110 years of all-Italian corporate history and 10 years as a business museum:
Gruppo Cimbali celebrates the anniversary with a restyling of MUMAC and looks to the future under the banner of innovation and sustainability
Responsibility, harmony, inclusiveness and interaction are the guiding elements of the museum’s reorganisation project, which reopens its doors to the public on Sunday 23 October with an exhibition restyling and new machines to enrich the collection.
A double anniversary this year for Gruppo Cimbali, which celebrates 110 years since its foundation and simultaneously the 10th anniversary of the birth of MUMAC – its company museum – the largest permanent exhibition dedicated to the history, world and culture of professional espresso coffee machines.
The company, founded in 1912, has grown steadily over the course of more than a century to become the multinational corporation it is today: one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional espresso coffee machines. As early as the late 1940s, an articulated export trade allowed Gruppo Cimbali to take espresso coffee all over the world and discover other markets, other cultures, other ways of drinking coffee and conceiving it. The company has organised itself into a high-performance and effective industrial system: 4 factories in northern Italy and 1 factory in the USA, 2 commercial branches in Italy and 11 branches abroad and a distribution network in over 100 countries.
An all-Italian reality that has grown over the years, exporting abroad that know-how and entrepreneurial ability, characterised by a constant commitment to innovation, of products and services, and to sustainability, both environmental and social.
“Our long history has allowed us to gather an enormous wealth of experience in the sector, indispensable for continuing to nurture curiosity and develop the capacity for vision. Only innovation, however, has allowed us to realise our projects and grow in the market,’ comments Maurizio Cimbali, company president and grandson of the founder. “Today, this innovation cannot ignore the logic of all-round sustainability, and this is the aspect in which Gruppo Cimbali will continue to invest.
From the origins to the present day: over a century of enterprise
It all started in 1912, when Giuseppe Cimbali opened a small copper workshop in Via Caminadella, in the centre of Milan. In 1930 the business expanded its vision for the first time with the acquisition of a company specialising in the manufacture of espresso machines and the consequent creation of Ditta Giuseppe Cimbali. Over the next twenty years the first and second generation of the Cimbali family worked non-stop to produce coffee machines that immediately stood out for their innovation and design. In 1950 Cimbali presented the “Gioiello” in a jewellery box at the Fiera Campionaria of Milan.
1984 saw the company reins handed over entirely to the third generation, also marking a cultural change in the management philosophy: the involvement of an external management team of proven ability and experience which, with its strategic company decisions constantly overseen by the family, was able to ensure the development of the company at a time of strong growth, accelerating its processes. Over the following decades the Group therefore continued to grow also thanks to acquisitions. In 1995 the Group acquired Faema, its main competitor at the time. 2005 saw the formation of the holding company and, at the same time, the acquisition of Casadio, historic Bolognese company specialising in grinder-dosers. In 2017 there was another important acquisition in Slayer, a Seattle-based American company that makes espresso machines dedicated to speciality coffees, high-quality single-origins from plantations all over the world.
In 2019 the Group acquired Keber, which has a production plant in Dolo, in the province of Venice. Keber has been on the coffee market for 30 years, designing and manufacturing grinders for leading Italian and international coffee brands.
Il presente ma soprattutto il futuro: Innovazione e sostenibilità
The present but above all the future: Innovation and sustainability
Together with internationalisation and sustainability, innovation has always been one of the cornerstones of the Cimbali Group philosophy. Every day over 60 professionals in the R&D department work to design and develop high-performance machines. All activities are conducted in-house, as reflected by the 66 patents currently held by the company, 19 of which filed in the last three years.
One important figure is worth underlining: forecast investments in product development in 2023 will equate to over 5% of revenues.
The Cimbali Group has worked on several cutting-edge sustainable technologies, also presented during the Host 2021 trade fair, which improve machine performance while limiting their environmental impact and enhancing the skills of professionals.
Naso Elettronico (electronic nose), winner of the 2021 Smau Innovation Award, a piece of software that is able to identify blends using an Artificial Intelligence algorithm; touchless interaction with Cup4you – Evo, the application which, thanks to a Wi-Fi connection, offers new forms of interaction with fully automatic machines; Art.IN.Coffee.
Sustainability is the common thread that connects all of the activities of the Cimbali Group, from products to services, innovation to technology. We have outlined our serious commitment to the themes of the UN 2030 Agenda, pledging to take concrete and measurable actions in relation to four specific Sustainable Development Goals: planet, people, product, partnerships.
In practice, for the Cimbali Group this means: people, i.e. workplace safety, social projects and promoting culture with the involvement of local communities; products, i.e. sustainable packaging, energy savings and life cycle assessment; partnerships and planet, involving projects to raise awareness on global environmental issues, processes for sites and plants and finally – of course – the sustainability of the coffee supply chain. In particular, our photovoltaic system will be subject of major investments, €600,000 in 2023, with the aim of trebling our installed capacity in order to meet around 50% of our energy needs.
In July this year we published our first sustainability report, with the aim of obtaining the first results in 2023. The Cimbali Group plays a frontline role in this area, from worker health to its commitment to reducing waste, from the use of recyclable materials to the application of cutting-edge green technologies, and through to its constant collaboration with other organisations in order to meet common goals.
10 years of MUMAC – The Coffee Machine Museum
Innovation, design and sustainability are the cornerstones of the company, today and tomorrow, just as they were yesterday. And it was the issue of corporate social and cultural responsibility that inspired the idea, in 2012, of creating a museum to protect the Italian heritage represented by an entire Made in Italy sector and to acknowledge the country’s contribution to the industry. The result was MUMAC, a cultural hub consisting of: MUMAC, the Coffee Machine Museum, with the exhibition of the Cimbali and Maltoni collections; MUMAC Library, the historic Coffee industry library; MUMAC Academy, a place for training and promoting the coffee culture; Hangar 100, a multifunctional annex for temporary exhibitions.
To mark its tenth anniversary, the MUMAC exhibition will be refreshed also to welcome new machines to the collection.
“We are really proud to celebrate the tenth anniversary of MUMAC which, as well as our company museum, over time has become an institution for all collectors and coffee and design lovers” comments Fabrizia Cimbali, CEO of the Cimbali Group. “We wanted to mark this tenth anniversary by redesigning the spaces and the museum experience in order to meet the more exacting requirements of today’s visitors and therefore make ourselves more attractive to the public”.
The museum reorganisation project, entrusted to designers Antonella Andriani and Ambrogio Rossari, was developed according to five main principles which will offer a fresh new take on the virtuous meeting between the cutting-edge technology of the machines and the pleasure of coffee: “Responsibility, harmony, inclusiveness, accessibility and interaction were the guidelines that shaped the entire project to revisit the MUMAC exhibition space with the aim of making it increasingly a museum for everyone, with an eye on both social and cultural corporate responsibility” explains Barbara Foglia, MUMAC Manager.
Drivers of the MUMAC restyling project
As for the machines, the two Cimbali and Maltoni collections, combined within the museum and consisting of almost 350 pieces in total, 100 of which on display, offer visitors a snapshot of over 120 years of an entire Made in Italy technology sector. Thanks to the support of collector Enrico Maltoni, to celebrate its 10th anniversary the museum has replaced around 30% of the machines on display. Many of the new exhibits have never been displayed before, including a very rare La San Marco column machine manufactured in Udine in 1920 and steam powered, and an equally rare two-group Eterna from the 1952 Zenith series with an incredible body with original chroming in excellent condition.
MUMAC will reopen to the public on Sunday 23 October with a special opening from 10.30 to 13.00 and from 16.30 to 19.30 to mark the second Museocity inTOUR initiative, which promotes the discovery of the Lombardy region through visits of important yet little known cultural heritage sites.
Ten-Year Anniversary Restyling 2022
Artistic direction by Antonella Andriani and Ambrogio Rossari
Organisational and creative coordination: Barbara Foglia
Organisational and creative support: Anna Cento
Technical coordination: Renato Guarischi
With the key contribution of Enrico Maltoni
The following participated in the project: Way for the displays; Cip for the infographics; Maxo Moldings for the external installation; BBL, Farnetwoks and Coherency for the technology infrastructure; Landoor for the translations