|Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche|
1921 (Bologna, Italy)
Sabiem (Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche) was one of major elevator manufacturers in Italy, based in Bologna and existed from the early 1920s until the mid 1980s.
The history of Sabiem can be traced back to November 1918 when the company was established as Officine Elettromeccaniche Bolognesi (OEB), a company specialized in mechanical and manufacturing equipment. In 1921, the company changed name to Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche (SABIEM) but it did not began manufacturing elevators until 1929. During that time, Sabiem made 23 different types of machines for various applications like pasta-making machines, cigarette packaging machines, servomotors and more. In 1929, Sabiem started focusing on making elevators and moved to its new factory in Vira Emilia, in the district of Santa Viola.
In order to make elevators with advanced technologies and patents, Sabiem made agreements with several major elevator manufacturers such as Otis, Westinghouse, Stigler, and Siemens. This resulted the company becaming a major elevator manufacturer in Italy. In the 1930s, Sabiem opened branches in some South American countries.
After World War II, the company continued making elevators with innovative technologies and partnerships to grew itself as a major elevator manufacturer for foreign markets. They expanded their businesses by opening branches in Mexico, Venezuela, South Africa, and also Hong Kong. Sabiem remained an independent company until 1985 when Kone took over it as a mean of entering the Italian market.
Sabiem exported their elevators to various countries through branches and also agents/third-party distributors. They were distributed in Mexico, Venezuela (where it was an important market), Cuba, South Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and even Taiwan.
In Hong Kong, Sabiem elevators were distributed by Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd. from the 1960s until around 1980s. They are mostly found in old private apartment, commercial and even industrial buildings. Some elevators are also found in old public housing blocks estates in the 1970s to 1980s. After Kone bought Sabiem, Shan On installed some Kone-based Sabiem elevators for public housing estates. Nowadays, Shan On Engineering still maintains some of the existing Sabiem elevators throughout Hong Kong, including modernizing some of the old ones. Sabiem elevators were also distributed and installed by a smaller, less known agent called Gilman & Co. Ltd., which have been taken over by Shan On Engineering.
In South Korea, Sabiem elevators were distributed and installed by Neungsoo Commercial Co.
- Main article: Sabiem Elevator Fixtures Guide
- The headquarters of Sabiem was located in Bologna, in the same area of Borgo Panigale where the Ducati (a famous motorbike brand) factory is located.
- Most Sabiem elevators installed in the 1950s-1970s had their interior cab and doors made of aluminum with multiple vertical stripes. Some other elevators, however, were finished with painted metals or wood-based surfaces.
Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd.
Notes and references
- Opificio Golinelli ex SABIEM Bologna -Archaeologia Industriale (Italian)
- La Sabiem - Cronologia di Bologna 1921 - Biblioteca Salaborsa (Italian)
- Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd. official website (sole agent of Sabiem in Hong Kong, China)