Polimpianti: 40 years of innovation

polimpianti italian company

(In the main picture, from left to right: Diego Fidanza, Flora Rossi and her husband Angelo Fidanza, Ramona Fidanza, Stefano Prestinoni.)

Pool management costs might be very high - whether in a private or public facility - especially in energy terms, if proper precautions are not taken. Energy is required to heat water and keep its temperature, it's used in cleaning and maintenance processes. The first rule is: avoid waste. When the pool is not used, it's highly recommended to have special covers that limit heat dissipation and water evaporation - while keeping temperature as constant as possible - and protect the whole structure from external agents. In Italy, Polimpianti is one of the companies providing such products. It's based near Varese and it's recently gone 40 in the pool sector. It's the first company in Italy to have obtained the IMQ certification for its covers: the IMQ Eco mark, released by the Italian Institute for the Quality Mark, guarantees real energy saving thanks to the use of these pool covers. "We already knew IMQ - explains Stefano Prestinoni, Polimpianti's technical manager - and we decided to embark on this path to concretely define how much some kinds of covers could save energy according to the kind of pool. We manufacture winter covers that protect the pool in the cold season and prevent light to penetrate, not to trigger the chlorophyll photosynthesis process; we also manufacture summer or "isothermal" covers to keep the heat accumulated during the day (this way reducing the use of the heating system) and limit evaporation during the night to avoid cooling. This was the core of the certification process". Two kinds of isothermal covers were examinated: AQUAMATIC, made of PVC rigid slats sealed by special caps to guarantee perfect buoyancy. This system is suitable to isolate water, and there's more: thanks to special devices and a testing procedure validated by IMQ, it provides the minimum (electrical and mechanical) requirements to prevent involuntary immersion (drowning) of children under 5. Then ISOROLL is made of three PE layers sealed with a special process to make them inseparable. In general terms, it's a mousse on top of which a PE layer is sealed to make it all vapour impermeable and resistant to chlorine, micro-organisms, algae and UV rays.

What does it mean to you getting the IMQ Eco certification for your covers?

«We obtained this certification after 2 years of work - explains Diego Fidanza, Polimpianti's Director - and this made us the first in Italy (and maybe the only ones) to offer quality assurance certified by a third (Italian and recognized) body that has made tests and analyses on our products. For the first time we have evidence that energy saving is possible by using our mousse isothermal covers".

Thanks to your new calculation software, anyone can verify the saving achieved by using your covers. Is that true?

«Yes, it's true – answers Ramona Fidanza, Head of the covers department - Indeed this tool can calculate energy and economic savings thanks to the use of our isothermal covers. And there's more. According to some parametrs, e.g. climate and pool conditions, the kind of cover and winding system used, the software can effectively calculate the ROI estimated time. In a few words, it's like a user's guide and an effective tool to choose the most suitable cover and winding system for one's pool".

Polimpianti is not just synonymous with high quality pool covers; in your first 40 years of activity you have been point of reference in the field of pool cleaners.

«In order to achieve these goals - tells Angelo Fidanza, founder of Polimpianti - since the very beginning in 1975 we have been visiting the main International trade Exhibitions (US, Germany, France, Spain) looking for new products to be introduced in the Italian market: we found many interesting products in these travels, e.g. the Glatz isothermal covers which opened up our mind on the world of quality covers typical of Northern Europe countries, then the famous Dolphin's automatic cleaners by Maytronics (world leader in the production of automatic pool cleaners). Our open minded long-term vision has been the real "fortune" of Polimpianti over the years".

We have just mentioned your recent result - 40 years of activity in the pool sector; what are the changes you have seen over time in this sector? What is still to change, in your opinion?

«From the economic point of view - says Angelo Fidanza - competition has progressively increased over the years and, in gereral, this is positive because it fosters market development. The gradual expansion of the sector enabled the middle class to approach the world of pools, which was first dominated by the wealthy class only. In the meantime though, the market suffered from growing sloppiness, many companies were incapable of self-management so they ruined the image of the sector and caused bankrupt of many undercapitalised companies. Poor legislation does not help. I think this historical period is hitting rock bottom and that we should expect a slight recovery in 2015 which could stabilize in the years to come. I hope it will be guided by a sense of responsibility aimed at quality, mainly at certified quality in a legislative framework which still needs to mature. We are trying to give our contribution in this sense too, at the European and national level, by taking part in the U610018 working group "Pool Covers", whose coordinator is Stefano Prestinoni, Polimpianti's technical manager". "As for my experience at the European level (CEN) - explains Mr. Prestinoni - there is still poor attention from Italian companies to rules and laws, especially in our field of covers. In the meetings I attended with my working group (TC136 wg8) I saw how little represented Italian ideas were (I was always the only Italian there, except for one case) and how little important it was. In spite of that, the working groups of the Commission U61 for "Sport and Leisure systems and tools" and U610018 for "Pool Covers" were set up and this was the opportunity to start up an Italian legislative project to define new regulations for covers. It's a unique chance to work together to set precise rules, benefit from the experience acquired, from our spirit of enterprise and our capacity of innovation, all qualities that also our foreign competitors recognise. We, as a company, believe that this is the chance to make a significant change in our sector, which is a niche market of course, still it can give significant contribution in energy and security fields».

And what about the future of Polimpianti? Other 40 years of innovation?

«Innovation should be the guiding principle of each company, especially in a globalised market and in a changing world. 40 years ago the market was just beginning to develop and "making innovation" was rather easy in Italy as everything had yet to be invented in this sector. Nowadays, global focus points to the quality of the environment we live in; concepts like ecology, wellness, energy saving are the order of the day and over the next 40 years innovation will surely be heading in this direction. We believe in it and we will continue to pursue our mission with passion and research.

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Referenced company: Polimpianti

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