Establishment of SMIT in Schio (Vicenza, Italy). SMIT stands for SOCIETÀ MACCHINE INDUSTRIA TESSILE and it is a branch of Lanerossi, one of the biggest Italian wool mill founded in 1873.
Giuseppe Sperotto starts repairing, and soon after, manufacturing wool finishing machines in Schio (Vicenza, Italy). The company SPEROTTO quickly becomes well-known in the field of wool finishing. Italy and its famous wool industry is the fertile ground in which the successful future of these specialized machines is established.
After emigrating in the first postwar years, Roberto Bartuli comes back to his town Vicenza and sets up Isotex, a company that manufactures textile finishing machinery such as foulards, fabric washing systems and polymerizing machines for textile printing process. The first factory building is based in Tavernelle (Vicenza, Italy).
In the same year SMIT produces the first grippers weaving machine of the world.
Isotex produces the first coating head for applications on fabrics and the next year the first Italian direct coating line.
Hans Peter Caratsch founds Caratsch AG in Bremgarten, Switzerland, and pioneers many original machines and technical textile processes. The first ranges for pre-impregnation of composites, so called prepregs, are soon developed.
Isotex tests the first coating machine for the production of PVC tarpaulin for truck covers.
Giannino Marzotto founds Rimar, which stands for Ricerche (Research) Marzotto, in the town of Trissino (Vicenza, Italy). Its initial task is to serve as a dedicated research center for the Marzotto textile group, one of the world’s leading textiles manufacturers and still the largest European textile company for wool. By developing original technological solutions for the textile finishing processes, among these the dry cleaning of synthetics fabrics, Rimar quickly gained a domestic and international reputation as innovator of new technological process applications.
ENI acquires Lanerossi and SMIT becomes part of Nuovo Pignone, engineering company acquired by ENI in 1953. ENI is an Italian multinational oil and gas company. The name ENI was initially the acronym of “Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi” (national hydrocarbons authority) but it operated in a large number of fields including nuclear power, mining, chemicals, hospitality industry and textile industry.
In the boom years of synthetic leather Isotex is one of the first producers of synthetic leather coating lines and releases the first complete line for tarpaulins.
Sperotto and Rimar merge to form Sperotto Rimar and locate in Malo (Vicenza, Italy) which become quickly well-known and major player in the field of wool finishing machinery in Italian and international markets.
Rimar Chemical Division is acquired by Mitsubishi and ENI to give birth to Miteni, still today a reference point in fluorine chemistry.
Edgar Konzett, Bruno Frick and Christian Strahm start-up a company in Tobel (Switzerland), Santex, with the aim of building finishing machines specialized for knitted fabrics. The concept proves to be a winning one and Santex starts to grow. Soon to become the world leader in finishing machines for knitwear. Just one year later the first Santashrink relax belt dryer is presented at ITMA Milan 1983, Italy.
Santex machines conquer the world markets. The rapid expansion calls for additional resources and the company grows quickly also in the United States, where it sets up a service base in Greensboro, NC.
SMIT introduces grippers on carbon composite guideless ribbons, a revolution for weaving machines.
General Electric (GE), an American multinational conglomerate corporation, acquires Nuovo Pignone and its SMIT division.
1990 – 2000
Santex becomes a world market player. Its range of product includes not only finishing machines but also specialized machine range for Nonwovens. The Nineties are years of extraordinary growth. Various companies are brought together to give birth to the Santex Group.
1994 – 1996
Caratsch Maschinebau AG is acquired in 1994 and Villars AG in 1996 to build a new area in the field of machines and plants for technical textiles. These two companies are merged together in 1996 to form CAVITEC, standing for CAratsch VIllars TEChnology.
Swiss Group SULZER acquires SMIT.
ATI (America’s Textile International) awards SMIT for Innovation of G6300 Rapier Machine presented for the first time at ITMA in Paris. Isotex releases the first programmable coating head.
In 2000 Sperotto Rimar merges with Santex giving birth to Santex Group, which had meanwhile set foot in Asia by starting its own subsidiary in Bangalore, India, in 1997.
SMIT SpA becomes independent in the stock market.
SMIT is Textile World’s 2004 innovation winner in recognition of SMART common platform released in 2003.
Santex Group opens its own manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China. SANTEX (SHANGHAI) TEXTILE MACHINERY CO. Ltd is a production and a sales & service center.
2005 – 2008
Santex Group consolidates its European operations, concentrating them at the manufacturing site in Tobel, Switzerland. The service center for South Asia is moved from Bangalore to the center of knitting: Coimbatore, India.
The 50th anniversary of Isotex foundation is celebrated together with 1,500 plants worldwide. Isotex customers cover a wide range of applications including air bags, fibre glass, adhesives and tarpaulin.
Santex Group announces the acquisition of Isotex.
Marzotto family together with Ferdinando Businaro buys all shares of the Group and becomes sole shareholder of Santex Group.
The Group acquires SOLWA, the hearth of Group’s green innovative solutions in different fields of water treatment for human and agricultural needs and dehydration processes of food and waste using only renewable technologies.
Santex Group has an history based on innovation as well as on tradition. On the occasion of ITMA MILAN 2015 the Group reveals the new name SANTEX RIMAR GROUP which joins together the Swiss tradition of Santex with the Italian foresight which comes directly from Rimar founded by Giannino Marzotto. Headquarters is based in Trissino (Vicenza, Italy).
Since SANTEX RIMAR GROUP is based on continuous global growth it officially welcomes among its brands SMIT – a worldwide renowned manufacturer of weaving machines for both traditional and technical textiles which expands the Group’s products portfolio.
With almost 100 years of activity the Group continues to offer a high potential for innovation, offers reliability, best price-performance ratio and environmental friendly technologies.