At the beginning of the 20th century, on the entrepreneurial initiative of Alberto Fantini, ex workshop foreman at the Electrotechnical Laboratory of L. Magrini, the construction activities of electric switchboards and line apparatus was started up in Bergamo, which was then to be linked to the name SACE. It was 1906, and the Italian electrotechnical industry was taking its first steps. The first company, the “Officine Elettrotecniche Bergamasche Alberto Fantini and C.”, remained in business until 1918, when it was turned into SACE, “Società Anonima Costruzioni Elettromeccaniche". The company was then re-founded in 1934, thanks to the willpower and initiative of the late Agostino Eschini, Federico Mazzola and Leopoldo Ferrè.
At that time SACE was little more than an artisan workshop, where the first apparatus was built, studied and realized on the basis of original patents: in those years, thanks to the quality and specificity of its products, the company had managed to make a name for itself both abroad and with important Italian customers, such as the Royal Arsenals and the State Railways.
Production activities, which had remained at the original premises inaugurated in 1906, were moved to the new factory in Via Baioni, in the locality of Valtesse in 1947, covering an area of about 30,000 square metres. Following on the initial industrial settlement in Bergamo, in 1969 the factory in Frosinone (at that time called SACE-SUD) started up business and, in 1979, the factory in Dalmine.
During the ’60s, SACE, which had in the meantime changed its corporate name to Società per Azioni Costruzioni Elettromeccaniche, caught the interest of FPE, a United States company working in the electromechanical sector. In 1969 the figures showed that 10% of the merchant navy worldwide was fitted with SACE apparatus.
In 1970, SACE became part of the Brown Boveri and Cie. of Baden group, which then became Asea Brown Boveri in 1988, following the merger of the Asea and Brown Boveri groups, which took place in the summer of the previous year. Since then ABB has been a major world colossus in the electromechanical field, and within this, the SACE company has won over an important worldwide market share.
All together, at the end of the eighties, the ABB SACE factories occupied an industrial area of about 500,000 square metres, of which 75,000 were covered, and had 2,200 employees. Nowadays, ABB SACE is an ABB centre of excellence for production of Low Voltage circuit-breakers and electric switchgear. The ABB SACE range of Low Voltage circuit-breakers includes both moulded-case and air circuit-breakers able to satisfy all plant requirements up to a rated current of 6300 A, a breaking capacity of 200 kA and rated voltages up to 1000 V AC and DC. Furthermore, both the ranges have complete and standardized series of accessories.
Following a series of transformations, ABB SACE is now a modern company operating in Italy in the Automation Product sector and exports its products all over the world, without having lost sight of the “mission” of its pioneering electrotechnical artisans.