PAPINI OFFICINA: THE HISTORY OF A FAMILY, THE HISTORY OF A COMPANY
Papini Officina was founded in Perugia, a city steeped in history and culture, the capital of the Region of Umbria, which is the green heart of Italy and land of saints Francis of Assisi, Benedict of Norcia and Rita of Cascia.
The history of Papini Officina began in the early 1900s in the workshop of a talented mechanic, Ruggero Papini, an expert in the construction of stamping machinery for various industries. Ruggero worked with his sons at the artisanal shop and taught them, especially Elio, not just everything he knew but also his deep passion for the craft.
After Ruggero’s death, Elio took over the family business. It was his hard work and resourcefulness that led the firm to specialise in the maintenance of the machinery used in the textile industry, through which he acquired a vast clientele among the religious community, where sewing machines were often used.
In the late 1950s, on a business call, Elio met the Mother Superior of the Beata Colomba Dominican monastery of Perugia who showed him the various production phases for the making of the Sacred Host. Here, for the first time, Elio observed how the hosts and communion wafers are cut by the sisters using what he recognised as obsolete machinery. Watching them labour over this long process, Elio started thinking about how he could put his creativity and experience to good use to make the sisters’ work less heavy. He then proposed his new idea to the Mother Superior: a machine using electro-mechanical movement to cut the wafers.
Mother Superior was both incredulous and enthusiastic. Trusting him, she asked him to build the new machine.
In 1958 Elio’s idea became a reality: he produced the first electrical host and wafer cutting machine. Papini Officina was thus born and soon became a success among the various religious communities in Italy, so much so that Elio enlarged his product line to include the first models of stamping machines for baking sheets of unleavened bread.
In the 1970s the requests for his machine became increasingly numerous, and not only in Italy, but abroad as well. This lead Elio to concentrate on the creation of equipment he could patent for the production of communion wafers. He soon made the first manual stamp for the baking of wafer sheets, which were subsequently automated, and with the help of his sons Maurizio, Giuliano and Ruggero, it became an industry.
When Elio passed away in 1990, the third generation of Papinis, lead by Giuliano and his wife Antonietta, carried on the business with the same passion with which it had begun at the start of the century. They put all their young energy into the firm in these years of new technology, including updated safety measures, coming up with an automatic double stamp for the baking of hosts, a machine which also included a kneader. They hired new and talented people to make up the staff, many of whom still work there today making machinery with even more sophisticated technology born of extensive research and development efforts aimed at meeting the production needs of their clients.
Giuliano, as his father had done with him, transmitted his inherited passion for the craft to his own children, Francesco and Laura. This new generation contributed their knowledge of internet and foreign languages to the firm, tools which vastly increased the market for Papini Officina and now ensures their presence in 36 countries on every continent around the world.
Thanks to this united family effort and many years of experience, Papini Officina has blended artisanal craftsmanship with high technology to create a complete range of automatic and semi-automatic easy-to-use and fully EEC certified stamping machines.
The many years of dedication and commitment on the part of Papini family members are, today even more than in the past, a guarantee which bears witness to the quality of the products they offer. The possibility to customize the product, the competitiveness of the prices and the courtesy and professionalism of the staff are, and always have been, what distinguishes Papini Officina from all the rest, both in Italy and abroad, for more than 50 years now.