Market and technological prospects: 15 experts in the press sector outline the state-of-the-art with us.
We have asked various press manufacturers their comment about the present soundness of the Italian market. This highlights a substantially positive trend that describes an investment restart connected not only with the tax benefits of the plan Industry 4.0, but also with a real employment recovery (we hope it will be durable).
A renewed dynamism
In the opinion of Ottavio Albini, sales manager of Asservimentipresse S.r.l., 2017 was “sparkling”: «We signed various job orders and we were literally swamped by workloads, as it had not happened for a long time now. For around one month, we have instead noticed a slowdown, maybe physiological. In any case, we positively judge that recovery is sound and involves several Italian companies, driven also by the plan of Industry 4.0, I think».
Giacomo Pavesi, sales manager of Balconi Presseccentriche, confirms the positive trend, especially for foreign markets, and underlines that «in last months, we glimpsed recovery signs in Italy, too».
Carlo Ridolfi, president of Cavenaghi & Ridolfi, expresses similar remarks about the export, however he seems more sceptical about the domestic market: «The subsidies provided by Industry 4.0, even if interesting, have not triggered essential step changes».
Mario Lubrini of Coil Engineering, representative on the Italian market of Seyi presses and of Dimeco automation lines, believes that 2017 can be deemed a year of notable growth, with the exception of a central phase of “settling”: «I do not think that the phenomenon is connected with Industry 4.0 only, because an amortization cannot drive investments if the work is missing. And today there is work in Italy. In particular, the market is currently driven by the automotive industry, which is demanding for more and more complex products and solutions with high technological content. Big German car manufacturers finally recognize Italian companies as competitive, reliable partners providing very high technology».
Pietro Piccardo, Business Development Manager of Dobarca, explains: «We distribute in Italy the products by Goizper, Basque Group that designs and manufactures mechanical components, in particular brakes, clutches, rotary tables and special gearboxes for car manufacturers. In the press ambit, we notice a lot of liveliness, in Italy and abroad, in particular in Germany, even if in general the two markets refer to different machine typologies».
“Driven” by automotive
In the opinion of Andrea Nava, partner of F.lli Nava, the entire industrial field is living a positive growth period, mirrored in the press sector, too. However, he distinguishes two types of customers: «On one hand there are enterprises that, to upgrade their machine fleet, focus on special maintenances and retrofits; on the other hand there are companies that invest in state-of-the-art presses to hit new business targets, through more efficient production facilities».
In the opinion of Luca Gelli, sales manager of Gigant, in Italy the recovery does not depend on the effect of the amortizations deriving from Industry 4.0, but on two main factors: «The first is the downturn of the second-hand market, since machines on trade are too obsolete; the second is the general recovery of the automotive industry». In the second semester of 2017, such growth is witnessed by the rise of the sheet metal cost. Concerning the press sector, Gelli specifies: «The market is privileging again medium-small size presses; that trend concerns also the regions of Central and Southern Italy, also thanks to governmental incentives such as the tax credit».
Lorenzo Galli, co-owner and marketing manager of I.M.V. Presse, believes that, after stagnation years, the market has recovered: «The first signs already appeared in 2016, in the wake of the good trend of the automotive industry. In 2017, the sparkling effect increased, both due to the need of upgrading the machine fleet after years of investment stop and due to the economic incentives deriving from Industry 4.0».
Veronica Just, vice president of Millutensil, confirms her colleague’s opinion, adding that «the entire sheet metal sector is living a recovery phase, not only the press industry» and that «several of the new investments are connected with the introduction of integrated automation systems, besides the enlargement of the machine fleet».
Positive trend for next months, too
Most of our interviewees share the opinion that the Italian market has lived a “boost” determined by the amortizations connected with Industry 4.0.
Valerio Ferraro sales manager of Omera, confirms: «As far as we are concerned, incentives have neatly shared in the rise of the sales on the domestic market, by around 30-40%, whereas export volumes have remained constant». Nevertheless, the general sensation is that the “Italian recovery” is not linked with tax incentives only.
According to Sara Locatelli, purchase office manager of OTI Presse, «The ending year has been characterized by a good level of demands from old and new potential customers, also Italian».
Roberto Crespi, Sales & Marketing Manager of Saronni, confirms: «For about one year, the market situation of the sheet metal sector has settled on satisfactory values, with considerable increments also in Italy».
Markus Bieg, manager and director of the Division Industry of Schuler, shows a cautious attitude: «We are currently registering a satisfactory economic activity on a world scale. The South Europe outlet market has overcome the bottom level and is currently growing, even if still on low values».
Francesco Muffato, manager of Triveneta Macchine Europa, specifies: «In the last years, and especially in the current 2017, we noticed a notable rise of demands and consequently of orders, for both new products and for the retrofitting of second hand presses. This positive trend has developed not only in foreign markets, already very active during past years, but also within the Italian market, which this year has grown more than any other».
Ennio Zaffaroni, managing director of Zani, ends by confirming the positive trend but also looking at the future: «The present economic situation has neatly improved compared to last years. We think anyway the growth trend will be confirmed during next months, too».