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Even if you haven’t heard of ILCAM, you’ve likely seen its products. ILCAM is the biggest supplier of wrapped five-piece doors to North America and the leading manufacturer of furniture frontals in the world, said Andrea Malisan, marketing and account manager.
“ILCAM exports 95 percent of its products,” Malisan said. “The main markets are Europe, which we consider our domestic market, and North America, though we have a market presence in nearly every country.”
ILCAM’s customer list reads like a who’s who of kitchen and contract furnishing manufacturers, including prestigious European houses such as the Symphony Group and Howdens Joinery in the UK, Nobilia of Germany, France’s Conforama and Kvik of Denmark. Stateside, ILCAM’s innovative products can be found in the offerings of the country’s top kitchen cabinet manufacturers.
Headquartered in Cormòns Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy’s northeastern-most region, ILCAM has a corporate culture that is innately “glocal.” Bucolic farmland and deep-rooted traditions shape the company’s strong work ethic and commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability.* The location welcomes global influences with a natural opening to the sea and major transport routes connecting central Europe, southern Europe and Slavic countries.
Founded by Tullio Zamò in 1959, ILCAM originally supplied legs and table stands to the local furniture industry. The company’s mission has grown: “To make homes a better place to live in, ‘dressing’ furniture with beautiful and well-made frontals through our heritage which benefits from Italian flair and craftsmanship.”
Today, Zamò’s sons—Pierluigi Zamò, current president, and Silvano Zamò, vice president—operate an empire. ILCAM’s vision is “to become the leading supplier of high quality furniture frontals, tailored to the needs of retailers, distributors, producers and manufacturers.” The company meets that goal by producing and delivering 70,000 pieces daily to a global customer base. It also boasts the broadest material offering in the sector.
ILCAM offers solid wood, wood-veneered and painted products, but most of its volume is made up of engineered materials—primarily rigid thermofoil along with flat-laminated, UV-cured curtain-coated panels and specialty products.
“Due to their versatility, quality, price point and design/engineering opportunities, PP, PVC and PET foils are highest in demand, then paper foils. ILCAM can combine all of these while maintaining the same design,” Malisan said.
To manage the complexity of materials and technologies, ILCAM developed a complete and flexible industrial system. Production is diversified through strategic business units that manage key technologies for the three major product categories: wood, foil and paint. Each unit is equipped with the most advanced technologies, automation, software tools and continually trained craftspeople. Efficiencies are gained from the economies of vertical integration and application of Agile principles. ILCAM’s individual parts operate with an integrated manufacturing logic capable of combining multiple materials into virtually any end product. Projects converge at a centralized warehousing and logistics hub.
With 45 years of experience, business unit LICAR International specializes in profile wrapping, as well as wood veneer and decorative laminate veneer (DLV). It supplies five-piece doors assembled with different joints—shaker, cope, miter and French miter—as well as profile-wrapped parts, drawers and accessory moldings for the kitchen, bath and residential furniture markets.
“MDF is the most common composite panel used in wrapped products,” Malisan said. “Particleboard is used for slab components and when the quality of the final surface does not depend on the substrate.”
Business unit Lanta specializes in PVC-free flat-laminated doors and panels. Two facilities in Italy total 140,000 square feet and produce key brands Laminlac and Laminglass. Laminlac is a high-gloss or super-matte product made with a PET foil, coating and protective film. Laminglass is a high-gloss panel with the aesthetic of glass
Across the eastern border in Slovenia, business unit ILMEST specializes in veneered wood doors and panels. Business unit ILROM, located close to forest resources in Romania, focuses on solid wood products.
ILCAM offers a curtain-coated UV-cured product available in a wide range of finish textures. Business unit TPS specializes in painted doors. To achieve the best surface quality for painting, white TFL on MDF is the most commonly used substrate.
Altogether, the capabilities of the business units allow ILCAM to offer a huge range of solutions customized in material, color, texture and construction.
“Preferences are always changing. In recent years, trends show a focus on matte finishes, but texture is not a selling driver on its own, just a part of fashion,” Malisan said. “As a group, we have developed the possibility to combine wrapping and laminating materials with textured TFL and coatings to meet changing demands.”
ILCAM focusses on four target markets: kitchen cabinet manufacturers, furniture manufacturers, contract furnishing and component distributors.
Product development begins with a collaborative approach to the primary functions of sales and marketing.
“One of our skills is applying international experience to local fashion and lifestyle trends, with the added value of made-in-Italy flair. We work with the customer to find the best solution for its market,” Malisan said. “In North America over the last three years, we’ve seen increasing demand for five-piece doors. But at the same time, contemporary products like slab doors with the clean lines of European design play a leading role in frontal styling. Our strategy is to accompany customers to this direction.”
Across all market segments, ILCAM takes a co-marketing approach focused on serving customers through research and customization.
“Our sales are driven by problem-solving,” Malisan said. “We combine customer objectives with technical prowess to develop products that meet performance and compliance criteria.”
The strategy ensures products are engineered for the most efficient manufacturing processes to keep costs down and maximize speed to market.
Kitchen cabinet and furniture manufacturers benefit from ILCAM’s complete internal industrial chain. High production capacity and optimized processes are backed by advanced management and quality control systems, allowing ILCAM to reliably deliver the widest range of products in the industry. On the back end, ILCAM creates customized packaging design and labeling for customers. The company’s control of the distribution chain minimizes customer risk.
In service of contract furnishing, manufacturing flexibility makes it possible for ILCAM to efficiently provide prototyping and manage small volumes to meet requests for samples and mock-ups. Experimental testing and sophisticated data processing are used to forecast demand, evaluate costs and calculate production times. Additionally, the company has established relationships with accessories suppliers within a consolidated chain of subcontractors.
Production flexibility enables ILCAM to supply finished parts and panels or semi-finished products to components distributors, allowing customers to lower costs and add customization value by performing finishing processes in-house. The ability to integrate technologies and processes makes ILCAM a responsive distribution partner capable of meeting the most varied product demands. Simultaneously, ILCAM provides sound support in logistics and offers just-in-time production for certain products, reducing storage requirements for distributors and allowing for quick adaptation to market trends. The company’s inventory management system and warehousing services effectively provide solutions to some of the biggest channel issues distributors face.
Bringing Product to Market
Manufactured product from each strategic business unit flows through ILCAM’s logistics hub. Over 300,000 square feet of covered warehousing is provided between two facilities.
Storing all the materials for the ILCAM group in one place streamlines the organization of full trucks. Fifteen container trucks move through the hub daily in a sophisticated cross-docking warehousing system that makes it possible to combine materials produced by different units on the same truck.
Over five decades, ILCAM has developed a complete internal industrial chain with integrated technologies. By leveraging high levels of specialization, economies of scale, production synergies and logistical solutions, ILCAM delivers furniture frontals made from leading-edge materials to the world.
“Our success does not come about by chance, but from shared values,” Malisan said. “At ILCAM, we continue to view the way we live as an ever-evolving process, in which function and emotion come together. We experiment with materials and colors to make endless, forward- thinking possibilities so our customers can free their imagination and create unique spaces.”
ILCAM is ISO 9001-certified for quality, ISO 14001-certified for the environment, FSC and PEFC-certified to ensure the source of raw material from eco-sustainable cultivations. ILCAM has also implemented the health and safety management system according to the OHSAS 18001 standard.