SO.F.TER. was set up by the entrepreneur and chemist Italo Carfagnini and it started its activities by manufacturing polymeric compounds for the shoe-making industry. It was a real success from the very beginning and the new Sofprene® thermoplastic rubbers asserted themselves at European level in a few years.1983
In spite of its success, from the very beginning SO.F.TER. started to investigate new market sectors to meet the growing industrial world need for high performance plastic materials.1985
After a few years dedicated to development activities Forprene®, an innovative vulcanised thermoplastic elastomer, was patented for several manufacturing sectors and in particular for the automotive sector.1980-1985
The elastomer range was enhanced with important trademarks such as Laprene®, Sofprene T® and Forflex®, all products which have properties similar to vulcanised rubber, but, as opposed to rubber, ensure an easy transforming process.1994
The TPE Division was set up and dedicated to the development of Thermoplastic Elastomers and their applications in technical sectors, such as the automotive, household appliances, building and sports sectors.1996
Thanks to continuous applied research activities Pavprene® was developed, a new modifier for street bitumens that improves tarmac features and life cycle and increases comfort and driving safety.1986-1996
The Company achieved ISO:9002 certification.
The Engineering Thermoplastics Division, the division dedicated to the development and marketing of rigid plastic materials, was set up. In a few years a comprehensive range of products was developed for the automotive, household appliances sectors where the Company conquered an important market share thanks to the polypropylene compound Polifor®.1998
A joint-venture was set up with the US multinational Hanna which became PolyOne in 2000. New materials were created in the Engineering Thermoplastics Division with the following trademarks: Abistir®, Stirofor®, Blendfor®, Sanfor®, Norfor®.2002
The joint-venture with PolyOne came to an end when SO.F.TER. left the American group and was run once again by its founder Italo Carfagnini.1997-2002
The Company achieved ISO 9001:2000 certification for its quality management system.
New important products were introduced in every sector including Sofpur® for high-end shoes and Forgrin® an elastomeric pellet for infill of artificial grass.2004
Start of the production of Nylfor®, a new polyamide-based Engineering Thermoplastics for the automotive, electronics and building sectors.2005
SO.F.TER. BRAZIL with head offices in Campo Bom was setup for the production of TPV for Latin American countries.2003-2005
SO.F.TER. MEXICO was set up in Léon for the production of TPR for the footwear market in Mexico and in the nearby countries.
At the end of the year the new prestigious head offices hosting the three company divisions - TPE, ETP and SBS - were inaugurated in Forlì.2008
As part of a strategy increasingly focused on innovation, the SO.F.TER. Research Centre has been inaugurated. The structure has the purpose of promoting technological innovation among the divisions and companies of the Group. In October the European branch of the Matrixx group was taken over, together with its subsidiary Pozzi Plast, both headquartered in the Mantua province.2010
In the early months of 2010 SO.F.TER. closed two important takeovers: the first one concerns Heraflex®P products for the winter sports footwear sector, while the second concerns the elastomeric granules Terra® for the infill of artificial turf. Thanks to the latter takeover, SO.F.TER. has become a global leader in TPE-based infill materials for artificial football fields.2006-2010
In June 2011 an important Italian compounder from the city of Ferrara, the company P.Group, was taken over together with its subsidiary Nylco, specialised in the polymerisation of co-polyester. Thanks to this operation SO.F.TER. entered the group of the top three independent compounders in Europe in terms of volumes.2012
SO.F.TER. launched Dolphin, an innovative system for the production of soft-skin dashboard panels and interior automotive trims in a single phase. Dolphin is the result of a technological partnership with Austrian producer of plastics moulding machines Engel, moulds producer Georg Kauffmann and American company Trexel, owner of the MuCell® foam injection moulding technology.2014
SO.F.TER.USA (Lebanon, Nashville, TN) was established to serve the North American market. The American plant is a major milestone of SO.F.TER. GROUP’s internationalisation process. SO.F.TER. is now able to provide the global service required by the most important customers in the automotive sector. During 2014 both Mexico and Brazil started the new lines for the production of Engineering plastics.2011-2014
SO.F.TER. launched two new products, the result of several years of Research & Development: the Polifor NF® compounds, reinforced with natural fibers derived from renewable sources, and the new Litepol® with hollow glass microspheres, characterized by an extraordinary lightness, with scalable mechanical properties and customizable for specific applications.Today