Rivit: 50 years young, with growth in its sights

Now benefitting from being part of the FERVI Group, Rivit continues to develop its services and ranges, which are already among the industry’s widest. Torque Magazine speaks with Francesco Montanari, CEO of Rivit about the needs of Rivit’s distribution customers, the growth of sectors like the solar market and continued investment in quality, service and supply…

How’s business for Rivit at the moment?
Business in Rivit is progressing well. We had a very positive 2022, which saw double-digit growth versus the previous year and the first months of 2023 are showing a similar trend.

Rivit has significant presence in India and North Africa – how are those markets performing at the moment?
The performance in Morocco and India has been higher than the company average and the results have been particularly good in India. We are developing new plans for both regions to take advantage of the respective market specificities and this is proving to be very successful. 

Rivit became part of FERVI Group in 2021, which was clearly a significant change. Now the dust has settled on the move, can you explain some of the benefits for Rivit and also for Rivit’s customers?
The synergies developed by joining the FERVI Group are many and at different levels. First, today Rivit can draw on the expertise of the Group’s managers for all staff functions. In this way, the management
standards typical of a listed company are guaranteed also in Rivit and there is a continuous exchange of information and know-how.

At the product level, most of the items in the catalogue of the Group companies are also available more conveniently to Rivit customers.

Finally, with regards to sales channels, thanks to the cooperation with FERVI and the sharing of the specific network of agents, Rivit is significantly developing the Resellers channel, in addition to the more
traditional Industrial and Tinsmithing /metal sheet channels.

To summarise: Our customers can now benefit from a wider product range, a more effective omnichannel approach to buy our products and a new management that will help the company improve its approach towards innovation and quality. 

Rivit is pretty active on the trade show scene – how have the shows been for Rivit, are things mostly back to normal post-Covid for trade shows?
We normally tend to be pretty selective with tradeshows, targeting the most important events only, at Italian and international level, but we do believe in the great value of meeting people in person. We think that tradeshows are still a great opportunity to develop and strengthen relationships, with customers, partners and suppliers. The Covid pandemic has taught everyone the value of meeting people in person, of shaking hands and this is now clearly visible in the post-pandemic events. I personally believe this trend will continue for the next few years. 

We’ve recently heard about Rivit’s new Gtreriv rivets – how important is R&D and launching new products for Rivit? Can we expect more new products in the near future?
Rivit has one of the widest product ranges in the fasteners market. Our research has as its primary objective to maintain breadth and completeness of the range, continuing to include the most innovative products and the Gtreriv is a good example. This is a guarantee for our customers, who can see us as the one-stop-shop for a very large range of products. In addition to innovation and completeness of the range, our product marketing and research and development team works to ensure that we maintain our qualitative and performance leadership.

Sticking with Gtreriv, that is a product suited to photovoltaic panels – have you seen this solar energy sector grow in recent times?
Yes, there is a clear trend in Italy and in many other countries towards incentivising the installation of solar panels, which require very specific fasteners, like the Gtreriv, which is a market leader here. Thanks to these
incentives and the new trend towards environmentally clean energy, these applications are growing very fast. Gtreriv rivets are quick and easy to fasten thanks to the mechanism that allows the mandrel to break flush with the surface, ensuring the effectiveness of the rivet on joints with different thicknesses.

These rivets are designed to be used even on soft, thin, flexible and fragile surfaces, because thanks to the three large pressure wings, the clamping force is distributed over a large part of the surface, preventing damage. Thus, any material can be riveted safely. Gtrerivs feature good tensile strength as well as resistance to cuts and vibrations, making them suitable for precision fastenings due to an excellent level of grip even on curved surfaces. 

Rivit designed these rivets for the construction industry because thanks to their waterproof characteristics, given by the neoprene gasket placed under the head, and corrosion resistance due to the aluminium
alloy that makes up the body and the mandrel, they are effective even in critical weather conditions. In particular, Gtrerivs are suitable for fastenings on the brackets that support photovoltaic solar panels on trapezoidal sheeting and sandwich panels. 

Rivit is also very active creating tools for production lines, which are of course focused on error proofing and traceability. Is this largely for the automotive sector? Does Rivit have the ability to customise solutions for specific production line customers?
This is another strong trend. Industry 4.0 is bringing new levels of automation in automotive and in many other industries. We have an offer of tools dedicated to the new factory automation needs and we are
also offering control systems which are more and more required in this environment. Just to make an example, when the installation is made by a robot and not by a human being, it’s absolutely important to
guarantee that the right number of rivets are correctly installed in each specific part. This is what we can offer and we are actively working to improve this new family of devices. There is a large demand for these solutions and we are prepared to assist our customers also in customisation, even if our target is to design products that are already providing all the features needed by the applications.

As a manufacturer, are energy prices a concern for Rivit at the moment?
Luckily, we are not a very energy intensive company, but today the inflation is pushed by many other sources and so we are suffering like everyone from this new situation. 

What kind of challenges are facing your distribution customers at the moment?
There have been many changes in the economy during and after the pandemic times. The impact of inflation, the growth of energy costs, the disruption in the transportation environment, with strong changes in prices, all these topics are creating issues to our distribution customers. Stability, reliability and competitiveness is for sure what they are asking for today. 

Rivit is 50 years old this year, which is a huge milestone. Have you got any celebrations planned to mark this special occasion?
We are very proud of this achievement and we celebrated this very important anniversary during the month of May with an event dedicated to all Group employees, followed by an open day at our headquarters in Ozzano (Bologna).

It would be hard to map out the next 50 years for Rivit, but how about the next five years – what are the ambitions for the company?
No secrets: all-round quality, customer care and service, and breadth and excellence of offerings have been our strengths for the past 50 years and our target for the next five (but also 50) is to continue leveraging
on these drivers to foster the company growth and position it at the level it deserves, in Italy and worldwide. 

Let me just summarise the strengths we want to continue investing in: quality, service and supply. And this applies to all our stakeholders.