By sheer, lucky coincidence, UPIVEB was founded exactly hundred years after the Unification of Italy. On November 28, 1961, at 11.00 a.m., at the notary's office Giacomo Chiodi Daelli, located in Via Nerino 3, Milan, Messrs. Botta, Panzeri, Cornudet, Castelletti, Fontana, Marro, Perinetti Diamanti, Giannone, Puccioni, Landra and Erlotti signed the certificate of incorporation of Unione Produttori Italiani Viteria e Bulloneria (UPIVEB, the Italian Association of Fastener Manufacturers).
As in our solar system the planets formed and took shape through a slow aggregation process, UPIVEB formed as the result of a process of approach and merger of the different independent associations which represented the various product categories of the Italian fastener industry.
Three main stages can be identified in the aggregation dynamics of this market area. A first embryonic stage lasting from early 20th century to the end of World War II. A second stage, which began after the end of World War II and ended in 1961 with the establishment of UPIVEB. And a third stage ranging from UPIVEB foundation up to nowadays.
In the first years of 20th century, when a real fastener industry was gradually taking shape in Italy, fasteners were produced, on the one hand, by large steelworks (which had added to their product range also the production of bolts, screws, nails and other tightening parts), and, om the other, by an undefined number of small firms, in which owners-craftsmen designed, manufactured and directly sold their products. In those years, the outlet market included mainly the mechanical, railway and shipbuilding industries, and only at a later stage, also the automotive industry.
In 1910 a first association, Consorzio Bullonieri Italiani (Consortium of Italian Bolt Manufacturers), was founded in Milan. The members of the Consortium were chiefly big manufacturers who produced metal parts, such as bolts, foundation bolts, and nuts. The main tasks of the Consortium consisted in promoting members' communication exchanges and in protecting their reference market. Through the establishment of the Consortium, the Italian fastener industry succeeded in gradually beginning a slow development and diversification process encouraged by a series of concomitant events.
While the fastener industry was experiencing its first expansion phase, increasingly specialized products began gaining weight. During that stage, the first manufacturers of screws designed for the furniture market and the automotive industry began their activity. At the same time, several small and medium mechanical firms were improving and expanding their fastener production thanks to the availability of new low-cost manufacturing technologies developed in Italy.
Depending on the orders placed by the Army, the period of World War II coincided with an ever-increasing demand for metal and mechanical products. However, with the approach of the end of the war, the political, social and economic situation of the country soon deteriorated and got out of hand. Fastener manufacturers had difficulties in finding raw materials, and the already supplied orders remained unpaid because of the enormous debt piled up by the State. The associative activities of these companies ceased too, and consequently, the activities of Consorzio Bullonieri Italiani gradually decreased during the 1940s.
At the end of World War II, the fastener market soon witnessed a fast recovery stage, which led to the establishment of a number of new firms, and to a continuous improvement and modernization of their production processes, This recovery strengthened fastener manufacturers' wish to resume the associative dialogue the war had stopped.
In 1957, from the ashes of Consorzio Bullonieri Italiani (CBI), a new association - Unione Bullonieri Italiani (UBI), led by Matteo Gambirasio - was established.
More than a real association, UBI configured itself as a regulatory trade organization which aimed at limiting the introduction of excessive quantities of products on the market capable to impair the already frail economic stability in which firms had to work.
In 1959, the wood screw manufacturers who were working in a continuously growing market driven by the furniture industry, felt the urgent need to create their own trade association for the purpose of better coordinating their production and business policies. As a consequence, they established in Milan a new association, Unione Produttori Italiani Viti a Legno (UPIVAL), and elected Matteo Gambirasio as Secretary.
One year after the establishment of UPIVAL, three new independent associations were formed: Unione Produttori Italiani Bulloneria Testa Cava (Socket Head Screw manufacturers), Unione Produttori Italiani Viteria Autofilettante (Self-tapping Screw manufacturers), and Unione Produttori Italiani Viti a Metallo (Metal Screw manufacturers).
Though they shared the same premises, the four associations were independently run and managed.
The galaxy of these independent association had begun taking shape and consolidating, but times prompted the Italian fastener manufacturers to create a more organic association form. The planet UPIVEB was beginning to take shape on the horizon, thanks above all to the intelligent and forward-looking action of Giovanni Diamanti Lelli, President of UPIVAL.
At the end of a long preliminary stage which had been started in 1960 by Giovanni Diamanti Lelli himself, it was possible to formalize, on November 28, 1961 the establishment of UPIVEB. The Presidency of the new association was entrusted to Giovanni Diamanti Lelli, and the Secretariat to Angelo Costaguta.
The organizational structure of the rising association UPIVEB rested on independent sections divided into different product categories.
In April 1965, the first changes in the organization of the association occurred, as Angelo Costaguta left his office as Secretary, and was replaced by Pietro Quaglia.
In February 1967, the Members' Meeting was called to acknowledge with regret the resignation of President Giovanni Diamanti Lelli, and it unanimously elected Carlo Agrati as President. Soon, the newly elected President was obliged to face a very difficult situation within the association, mostly depending on a slowdown in the expansion trend of Italy's economy.
On May 29, 1971, the members of UPIVEB met to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their association at the restaurant "Savini" of Milan. The following year, Carlo Agrati left his office as President of UPIVEB, and was replaced by Franco Botta.
The period of Franco Botta's presidency was characterized by deep changes which were involving the whole association system in Italy and abroad. UPIVEB gave its decisive contribution to the establishment of a new European association, EIFI (European Industrial Fasteners Institute) resulting from the merger of two pre-existing European fastener associations, Bureau International de la Boulonnerie (BIB) et Union Internationale de la Visserie. The city of Cologne, in Germany, was chosen for the premises of EIFI, and the coordination of the head office was entrusted to Ehrard Peters, the former Secretary of BIB.
In 1979, during Franco Botta's presidency, after many years of duty, Pietro Quaglia resigned as Secretary of the association, and was replaced by Marco A. Guerritore, who had achieved a significant and long experience in communications and industrial relations also on an international scale.
In June 1981, the members of UPIVEB who attended the annual General Meeting celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the association at the Palace Hotel in Milan. On that occasion, President Franco Botta resigned, and was replaced by Alberto Landra. The following year, on the initiative of the new President, a series of contacts began to be made between UPIVEB and UBI (Unione Bullonieri Italiani), and led, in 1983, to the merger of the two associations.
In May 1991, Alberrto Landra resigned as President, and Walter Fontana succeeded him in the office. The newly elected President soon began an intense activity aimed at establishing relations with European fastener manufacturers, fastener manufacturers' national associations, and EIFI, in order to try to stabilize the market. This action gave positive results. It was also thanks to Walter Fontana's action that UPIVEB succeeded in approaching for professional purposes UDIB (Unione Distributori Italiani Bulloneria, the Italian Fastener Distributors' Association)).
In 1992, after the early death of Walter Fontana, his nephew, Enio Fontana, took the chair of UPIVEB. His presidency, which lasted 15 years, proved to be one of the longest and most fruitful periods for the association. Many things were made during his presidency, and one of the most important events was the publication of the magazine "Italian Fasteners", which turned out to be an extremely successful undertaking over time, thanks to the commitment, professional expertise and intelligence shown by the Editor-in-chief Giannantonio Brugola.
In 2004, after 25 years, Marco A. Guerritore resigned as Secretary of UPIVEB, and was replaced by Gianni Pezzoli, who started and accomplished a large number of tasks, projects, and activities, particularly at a European level.
At the end of his long presidency, Enio Fontana handed on the baton to Sergio Pirovano, who with great commitment and sense of responsibility inherited his office, and set immediately in motion an interesting work programme, which includes also a complete review of UPIVEB strategies in order to better face the sudden changes occurring in the social and economic situation of our industry .