Dyeing and chemical operations were once the
bottleneck in the production process of tanneries, being carried
out in drums with paddle wheels and creating a break in continuity
in the overall processing chain.
Partners in this project developed and installed
three prototype machines at Buscatese and designed a completely
integrated production process for leather dyeing, increasing productivity
and shortening production cycles (from three weeks to one week).
In addition, consumption of chemicals and dyes was significantly
reduced (30%), as was water consumption (50%). New chemicals were
developed which are less hazardous to the environment and to health,
benefiting both workers in the leather industry and end-users. There
was also an energy savings (3-4%).
Reduced production costs could mean lower
prices for leather products and a new competitive edge for the European
leather industry as a whole. Much of the project's success has been
credited to partnership's structure, representing the ideal supplier-manufacturer-user