Goes into the next three years with a new board of directors
The annual meeting of Acimall – the Italian trade association of manufacturers of woodworking machinery and tools – has elected new board members for the term ending in 2025. Giorgio Casati (Casati Macchine; Marnate, Varese), Roberto Ghizzoni (Dierregi; Carpi, Modena), Stefania Maggi (Maggi Technology; Certaldo, Florence) and Pierluigi Paoletti (Paoletti Energy; Borgo Valbelluna, Belluno) were newly elected to the board. The meeting also voted to renew the mandate of board member Aldo Zaffaroni (Mario Zaffaroni e Figli; Turate, Como).
President Luigi De Vito (SCM; Rimini) and Vice President Marianna Daschini (Greda; Mariano Comense, Como) will remain in office until June 2023 to ensure continuity of the board’s work. Only then will these offices also be up for re-election or renewal.
The meeting thanked the outgoing board members Umberto Pizzi (Pizzi by PGS; Borgosesia, Vercelli) and Filippo Pellitteri (TWT; Rovereto, Trento) and thanked them for their contribution to the activities of the association.
The vote and new election was the last item of this year’s meeting, which, after the reports of the President Luigi De Vito and the Treasurer Umberto Pizzi, unanimously approved the balance sheet of the Acimall of 2021 and 2022. The unanimous approval covered all the activities of the Board, which De Vito summarized for the members in a report.
In his speech, De Vito once again emphasized the uniqueness of the events that have occurred around the world in recent years and the many, often critical, questions that have had to be answered in the short term and, in many places, raise issues for the future. “The past two years have been a turning point for our association, as we have had to use all of our resources to remain vital and proactive and to effectively help our member companies in a time of great uncertainty,” De Vito said.
From an economic point of view, the last two years have been quite satisfactory, as Italian production of woodworking machinery and tools amounted to 2.5 billion euros, up 36 percent in 2020 and 11 percent compared to 2019. Good results were also achieved in exports with 1.7 billion euros – up 30 percent compared to 2020 and 10 percent compared to 2019. Domestic results were also positive with 790 million euros: a growth of 52 percent compared to 2020 and 15 percent compared to 2019. Imports also grew (244 million euros, 59 percent more than 2020 and 21 percent more than 2019), underlining the increased demand for technologies in Italy. It exceeded the billion euro mark with an increase of 54 percent compared to 2020 and 16 percent compared to 2019. The trade balance was also very positive and ultimately amounted to 1.5 billion euros, 27 percent more than 2020 and 8 percent more than 2019.
Luigi De Vito stressed that the Italian industry had managed the difficult two-year period brilliantly. “Government incentives certainly played a key role, but without unduly affecting market development. The growth we are now experiencing is not only due to the incentives, which caused a concentration of investment decisions within a shorter period of time. But rather, the expansion is also the result of a structural recovery that has returned the market to its normal lines of development.”
Of course, the latest political developments with the Russian invasion of Ukraine were not left unmentioned: “Looking at the headlines, we can say that the Russia-Ukraine crisis has had a limited impact on our exports so far. Russia, Ukraine and Belarus together account for a significant share of Italy’s exports, about 5 percent of the total. However, these exports appear to be continuing despite a significant decline due to the current embargo, which has been gradually expanded as sanctions progress.”
Optimism prevails for the future, even though supply difficulties, crisis-related problems, and a possible flare-up of the Covid pandemic could reshuffle the cards at any time. We can expect,” De Vito said, “Italian production of woodworking machinery and tools to reach a new historic record high by the end of 2022.”
The Acimall president then gave an overview of promotional activities, a priority area for the association, which benefits from the economic and organizational support provided by ICE-Agenzia. And also about initiatives together with Confindustria, CFI-Comitato Fiere Industria and Eumabois. It should be emphasized that De Vito is active in board work in both associations and thus represents the interests of Acimall in an exemplary manner.
Part of De Vito’s report was also the Italian machine fair “Xylexpo”. “This project represents the core business of Acimall, to this event the association dedicates most of its efforts,” said Luigi De Vito. “After the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the global Covid situation, we have launched a modified exhibition project that combines the ,Xylexpo’ and the ,Bimu’, the international exhibition for metalworking machinery, robotics and automation. Two fairs that merge into one big event for manufacturing technology. This decision required a change of dates and a rearrangement of the exhibition halls for our event. Thus, from October 12 to 15, Xylexpo will be held in Halls 22 and 24 at Fieramilano Rho, directly opposite the Bimu halls, to promote interaction and integration between the two events and their visitors.
The ,Xylexpo’ will be smaller than in the past, as two major producers – one from Italy and one from Germany – will not participate. Decisions that we do not want to hide. I hope that these decisions will be limited to the 2022 edition and represent a continued general economic uncertainty. Ultimately, the results of the current year should be decisive for future developments.
Nevertheless, I can report that the two halls allocated to ‘Xylexpo’ are sold out, with an occupied area of almost 18,000 net square meters and 250 exhibitors. With this area dedicated exclusively to technology, ,Xylexpo’ will most likely and defiantly remain the largest industrial exhibition in Southern Europe in 2022.”
Biesse Group and Homag Group – crucial players in the market – do not plan to participate.
In the end, De Vito did not miss the opportunity and also spoke cautionary words, calling on Acimall’s members to reflect: “Acimall should be a ‘home’ for all of us. An association that needs the active participation of every member in order to fulfill its mission of representing and promoting the industry. An association lives when its members contribute with their experience and presence. It offers unique opportunities to discuss with each other, to exchange ideas, to find a common goal, to join forces. Otherwise, it is a pure service company, but one that follows a market logic that does not correspond to the spirit of an association, and that was certainly not the original intention of our founders.”