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The Italian Packaging and Woodworking Machinery Industries Host North American Students

Award programs grant North American students trips to see the latest Italian innovations in the machinery sectors for packaging and woodworking.

This year, in order to foster continuing education in the packaging and woodworking industries, the Italian Trade Commission (ITC) (, in conjunction with several partners, made it possible for two groups of North American students and professors to gain first-hand knowledge of Italian machinery and technology for the industries of packaging and woodworking.

These two Italian industries are noted for holding significant global market shares. Italian packaging machinery manufacturers provide one out of every four machines worldwide. Italian woodworking machinery ranked second in exporting woodworking machinery and technologies to worldwide customers.

The Eighth Italian Packaging Technology Awards (IPTA) organized via the ITC Chicago Office, in collaboration with UCIMA – Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association ( and the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP,, awarded the winners a two-week trip (June 5-20) to visit leading Italian companies in the packaging industry.

This program began with a writing competition open to select North American universities with strong packaging engineering curriculums. Students were asked to write a paper on technical innovations within the packaging industry.

For the Italian Woodworking Technology Awards (IWTA), organized via the ITC Toronto Office ( in collaboration with ACIMALL (Italian Woodworking Machinery and Tools Manufacturers Association, offered students of the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP, at the University of British Columbia an opportunity for a week-long (July 6-12) experience. The participants for the trip were all top graduates from CAWP.

Accompanied by professors and representatives from ITC and its Machines Italia division (, the students were able to see in person how Italian manufacturers excelled in these sectors of machinery and equipment. Visits to the companies fostered discussions on the current challenges and opportunities offered within these industries. These discussions were a big hit with the students and the professors.

This year the IPTA tour featured a wide range of machinery types: blister packaging and capsule fillers for the pharmaceutical industry, tea and coffee packaging lines, flow-wrappers for the food industry, wrapping and bundling machines for the paper industry and end-of-line packaging systems.

The IWTA tour focused on machinery dealing with: five-axis CNC machining, panel saws, boring, planning, and mortising machines, along with a visit to a high-end chair and sofa manufacturer, who currently supplies their products to the Kremlin.

A ceremony presenting the 2009 IPTA winners will take place during the Pack Expo Las Vegas 2009 Show. At the same event, the 2010 IPTA program, including guidelines and specifications, will be announced. Many of the IPTA winning students have already had professional experiences through co-ops in leading global companies including Campbell Soup, General Mills and the National Food Laboratory.

The IPTA tour offered this year’s participants opportunities to see the latest in Italian packaging machinery at the following companies: MG2 S.r.l. (, I.M.A. S.p.A. (, Sacmi Imola S.C. (, Marchesini Group S.p.A. (, CFT Packaging S.p.A. (, Cavanna S.p.A. (, SMI Group (, and Imball S.r.l. (

The IWTA tour included the following manufacturers: Balestrini Renzo S.p.A. (, Pade S.a.s. (, Greda S.n.c. (, Griggio S.p.A. ( and Galimberti Lino S.n.c. (

The 2009 IPTA Student Winners are:

Kathleen Kirsch, Michigan State University (; Lizanel Feliciano, Ohio State University (; Erin Hoppee, University of Wisconsin-Stout (; Emily Clark, Rochester Institute of Technology (; Matt Baker, Clemson University (; JD Howard, California Polytechnic State University (; Karleigh Huff, Virginia Tech (; and Nicholas Crookston, University of Florida (

The 2009 IWTA Student Winners are:

Christopher Mihalcheon, Richard Hewitt, Andrew Pershin, and Alex Pearson all top graduates from the University of British Columbia ( 

For more information on these programs and for the latest woodworking and packaging technologies from Italy, please contact the Italian Trade Commission via its Machines Italia division at 888-ITALTRADE or via email

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