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Caso Rockware Essay

1817 words - 8 pages

Caso Rockware

Caso scritto da John Hendry

Nel settembre 1983 Sir Peter Parker ritornò dopo un periodo durato sette anni di gestione della British Rail ( Ferrovie Britanniche),società statale, per riprendere il suo ruolo precedente di Presidente della Rockware, produttore di bottiglie e vasi in vetro. Con lui portò una nuova persona all’industria di contenitori in vetro, Frank Davies, che era stato direttore della divisione di estrusione d’alluminio a Alcan, ed era stato nominato Amministratore Delegato della Rockware.
Quando Sir Peter aveva lasciato Rockware, come semplice Peter Parker, nel 1976 le cose sembravano andare abbastanza bene. La domanda dei contenitori in vetro era in ...view middle of the document...

Ma sebbene queste azioni fossero state piazzate senza difficoltà (Pilgrinrons, grande produttore britannico di galleggianti e vetro di protezione, che possedeva il 20% delle azioni ordinarie della Rockware, acquisirono gran parte delle azioni privilegiate e questo rassicurò la City), il prezzo dell’azione ordinaria era crollato a 20-30 p da 80p nella primavera 1982; prima della fine dell’anno sarebbe sceso fino a 16p. Guardando al futuro, le prospettive dei contenitori di vetro non erano incoraggianti . I tagli alla produzione stavano cominciando a ripristinare l’equilibrio tra offerta e domanda con la prospettiva di stabilizzare i prezzi reali. Ma sembrava poca cosa ai fini di una crescita del mercato e si delineava piuttosto la prospettiva di un continuo restringimento del mercato dei contenitori in vetro a tutto vantaggio della plastica ed in particolare del PET. Lanciato commercialmente nel 1979, il PET non risultava ancora essere un adeguato sostituto del vetro in molte applicazioni, ma uno specifico studio tecnologico, finanziato da grandi compagnie petrolchimiche, dava rapidi risultati. Le bottiglie in PET stavano già cominciando a sottrarre mercato alla bottiglia di vetro e questo processo sembrava dover continuare ed accelerare . La Rockware stessa era interessata nei contenitori in plastica da molti anni e nel 1980 dopo una serie di acquisizioni questi rappresentavano ca. il 30% del fatturato. Ma una combinazione di problemi gestionali con le fabbriche d’oltremare, la contrazione continua dei prezzi in un mercato estremamente competitivo ed il bisogno di aumentare la liquidità per supportare la ristrutturazione del procedimento produttivo del vetro erano sfociati in una serie di perdite cosicché alla fine del 1983 la plastica registrava solo il 12% del fatturato.

TECNOLOGIA DEI CONTENITORI IN VETRO E MATERIALI

La produzione moderna dei contenitori in vetro differisce un po’ dal tradizionale procedimento di soffiatura. Le principali materie prime sono sabbia di silice (ca 70%), cenere di soda (12%) e calce (12%) ; queste sono riscaldate con altri additivi in fornaci a 720-750°C per ottenere la fusione del vetro. Dopo la rifinitura per rimuovere le impurità, il vetro fuso viene soffiato mediante apparecchio producendo delle gocce all’interno di stampi incavi e poi raffreddato in particolari condizioni. Ogni fornace alimenta diversi apparecchi, ciascuno produce 10 o 12 bottiglie alla volta. Le fornaci sono alimentate a gas naturale. In Bretagna questo viene fornito da una società di stato che detiene il monopolio, la British Gas, e copre quasi il 60% dei costi totali di produzione. La sabbia di silice è fornita da BIS, coprendo ca. il 70% del mercato e la cenere di soda da ICI con circa l’80% del mercato. Entrambe le compagnie hanno un forte controllo sulle fonti di approvviggionamento.
Il principale aspetto della tecnologia produttiva è la mancanza di flessibilità. Un impianto di contenitori in vetro non può...

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