Project number NORTE-02-0853-FEDER-000578
Incentive System to Corporate Innovation Support
Project Designation: INOVFEPSA – international leading reinforcement of high quality felt hat bodies sector
Object: Reinforcement of competitiveness in small and medium companies
Location: São João da Madeira
Total Eligible Cost: 2.470.902,41€
European Union financial support: 1.391.312,74€
FEPSA - Feltros Portugueses S.A. is an industrial unit of medium dimension with a core business in production and marketing of fur and wool felt bodies for the hat industry.
Being the only one of its kind in Portugal, FEPSA is a worldwide leader in this sector which has 15 other felt makers. Over the years it has been developing its projects and creating new products with innovative initiatives. These innovation investments focus on areas such as technology, industrial processes, products and management systems which lead to the creation of a Research and Development Department at FEPSA.
FEPSA’s final product – felt hat bodies – is aimed to satisfy the comfort and protection needs or to respond to fashion or tradition requirements of certain ethnic or cultural groups. The most important products for FEPSA are felt hat bodies for cowboy hats and for orthodox Jewish hats.
The project “INOVFEPSA”, promoted by FEPSA, has the objective of introducing in the market the “aged felt” which means innovating on an international level. The company intends to enhance its installed capacity to improve its response in the increasing demand and reinforce high quality product supply as a result of the efforts in innovation regarding its products and also technological evolution.
FEPSA will expand its industrial unit by 2,000 m2, in a new contiguous building that will allow installing more productive equipment and therefore increase its production capacity.
FEPSA will develop a 4 guideline strategy, as follows:
- Introduction of new products: The investment will allow introducing the “aged felt” in the market meaning an international scale innovation of the product.
- Increase of the dying installed capacity and following production sections: The increase of the installed capacity will allow improving the production of wool and fur felts. The expected investment has a high level of innovation as it will replace the last traditional technology dying machines with modern ones.
- Continuous improvement of productive processes: The introduction of new management methodologies such as “Kaizen” will allow to adopt the best practices and available efficiency techniques.
- Energy efficiency improvement: For improving energy efficiency, measures will be implemented such as the installation of a solar system for water heating and change from conventional mercury to LED lighting. Energy management and resource optimization will be reached by the acquisition of a portable analyzer of electrical energy consumption and a thermographic camera.