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ABMA 100th ANNIVERSARY 1917-2017 [31/01/2017]

The Boucherie Borghi Group



We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.


Boucherie and Borghi design, manufacture and install brush making machines worldwide. The Boucherie Borghi Group offers technology for every brush maker, in any part of the world, for all kinds of projects, for all budgets. We provide all the brush manufacturers the right solution for their needs, helping steady growth, offering safe investments and providing reliable support.



Since the merger in May 2014, the Group boasts 156 years of combined experience with 485 employees working in the Italian and Belgian headquarters, as well as in the 9 subsidiaries in 7 countries.

What the Boucherie Borghi Group represents today is the result of the single histories of the two companies. Our unique heritage shapes the way we do business today.

Follow our timeline to find out more about our history that now crosses three centuries.


BOUCHERIE - The roots of Boucherie go 88 years back.






The beginning of GB Boucherie nv. can be traced to 1928. Gerard B. Boucherie, a then 25 year old mechanic who worked in a local brush factory, built an automatic broom trimming and cleaning machine in his mother's living room.

Shortly thereafter, the young Gerard decided to start his own company. Within three years he had filed a patent on an automatic wood brush block shaper, and had begun to export these machines to other European countries.

In 1939, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, the first fully automatic machine was delivered to the USA. It was a 4-header nailbrush machine, with built-in hopper-feed, automatic drilling and filling, and integrated finishing. This machine produced an astonishing 740 brushes per hour.




1953 proved to be an important year for Boucherie. The world's first staple filling tool, with staple forming outside the filling tool, and at a different level to the driver, was patented. Together with his son-in-law Emiel Vandamme, Gerard constructed the first AIT, a double head carousel machine with a four-sided turret. The output was 390 tufts per minute. All cams in the filling tool drive mechanism were double conjugated; this has remained the standard on Boucherie machines to the present day.

In 1958, the first C-shaper for the mass production of wooden brush blocks was built and in the sixties, Plast-O-Form, Boucherie's mould making division was founded.

A new factory extension was built   to house its activities. Lionel Boucherie headed this new operation, and in 1968, when his father retired, he became the president of the Boucherie company.




The seventies opened with the filing of the patent for the TM principle. This featured a four-station carousel where only the tables in front of the drills and filling tools move. The other two remain stationary for trimming and loading/unloading.

In 1973, the first TM-2R was introduced. With over 500 having been delivered worldwide, these machines have been an unqualified success.

1978 saw the introduction of the world’s first "single-in-line" toothbrush machine. This machine featured a fully automatic handle feeder, 560 tufts per minute and an integrated finishing machine. The TB1-FM machine revolutionized the toothbrush business and forever changed the way toothbrushes are made.




At the 1988 Interbrossa, the SM-A, the world's first 5 axis CNC drilling and filling machine, with a revolutionary cassette style clamping system, debuted.

The first of our two component moulds with an integrated transfer system was completed in 1991.




In the nineties, buildings were extended and new buildings were built to house more high-precision machining capacity, which have to support the flexible manufacturing of moulds and machine parts.

In 1996, at Interbrossa, Boucherie unveiled the TB42 , a double-header toothbrush machine with an output of 1700 tufts per minute. It was the most productive toothbrush manufacturing cell available at that time.




Boucherie opened the new millennium by building an assembly hall of 7000m2 on part of  20 acres of land previously acquired.

The AFT machine (anchor free technology) was presented to the trade at the Luxemburg Brush-Expo show.   The IDM interdental and mascara brush machine was unveiled, and a newly designed quintuple fibre box for toothbrush machines was displayed for the first time.

In 2000, Lionel Boucherie passed the torch of leadership to   his son Bart Boucherie Jr.

In 2004 the new TCU line of carrousel machines for household brushes was introduced as a successor to the TM- line.

By the end of the decade, the TCU line was further enhanced with various new types and configurations.

An in-line pre-endrounding system in the fibrebox of the AFT machine makes the success of this high-tech machine complete.

In 2012, numerous world - novelties were introduced at the Interbrush show in Freiburg, such as a completely new concept in the field of multi-component injection moulding with the delivery of its first “Flexi-Cube” mould.

This is the story of Boucherie, from the origins to the moment in which it starts the new partnership with the company Borghi spa.


Sales meeting in Rimini, Italy 2014


Sales meeting in Izegem, Belgium, 2015

BORGHI - The History of Borghi S.p.A.


Giovanni (Gianni) Maccaferri one of the main Borghi charter members retired in the early 1990s.

He says: “In June 1945, I went to work with the Marchesi, a broom and brush maker. I met Pietro Borghi, Fredo Tosi and Luigi Borelli in the workshop. We all performed the maintenance of the simple staple-set brush and broom making machines. The machines were German and from their mechanical concepts, we made some of our own machines.”


Then in 1949, Pietro Borghi and Elio Marinelli decided that the time had come. With lathe-man Tonino Righi, they founded the B.M.R. company, from the acronym of their surnames (Borghi – Marinelli – Righi).


In 1956, Elio Marinelli left the B.M.R. company and together with his brother-in-law, Leo Marzocchi, founded the Marinelli-Marzocchi company.

The two owners of B.M.R. did not get on well, so in 1962 they separated. Tonino Righi   founded the M.A.S.S. company, and Pietro Borghi continued the activity by giving the new company his name… Borghi. Therefore, the companies in the same economic field based in Castelfranco became three, and they were very competitive. This strong competition would last for many years to come.


Borghi under the Direction of Maccaferri


Pietro Borghi was an older person with no children. When Borghi and Righi separated, B.M.R.’s employees were not sure who to follow, and thought maybe Pietro was not the best solution. Borghi proposed to the B.M.R. workshop manager, Gianni Maccaferri, to become his partner and run the company, as Pietro Borghi wanted to retire soon.


Gianni thought he could not do that alone, so he decided to find other people. The new owners of Borghi would be Gianni Maccaferri, Romano Biagi and Ivano Bonfiglioli. Shortly after, Pietro Borghi died in 1970.


At the beginning of the 1970s, Borghi was a modern company. It had seven employees and three owners who had divided their responsibilities into various sectors: assembly, adjustment and customer care. Sales were concentrated mostly in Italy, in Toscana and Lombardia. At that time, the technological company was Marinelli-Marzocchi with more than 20 employees.


In 1970,  three  employees  of  that  company,  Mario  Tomassia, Rino Simoni and Giulio Barbieri, decided to leave and work to create Osmas 3, the fourth company of the same business sector (until the remixing that came about in 1978). The Marinelli-Marzocchi technical direction was headed by Roberto Zini and Enzo Ferrari, and in 1972 by Claudio Solato as well.


Competition between all of these companies became even more serious. Borghi began to innovate and design new machines. It was opening up to new markets for the first time and wanted to build a new, modern building on a piece of land that they had purchased.


From Four, Then There Were 3


In 1978, Elio Marinelli and Leo Marzocchi decided to retire and sell the company.


Mr. Botti from Bazzano, who had a heat-treatment company, took over the company, but he was only a “dummy” purchaser and the real buyer was unknown.


“Two weeks following the change in ownership, on a Friday afternoon, the real owner arrived to the factory: Tonino Righi,” Claudio Solato said. Righi continued running his own company, M.A.S.S., as well as Marinelli-Marzocchi, but in the end, Marinelli-Marzocchi had closed.


Therefore, in 1981, the companies producing brush machinery in Italy were now three. “One evening at Bar Corona, in front of the window on via Emilia, I was leaning up against a refrigerator and I suddenly saw on the sidewalk Gianni Maccaferri (of Borghi) looking at me and smiling. I thought he wanted to enter and so he did. We greeted each other and started talking about billiards. Then suddenly he said, ‘I know you don’t want to work with Righi, you can come to Borghi if you want, you’re welcome, we are open to every solution.’ I told Enzo Ferrari and Claudio Solato about the offer, then I went to Maccaferri and said, ‘We were three,’” Roberto Zini said.


Borghi was becoming well known and was exporting many machines. After the success that Borghi had in the American and Russian markets, the company in the same period went to Taiwan, the future gateway into China.


At the beginning of the 1990s the three brush machinery companies of Castelfranco Emilia — Borghi, Osmas 3 and M.A.S.S. — started a dialogue to begin collaboration. After many attempts, in 1992, they got to a point of no return, “in or out?” Osmas 3 renounced, but the M.A.S.S. owners entered into partner- ship with Borghi and that brought four further partners: Mauro Righi, Franco Serafini, Amos Barbari and Mauro Olivieri.


The following year, the historical president of Borghi, Gianni Maccaferri, as he was getting older, retired, followed by Ivano Bonfiglioli for the same reason. Only Romano Biagi, of the original three partners, stayed in the company. So now, there were only two brush machinery companies left in Italy.


By 2004, Osmas 3 finally joined with Borghi, meaning there were now 13 partners and more than 180 employees. With the unification of all these companies, Borghi has created a synergy in a “Brush District” that holds an important level of history, experience and knowledge — along with a strong collaboration for innovation.


This is the history of Borghi s.p.a., a company born from artisan labor that grew into a high-tech, world leader in technology for the global Brush Industry.


The Boucherie Borghi Group


The beginning of May 2014 saw the advent of the Boucherie Borghi Group, bringing together two of the world’s major manufacturers of brush-making equipment. 


The announcement of the merger of both your companies was certainly a historical event of grand scale for brush industry. “This is not at all the result of big strategic studies prepared by some consultant, but rather the result of some reflections of two colleagues who, in their hearts and their thoughts, do like to build machinery for their customers in the brush industry. And these reflections led to the conclusion that a smart combination of both our entities creates tremendous potential for both our companies, our employees and of course our customers.  To be frank, after the very first meeting Bart and I knew we wanted to do this.  And if you ask me why, well, the answer is: “Because we want this”. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both of us.” Enzo Ferrari, President of Borghi spa, said.


Each entity will keep its own identity and will keep using its own name, but always with a link to the Boucherie-Borghi Group, to which both companies belong.


The sales force and business managers of Borghi Spa and Boucherie all meet on a regular basis : sales events in Rimini and in Izegem brought area sales managers and their agents from all over the world together to meet and discuss both experiences from the past, plans for the future as well as knowledge about trends in the market.


As of May 8th 2015, the V-Air company of Todtnau, Germany, joined the Boucherie Borghi Group.

V-Air Maschinenbau GmbH was founded in 2013 and specializes in tuft picking systems based on vacuum technology for use in e.g. anchorless toothbrush equipment. With the addition of the expertise and capabilities of V-Air, the program of the Boucherie-Borghi Group is further extended.


In April 2016 the Boucherie Borghi Group participated in the 12th edition of InterBrush, the most important fair of the brush industry.


InterBrush 2016, not only represented the first edition in which Borghi spa and GB Boucherie N.V. participated as a group in a single stand, but also it was for us the best edition ever, proving to be a real success in terms of the opportunity not just to meet with clients or to get to know new friends, but to strengthen the company's internal bonds as well.


In the booth it was possible to feel the friendly and welcoming atmosphere together with revolutionary innovations and new developments in terms of technology and machinery for all sectors of the brush industry : existing machine lines were improved and refined, but the newly introduced Giotto for the technical brush makers, featuring a triple fibrebox with an automatic fibre loading system, very high productivity and a filling controlled by servomotors was definitely a highlight. For the oral care industry, the revolutionary PTt machine was unveiled. This machine uses a completely new brush manufacturing technology, which offers a range of new options to brush designers, and with substantial advantages for both product quality as well as manufacturing. The Ovale is also a new development : this double header for the production of household brushes has a continuously running filling tools, no indexing time on most brush models, an electronic trimming station and a handle feeder with automatic orientation feature.


To “crown” symbolically the success of the fair, the Boucherie Borghi Group received from Messe Freiburg and the Brushwork Magazine the Award for "Most Impressive Booth". Surely those who had the opportunity to visit the booth will have noticed the entrance wall with the names of all those who form the Boucherie Borghi Group and the phrase "We Are One”.


Borghi and Boucherie are two technology companies that came together, but first of all they are made up of people, thanks to whom a real group spirit was born. Working together to achieve the same goals… because "We Are One".


The many businesses that have joined Borghi and Boucherie since then have contributed to our rich heritage and shaped the personality of our business today. Although we have come a long way from these humble beginnings to become the international business we are now, the commitment of our people to our customers, the quality of our service and our spirit of innovation remain a constant and ongoing feature of our development.

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