The story of VITECH starts in 1945 with the creation of Garbolino by Mr Henry GARBOLINO, near Paris. The French company develops and manufactures metal fishing rods until glass fiber composites arrive in 1960. Two years later, Garbolino learns how to impregnate glass fiber with resins and develops new laminates for fishing rods.
The company is transferred to Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine in 1969 and employs 40 workers. Five years later, the famous fishing hooks group Viellard Migeon et Companie (VMC) acquires GARBOLINO. This is the beginning of carbon fiber, a revolution in angling. Very soon, in the beginning of the 80’s, the market changes with low cost fishing rods made in the Far East: Garbolino has to downsize from 183 to 75 people. If fishing stays the main activity, the company designs new sport articles such as kites, windsurf masts, ski sticks, tennis racket frames, javelins, canoe shafts, rowing oars… that will let the French adventurer Gérard D’ABOVILLE cross the Pacific Ocean alone in 1991 !
In 1988 Mr Paul-Henri VIELLARD buys Garbolino and decides to build towpreg lines and filament winding machines in order to reduce the manufacturing cost of fishing rods: the Viper Process is born! In the 90’s Garbolino employs 100 people and transforms over 60 tons of composite materials per year! Garbolino wins most of the world angling championships and becomes a European leader in sport articles (25% export turnover).
In the beginning of the 21st century, the French plant launches a prepregging line of light weight unidirectional tapes and VIELLARD SA (VSA) opens a new factory in Slovakia for lower labour costs. The holding VSA prepares an industrial reorientation in aerospace thus creating Vitech Aerospace in Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, the latter manufactures helicopter blades. In the meantime Garbolino supplies composite tubes for kerosene gauges of airliners very well known worldwide.
In 2007 VSA establish Vitech Composites as a new company dedicated to the impregnation of fabrics, UD tapes and towpregs for Garbolino . A coater for hotmelt epoxy is invested: it completes the prepregging process of UD tapes. Five years later, VSA solds Garbolino brand name and fishing business while Vitech still makes tubings for aerospace, industrial and other sport applications.
Prepregs become another strategic axis of development for Vitech Composites. Solvent route impregnation lines are replaced by hotmelt and chemical B-stage epoxies. The VITOW®, a low-cost towpreg for automated fiber placement appears like an alternative to the expensive slit tapes commonly used in aerospace applications.
Since 2016 Vitech created over 150 new references of prepregs, invested half million euros in brand new equipments and increased its prepreg sales by 300%