drawing machine.
At the time the rod wire was put in a wooden tub for a first bath. Then it was drawn in the drawing machine several times in order to narrow the diameter down to the desired size. After this process the wire was put again in wooden tubs filled with a copper solution so to coat it uniformly. At this point a metalworker had to take the wire and organize it in small coils, ready to be used for subsequent derivatives.
This system could hardly reach a speed of 10-20 meters per minute, however it was kept in use for almost all the first half of the XX century.
XX – XXI CENTURY
Otomec is now a leading company that designs, produces and sets up cleaning and plating plant for different products: wire, metal strips and sheets, bars, tubes, chains, etc. of steel and also for non-ferrous metals such as copper, brass, aluminum, plated by zinc, tin, copper, nickel, silver and other special alloys.
The whole process is completely controlled by electronic devices and the new machines can work both “off-line” and “in-line” with the wire drawers at speeds up to 1000 meters per minute.
Otomec plants are also used for pickling, degreasing and polishing:
- Wire diameters: from 0,10 mm. up to 18,00 mm.
- Strips and sheets up to 500 mm. width
- Bars up to 10 x 300 mm.Otomec plants are sold all over the world for any kind of production which needs a special galvanic coating; most of them are customized by the client in every detail.
In the new millennium the main strengths of the industrial Lecco can be detected in the presence of a widespread culture of entrepreneurship, technical skills, high quality of the product and ability to communicate with the markets and Otomec can be identified as a main actor of this local and global system.