Since 1930, Superior Essex has forged a path by meeting magnet wire and cable requirements for the automotive, industrial, commercial & residential, energy, and communications markets.
Today we continue to expand our product portfolio globally, with new innovations and manufacturing throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Thanks to strategic acquisitions centering on enamel and wire development, distribution, and a focus on automotive sector expansion, Essex has positioned itself as the leader in magnet wire product innovation and manufacturing.
The history of ESSEX ITALY has its origins beginning more than eighty years ago in the period between the two World Wars. The beginning of its story is that of two young entrepreneurs born in a small agricultural center in the province of Alessandria, Quattordio, whose only competitive advantage at the time was to reside on the Turin – Alessandria – Genoa Provincial Road.
In 1932, thanks to family savings, Giuseppe Fracchia and Cesare Pettazzi founded a small technological company called INVES. The pair also took advantage of their studies in Engineering at the Royal Polytechnic of Turin and the engineering experience of Fracchia at the General Electric Company in Schenectady (New York), known at the time like GECO.
Fracchia was in the United States, where he would remain for several years, and is studying the technology of insulators to be applied in various industrial sectors. This know-how is transferred to the small INVES which will start the production and sale of insulating paints and enamels to the main Italian manufacturers of electric motors and electrical equipment such as FIAT, ANSALDO, BREDA and MAGNETI MARELLI. The railway sector will drive the company's development in the years to come.
As the company became more linked to a rapidly expanding industrial world, especially after the end of the Second World War, Fracchia returned to GE in Schenectady and begins to study a new product, the Enameled Round Wire.The strength of the two young people and a strong entrepreneurial spirit immediately led them to build solidly structured companies, capable not only of producing innovative products but also the production equipment necessary to develop new technologies.
In 1947, INVEX was created as a spin-off of the Special Department "X" (Experimental Technologies) of INVES where the first samples of Enameled Round Wire were produced.
Thanks to the technology for round wire enameling, INVEX immediately becomes a leader in the industrial market, first in Italy and later in Europe.
The enamels were acquired by INVES while the copper was imported.
The main reference markets capable of driving INVEX in continuous growth are the automotive sector (with FIAT AUTO as the first customer thanks also to the historical industrial technical collaboration already present with INVES), the world of White (household appliances), pumps, compressors and finally motors (Magneti Marelli, Ansaldo) in Italy to then expand abroad with customers such as Siemens, Brown Boveri and others.
At the end of the 60s it reached its peak with 300 employees and an equivalent turnover of € 3.5 million.
Following the severe economic recession of the 1970s caused by the oil crisis and, more locally, by the devaluation of the Italian currency, the entire sector in Europe had to find a way to restructure. The sector was witnessing the bankruptcy of the financially weaker companies and the amalgamation of the more technologically developed ones in search of economies of scale.
The Pirelli Years
In 1987 INVEX was acquired by the Cables & Systems Division of the Italian giant multinational company PIRELLI which carries the technology of Transposed Conductors (CTC) and more generally the enameling technology of rectangular section conductors and Keystones (bare copper conductors with a trapezoidal profile). PIRELLI was also present in the round wire market. Hence his interest in INVEX.
PIRELLI in those years was already present in Quattordio after the acquisition of ALFACAVI (also founded by Fracchia and Petazzi and other partners in 1959), a company that specialized in the production and sale of copper conductors insulated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for the transmission of medium and high voltage electricity as well as telephone cables.
PIRELLI, in those years of restructuring, decided to close the plants of the subsidiary CAME (Cusano Milanino) and of Livorno Ferraris in order to concentrate the production of all Winding Conductors products (Round Wire, CTC, Flats and Keystones) and PVC coated cables in Quattordio.
In 2007 SUPERIOR ESSEX acquires the European assets of INVEX as part of a global expansion strategy. The company immediately changes its name to ESSEX ITALY. The following year SUPERIOR ESSEX becomes part of the Korean multinational LS Group.
Within 24 months, a deeply Italian industrial reality becomes part of a large global industrial conglomerate.