Rifra, a name that recalls “rifrazione” (“refraction” in Italian), as the optical phenomenon of light hitting a surface, creating particular effects such as a mirage or a rainbow – radiant with colours and shades.
Rifra was officially founded on 27th May 1978.
In 2018, Rifra celebrated its first 40 years and set out to prepare to face the evolution and new challenges of the coming decade.
New forces from collaborators and family
At the beginning of this decade, the President decided to complete the generational transition of the company’s leadership in good time.
We thus invested in training the person in charge and outlining a new organisation, no longer vertical but horizontal, appointing function managers in each department.
The initial concepts related to sustainability and energy efficiency were inspired by the market. Rifra decided to undertake this challenging project by investing in a solar system that covers an area of about 6000 m², with a capacity of 200 kW for self-consumption.
In addition to this, the company reviewed certain production units that were no longer adequate, fitting new installations with advanced technologies aimed at increasing the production capacity from about 7,000 to 10,000 tonnes whilst also making important improvements to laboratory instrumentation.
Since 2012, the company has been structured to achieve the integrated Quality, Environment and Safety certification issued in 2015, also including the Code of Ethics and Conduct in response to the requirements of Legislative Decree 231.
The implementation of this step involves the commencement of monitoring important parameters in order to participate actively, working towards continuous improvement both in terms of environmental sustainability and safety.
At this point, the company also developed the need to render its quality, values and structure consistent with its aesthetics. An entire restyling was then undertaken, focused both on the reinterpretation of the coordinated image and the reconstruction of the external and internal structure of the shed.
A new logo was created, accompanied for the first time also by the company slogan, “We Complete Your Process” and for internal and external structure, new spaces for the offices, laboratory and reception area along with new warehouses structured and expanded to make the most of the overhead spaces.
Finally, the barcode system for automatic traceability was introduced.
This decade saw important new developments, both in terms of turnover and in relation to the organisational structure.
The company underwent its first reorganisation, starting with the Sales Department, to be in line with the new corporate philosophy, aimed at changing the approach to the market by modifying the old product sales systems, with a greater propensity towards listening to the real needs of the market, in order to understand and know how to satisfy such, with a view to becoming a “useful company”.
To this end, we began to invest heavily in the training of all personnel, both in the context of the processes and in the corporate and management culture.
At the end of the 1980s, with the arrival of the first computers, came a general revolution aimed at automating the main processes, leading to an optimisation of resources with a speeding up of the processes themselves.
The focus on problem solving was born, with the perception and definition of the problem, the formulation of possible solutions followed by the verification and application of the project.
The company believes it is important to create partnerships, to liaise with customers to strengthen mutual trust and understanding, whilst building a lasting relationship and mutual satisfaction.
In 1993 began the path leading to being awarded ISO 9002/94 Quality Certification (Certificate no. 056) in 1994, anticipating many companies in the sector.
The first Rifra headquarters, born as an owner-run “SNC” (being a Società in Nome Collettivo, or General Partnership), started with a warehouse in Nuvolento in the province of Brescia, having a limited surface area of around 300 square metres.
The founder (also acting as general handyman!) set to work in search of all resources necessary to get underway.
The first months of work were dedicated day and night to adapting the initial machinery for production of the masterbatches, bearing the functional qualities and suitable for the market.
In 1988, some ten years later, Rifra moved to the new factory, being the current location in Molinetto di Mazzano.
With this move, the company went from 300 square metres to 1,200 before implementing additional buildings in the following years until reaching the current total area of 14,355 square metres, of which 8,335 are covered.