Massimo Carboniero, President, UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE

“2017 was really positive for the Italian machine tool, robotics and automation industry, showing double-digit growth for all main economic indicators. We expect 2018 to be just as positive,” says Massimo Carboniero, President of  UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE during an interaction with Nishant Kashyap.

Please tell us about UCIMU…
Established in 1945, UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE is the Italian machine tools, robots, automation systems and auxiliary products manufacturers’ Association (NC, tools, components and accessories). Its aim is to protect the interests of the category by promoting the growth and spreading the entrepreneurial culture by offering updated services, according to the needs of the sector enterprises. The way of planning, producing and commercialising the whole range of products of the manufacturing industry relevantly depends on the machine tool sector, in which Italy boasts exceptional competencies that make our country the favourite “technological partner” of worldwide users. A special contribution to the success of the Italian machine tool is offered by the activity of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, whose main goal is to guarantee the opportunity for the enterprises to operate at the highest levels of competiveness.

What are the initiatives taken by UCIMU to help Italian machine tool builders in their business?
As official and real representative of the Italian machine tool industry, the Association acts as an ambassador of the most advanced “Made by Italians” technology all over the world.  In this sense, UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE always ensures its interlocutors a full collaboration, consistently with a product offering, resulting from the timely update of the manufacturing companies to the changes of demand, by a constant commitment to technological research, marketing and optimisation of after-sale service.

Among the numerous activities of the Association, there is also the organisation and promotion of trade fairs in Italy: EMO, the world exhibition for metal machining taking place alternately in Italy and in Germany; LAMIERA, the biennial trade show of odd years, dedicated to the machines working with sheet metal forming technologies; BI-MU, the Italian biennial machine tool exhibition of even years, which hosts the best national and international product ranges with regard to metal cutting and metal forming machine tools, robots and automation, whose 31st edition will take place at Fieramilano Rho in October 2018.

 What are the current trends in the Italian machine tool industry?
2017 was really positive for the Italian machine tool, robotics and automation industry, showing double-digit growth for all main economic indicators. Just to give you an idea, the turnover exceeded 8 billion euro, a value never reached before.

We expect 2018 to be just as positive, confirming the excellent situation that the Italian industry of the sector has been experiencing, rewarded, first of all, by a re-strengthened domestic market, but also by exports that started again to register strong rises.

What is the current size of Italian machine tool industry?
With over 400 enterprises, 32,000 employees and a turnover that exceeded 8 billion euro in 2017, the Italian machine tool industry plays a leading role in the international scenario. It stands fifth in the ranking of manufacturing countries and in the third position among exporters.

Some data about production, consumption, export and import?
As highlighted by the preliminary year’s data, processed by the Studies Dept. & Business Culture of UCIMU, in 2017 production rose to 6,110 million euro, registering a 10.1% increase compared with the previous year. This was the fourth consecutive year of growth and, in absolute values; it was the new record for the Italian industry of the sector.

The outcome was due both to the excellent performance of the Italian manufacturers’ deliveries in the domestic market, increased by 16.1% to 2,670 million euro, and to the positive trend of exports, gone up by 5.8%, to 3,440 million euro.

According to UCIMU’s processing of ISTAT data, in the first nine months of the year (latest available collection of data), the major destination markets for the “Made in Italy” of the sector were: China, 248 million euro (+11.5%); Germany, 245 million (-5.8%); United States, 226 million (-8.7%); France, 157 million (-0.7%); Poland, 110 million (+22.2%).

What’s the market share of Italian machine tool industry globally?
In 2016, Italy turned out to be the fifth country in the ranking of machine tool manufacturers, with a 7% share of the total worldwide output. Italy also ranks fifth among the consumer countries, with a share close to 5% of the total consumption. We are in fifth place in terms of imports, with 3.5% of the total, whereas we are in third position in the international ranking of exporting countries, with a 9% share of the total.

How do you see the Indian machine tool industry?
First of all, we have to say that, as regards machine tools and more in general mechanical engineering, Italy and India can be proud of their mutual collaboration based on an exchange of know-how. India has indeed excellent professional skills in the technological field and this makes the cooperation activity with Italy easier and profitable. If we consider the type of contribution offered by Italy, I think that flexibility is the best teaching element that our industry may offer to one of the most promising countries in terms of growth and development not only in the manufacturing sector.

How much (in numbers) does India import from Italy and how important India is for business growth of Italian companies?
In 2016, India was the 11th market of destination for the Italian industry manufacturing machine tools, robots and automation, the second one if we just consider the Asian area. Italy exported machine tools to India for an amount of 70 million euro. In the same period, the imports from India totalled 3.2 million euro. A 91% share of imports is related to the sector of metal cutting machines, in particular we import machining centres and milling machines.

What are the initiatives taken by UCIMU to enhance the trade between India and Italy?
In India, UCIMU is directly present with its project PLATFORM INDIA, which intends to be a real hub, capable of providing assistance and advice to the Italian enterprises interested in working in the area. The aim of the initiative is to support the companies in their internationalisation activity.  For this reason, “Platform India” has the collaboration of an Indian manager, who works as a facilitator directly on site. Moreover, there is also the ITC project (Italian Technology Center), a centre for the promotion of the sector’s “Made in Italy” with offices in Pune. It promotes the ITC brand and the brand of about 10 Italian manufacturers of capital goods, cooperating to develop new contacts with the Indian world of institutions, culture and industry. With PLATFORM INDIA, as well as with ITC, the goal is to support the internationalisation of the Italian companies in the area.

What is going to be the theme of BI-MU 2018?
Of course, let’s start from the figures: 9 months before the event, 600 companies have already registered as exhibitors and booked an exhibition area that is three times as big as that of the past edition (2016). The organisation office of the exhibition confirms that the collection of application goes on rapidly.

In addition to the favourable market, the next edition of BI-MU will rely on a new concept, which implies a wider, updated technological product range of products and a lot of novelties: not only machine tools, machines for metal drilling and cutting, automation, robotics, auxiliary technologies, but also manufacturing and digital enabling technologies. This is the core of the new BI-MU that will present “The digital era of machine tools”. The new interpretation of BI-MU is enjoying great appreciation by the Italian and foreign enterprises that have already booked many large-sized exhibition stands. We are sure that this event will be of great appeal to the operators of the sector. That being said, I would like to invite the readers to participate in 31.BI-MU. I look forward to seeing you in Milan next October.

Any message for Indian companies regarding BI-MU 2018?
In October 2018, at BI-MU, we await 20 delegations from 20 countries that were selected among the most promising and dynamic ones worldwide. Obviously, India is among these. The organisers of BI-MU, in cooperation with the Indian offices of ICE-Italian Trade Agency, organised the incoming of Italian companies operating in the major sectors where machine tools are used: automotive, aerospace, nautical industry, etc.

Nevertheless, the attention given by the organisers of BI-MU to the Indian market has much more ancient roots. The visit of the Indian delegation to BI-MU is an initiative that has been already organised for several editions of the biennial machine tool exhibition. For example, also in 2016, at 30.BI-MU, 11 companies were officially invited and accepted to take part in the delegation.

After all, even on the occasion of LAMIERA 2017, – the other biennial machine tool trade show organised by UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, but more specifically focused on metal forming technologies, – India was among the countries, for which the incoming of delegations was organised: in this case, the visiting enterprises were 6.

I think that such great attention dedicated to a country is the best message to extend the invitation to all Indian companies to exhibit and visit 31.BI-MU, the exhibition that will present “THE DIGITAL ERA OF MACHINE TOOLS”, at Fiera Milano Rho from October 9 to 13, 2018.