Turin is a city at the foot of the Alps in the north-western corner of Italy, near Switzerland and France. It was the first capital of Italy and, after the capital was moved first to Florence and then Rome, it became the center of the Italian industrial revolution. Many of Italy’s manufacturing and service companies were born in Turin. Among them, at the end of the nineteenth century, car-maker Fiat.
The Pogliano company was born in this context, on October 1, 1910, as PPeF, which stands for “Paolo Pogliano e figli” (Paolo Pogliano and sons). Its original mission was the electrical maintenance of Fiat’s Lingotto plant. In the 1930’s it continued growing in spite of the world’s depression. One of the sons, Biagio Pogliano, who was the strategic and technical soul of the company, developed a line of circuit breakers on license from Siemens, and started marketing them to domestic industrial companies.
In the mid 1930’s, Pogliano was awarded the job of wiring Fiat’s brand new Mirafiori plant. The job took three years of hard work, but when it was finished Biagio Pogliano was not happy. He said it had been a mistake to do the job with traditional cables, because power distribution with cables was not flexible enough. He sensed that something more modern and flexible must have been invented in more industrially developed countries, and decided to take a long trip to the United States to get familiar with the state of the art. It was a very important trip for our company, because Biagio got to Detroit when busducts had just been introduced. He quickly understood their potential, and sailed back to Italy three months later with a lot of ideas for the future.
His innovative spirit was not hindered by the Second World War, in spite of the fact that industrial Turin, along with Milan and Genoa (the industrial triangle of Italy, as it was called then) from the first day of the war became a prime target for air raids. The offices were wiped out in two night raids and the factory was set on fire during a third one. Biagio and his brother Vindice put out the fire themselves under the deluge of bombs, and the factory resumed production the very next day. This apocalyptic scenario was the stage in which Blindosbarra, the first busduct in Europe, was introduced by Biagio in 1942. The name of the product, which later acquired such fame that it is now an official word in the Italian language, listed by dictionaries along with the symbol of registered trademark (the brand is still Pogliano’s property) deserves a paragraph of its own.
Biagio was looking for a name for the new product. His idea was that it should contain the word “bar” (“sbarra”, in Italian) and that it should also indicate that the bars were enclosed in a sturdy envelope. Just as he was reasoning on this, a German armored vehicle rolled past the Pogliano company. This was after the armistice of 1943, when northern and central Italy were under German occupation and southern Italy was occupied by the Allies. As a perfect example of how an innovator can turn even tragic events to his favor, Biagio exhulted: “armored vehicle”, in Italian, is called an “autoblindo” or, for short, a “blindo”, and Blindosbarra sounded just right.
A year and a half later the war ended at last, and soon reconstruction became the main driving force of the Italian economy, as in most of Europe and in Japan. Millions of homes and factories had been destroyed or severely damaged by the war, and they had to be rebuilt fast. The Pogliano company became one of the protagonists of Italy’s rebirth, and successfully pioneered the new concept of busbar trunking systems first in Italy and, shortly thereafter, in many European countries. It wasn’t easy at first, because the cost of copper busbars was higher than the one of copper cables. As every new idea, it met with strong resistance.
But Fiat set a benchmark for industrial companies in many ways, and after Fiat accepted to power its factories with busducts, many other manufacturers followed suit. Factory owners and installers soon realized that lower erection costs compensated for the higher cost of materials. In addition, busducts provided layout flexibility, because modular busduct sections could be added to existing runs, and the loads could be redistributed simply by moving a tap-off plug from an outlet to another. Busducts could be disassembled and relocated in other factories as customers’ factories grew. And indeed this happened a lot, eventually. To date, we still supply spares to factories located in every continent, and a few were powered with busducts manufactured as early as the 1950’s and relocated more than once.
The Pogliano company takes pride in its habit of engineering the accessories of its new products in such a way that they can easily be adapted to the old products. This was always the case, and we kept this tradition when we introduced the BX-E, in 2010, and made the tap-off plugs adaptable to its predecessor, the BX.
Many of the most prestigious companies in Italy are equipped almost exclusively with Pogliano products. When we say that we equipped Ferrari, Maserati and the Fiat plants, we mean to say that their factories are entirely powered by busducts and almost entirely by Pogliano busducts. In more recent years, as you can see in our reference list, our products have been installed in many non-industrial environments, such as hospitals, parliaments, hotels, commercial centers and high-rise buildings, in almost every developed or developing country in the world.
Throughout its 106 years of existence, seventy of which in the busduct business, Pogliano has been constantly praised by customers for its quality and post-sales service. We remain strongly committed to our clients and assure them our lasting support.