THE ART OF MAKING TRACTION MACHINES
Welcome to Montanari history. Here you can explore the journey from the foundation until now.
Searching in the photographic archives and in our historical warehouse, we have tried to build with photos and testimonies the history that belongs to us to share it with you.
The first stage is in Modena, in Via Chile in 1970. From here, in a garage, the history of the Montanari company came to life.
After working for several years at Fiat, Giulio Montanari decided to open his own business. The choice was in the lift sector, of which Italy held the record for installed units until recently. The first products are traction pulleys.
His wife, Orianna Benetti, is at the forefront.
In an interview, Orianna tells us that her involvement begins immediately. Attracted by the mechanical workings, she wants to try it herself and from then on the rest is part of our story.
Orianna Benetti and Giulio Montanari in a picture taken in 1996. The two have always worked side by side since the company was founded.
1970: drawing of the first deflection pulley.
Diverting pulleys, the beginning of our history in lifts.
A dream to nurture
Modena is a land of engines from which many automotive myths have originated.
Our race is not run on the road, but vertically, along the lift guides where the cabin is pulled by a Montanari heart.
From the accessories to the gearboxes, in fact, the step is (relatively) short. The residence passes from Via Cile to Via Allende and 8 years after the beginning of the activity, the first winch, M78, is launched on the market.
The new plant also means new machinery, people and a flourishing production reality rooted in Modena.
First version of an M78 Montanari gearbox. The model in the picture still works.
Detail of a 1981 gearbox.
M78 in a later version. This exemplar is stored in our company waiting to be placed in the museum.
Composition of pictures showing some historical machinery used at the beginning of the activity. Some are still functioning.
Montanari is a family owned company with an international vocation.
From 1980 to 1990 it experienced the expansion in Italy and abroad.
Let’s try to close our eyes and imagine going back as in a film and seeing the first explorations of international markets. The first countries are the closest: France, England and then the numbers grow.
The first travels were by car. It was a door to door to present the product. It seems strange nowadays given the amount of technology that assists us in travelling and communication. The first sales across national borders meant long journeys driven by the desire to grow the business, aware of the value of the product and of the solutions that were brought to customers. It is also the period of the first trade fairs in the sector that allow those who come from more distant countries to experience the Montanari Giulio & C. branded traction machines.
As confirmation of the fact that we are working in the correct way, we move to a larger location to guarantee the market demands and so in 1987 we transferred from Via Allende to Via Bulgaria, our current headquarter.
At the end of 1990 the company expanded its product range to provide customers and market operators with more solutions for their installation needs. There are 12 models of gearboxes and the technical office is led by Stefano Bertoni, a milestone of our history.
Giulio Montanari and Orianna Benetti inseparable and proud next to a giant Gearbox. Photo taken on the occasion of one of the many trade fairs.
The picture of a very young Stefano Bertoni, historic Montanari Technical Director.
Production area of the Via Bulgaria plant in 1987.
In the composition the lathe used for many years and preserved for future placement in our company museum.
Quality is a keyword
The reputation of the Montanari Giulio brand is well established and the traction machines now move thousands of lifts around the world. Customers choose it for the reliability and quality of their projects.
One of the main goals is the control of the supply chain from raw materials to the finished product. So the growth continues and in 1997 Elemol was founded in the Lodigiano area for the production of electrical motors.
In 1991, the M73 model was launched, one of the most beloved gearboxes by lift operators, and over the years it lived through several restylings, and it still is a point of reference.
The aim is to supply the market with products that are easy to install and maintain. For this reason all Montanari gearboxes are modular and can be divided into three parts. A technical trick that makes it easier for lift operators to transport and assemble them in the engine room.
This is accompanied by the enlargement of the plant to 32,000 square metres.
We say goodbye to this decade with the introduction of gearless, which joins the family of gearboxes, speed governors and safety gears.
This photo is from 2007. Two smiling Giulio Montanari and Orianna Benetti in the Via Bulgaria headquarters. Bicycles are used to move through the 45000 sq.m. factory.
The first gearless model produced by Montanari, MDD launched in 1999.
External photo of Elemol, today Montanari Giulio. Here the motors of the Montanari gearboxes are produced.
A picture of Stefano Bertoni in production dept.
Bike race inside the factory. A shot that captures an informal moment between colleagues.
A new millennium, new scenarios
2000 – 2010
The beginning of 2000 saw us involved in new projects. The dynamics of the market are changing rapidly and the urbanisation rates of the cities drive verticalisation.
The gearless era begins and for us it coincides with the development of a range dedicated to this new segment that is destined to grow very quickly in the vertical transport panorama.
Market dynamics give a new boost to the internationalisation process of Montanari.
The first country is India.
The Indian economy is growing at a vertiginous speed with major investments in the development of a modern infrastructure network: airports, subways, railway stations. At the same time we are witnessing the tightening of entry barriers and consequently the decision to open a local production site to seize opportunities and serve the Indian lift market in an optimal way. In 2008, Montanari Lifts Components was established, producing and selling only for the Indian market. With a strong Italian footprint, this company established itself as a valuable partner to lift and escalator manufacturers throughout India.
At the end of this decade, we are in the process of establishing the third Montanari site in the world to catch the opportunities of another empire that is growing just as fast: China.
Modena: flat gearless in production line ready for shipment.
Indian Plant: Montanari Lifts Components. Here it is produced and sold only to the Indian market.
Chinese branch: Montanari Drive Technology. Here we produce and sell only for the Chinese market.
Modena: Production area Gearless final assembly.
Modena: view from the top of the production. You can see the gearbox assembly and shipment preparation departments.
Modena: panoramic view of the manufacturing area.
The present and the future
2010 – 2020
The beginning of this decade is marked by the farewell to a fundamental part of our company. With sadness and sorrow we say goodbye to Orianna who has indelibly shaped the history and successes of Montanari.
The management of the company is in the hands of Massimo Montanari who guides its growth in a scenario animated by an even stronger competitive drive, which translates into new stimuli, projects, research and innovation.
In 2015 Montanari Drive Technology is founded in Shanghai. Also this project is driven by the desire to seize the opportunities that the Chinese market offers and can only be done by investing locally. Also in this case it is produced in China for the Chinese market taking into account the specific characteristics.
We invest in technology, new products and tools to serve customers.
The production space of the Italian headquarters is extended to 45,000 square metres and in 2016 the futuristic 55 m high test tower is operational. A strongly desired project, the tower is a real laboratory that allows us to carry out field tests and to study and simulate the conditions of use down to the smallest detail.
Simulation of the expansion of the Via Bulgaria site from 1996 to 2016 with the addition of the tower and part of the production area.
The headquarters in Modena, Via Bulgaria, today.
Testing of a gearbox in the tower before its market launch.
Gearless testing in the tower.
RQ-A Speed governor in Montanari Tower.
From 2015 to 2020, we are seeing a reorganisation of the product range: the launch of escalator gearboxes, new gearless, a new speed governor and the new motor for gearboxes.
At the end of 2019, the Montanari Giulio app is launched in IOT vision. The project, led by our Product Manager Alberto Mantovani, aims to give complete support to customers in terms of product management from delivery to installation and maintenance. Click here to discover all the features.
Our innovative wave does not stop here, but leads us towards the next goals.
Step by step we have retraced our first 50 years through photos and texts.
From the initial garage we have reached a worldwide presence. Achieving this goal makes us proud and acts as an impetus towards future goals.
To celebrate this anniversary, we have launched a new gearbox in honour of what was the first protagonist of our lift history. M105 is a new milestone to provide operators in the lift market with new possibilities for extraordinary projects. Click here to discover the new M105.
Modernization of escalators with Montanari gearbox.
New gearless range for complete systems.
Montanari gearboxes with the new motor designed to improve performance even further.
Gearless running in one of the test benches. All machines are tested at maximum load before delivery.
Looking to the future
United we continue the journey into the future of our history , taking up new challenges with enthusiasm.
This anniversary is dedicated to all the people who with their contribution have written the history of our company and especially to Giulio Montanari and Orianna Benetti for trusting in the project. From the foundation till today our commitment has been to transform this work into an art in order to guarantee our customers a product always of the highest level.
Our plans were a bit different, we would have liked to celebrate everything in presence, but you know, events sometimes evolve in unexpected ways. We think the appointment is just postponed, but we couldn’t let this great moment go unreported.
We involved the artist Francesco Caporale who interpreted this celebration for us. Every detail of his composition contains a piece of our history.
For every self-respecting anniversary you need a valuable media partner.We have chosen to entrust this important anniversary to Elevatori Magazine, a point of reference in our sector: Read the special issue.