Italian Machine Makers Look to 2020

Oct. 1, 2012
Last year was confirmed to be a good year for the Italian Woodworking And Furniture Industry represented by Acimall, the industry member association.

According to the figures processed by Acimall Ufficio Studi, production reached the value of 1,699 million Euros, with a 10.2 percent increase compared to 2010.

According to the Acimall survey, “stability” should be the main characteristic of 2012 compared to 2011, thanks to foreign orders. The situation is more uncertain on the national side, where industries are suffering and not likely to improve their machines and lines. Forecasts from Acimall for the end of 2012 show a predominant distrust and negative mood: Nobody thinks about an increase; 37 percent of the people interviewed think there will be a decrease again; 63 percent expect stability.

Ucimu-Sistemi per Produrre, the Italian Machine Tools, Robots and Automation Manufacturers’ Association (, sees a similar situation. In the second quarter of 2012, orders registered a loss of 20.6 percent compared to the same period of 2011, caused by a negative response to Italian offers from both national and international markets. Orders were down 11.5 percent—strictly linked to the “structural” crisis of the Italian market. Looking abroad, orders showed a decrease of 23 percent compared to the April-June period of 2011.

The Italian engineers’ association also gathered in a congress to talk about their future and the future evolution of technologies. “From now until 2020 we will see many changes,” they said. “One of the most important will be the revolution coming from production based on new materials in three main engineering sectors: civil, industrial and electronics.”

The study “Engineers 2020—Protection, Development and Employment” produced by S3.Studium for the Engineers’ National Council, says: “In the next few years we will see a great development in automatic supply technologies for customer services, such as automated public transports, to drive public means of transportation without a driver. New engineers will be called to design and develop the hardware and software architectures needed to support these new kinds of services. By 2020 electronics-software engineers will design and produce more and more detecting systems and network infrastructures, while from a hardware point of view, in the next years nanotechnologies will become more and more important.”

The Internet will also play a main role: “Embedded systems, linked to each other in a network (creating the Internet of Things), will permit in the next future to create innovative services for sustainability and green polices”.

Ilaria De Poli, [email protected], is an editor at “Fiera Milano Editore,” a magazine covering automation and manufacturing in Italy.

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