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The Rupp Report: Italy, The No. 1 Player At ITMA 2011

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

After France and Switzerland, the Rupp Report is now watching Italy, the biggest country delegation at ITMA 2011 which will be held September 22 to 29 in Barcelona, Spain. According to the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), some 300 Italian exhibitors will participate. ACIMIT represents an industrial sector comprising some 300 companies, employing close to 13,000 people, and producing machinery having an overall value of 2.43 billion euros, with exports accounting for 80 percent of total sales.

Large Presence
As in previous ITMAs, Italy has always been present with a considerable number of exhibitors. And, according to Sandro Salmoiraghi, president of ACIMIT, Italy is the biggest country in terms of not only exhibitors, but also floor space. The ACIMIT members represent approximately one-fourth of all exhibitors and floor space. Salmoiraghi is convinced that ITMA 2011 "will confirm the primary role of Italian manufacturers in the sector, above all for their innovative contribution in technology." The Italian machinery manufacturers also can read the handwriting on the wall — that it is of utmost importance to focus on issues which have a great impact, not only for the whole textile industry but also for the environment.

Sustainability And Eco-efficiency
These two issues make up the slogan for the Italian textile machinery exhibitors. ACIMIT is convinced that sustainability and eco-efficiency are "of vital importance for the future of the textile machinery industry." For this, the association recently launched the Sustainable Technologies project "to promote awareness among its associated members on the sustainability of technology solutions proposed to their customers, through a distinctive green label in which manufacturers declare their adherence to a production system that recognizes and operates according to eco/energy sustainable principles, subjecting their machinery products to a series of self-certification tests." ACIMIT launched its promotional campaign in partnership with the Italian Trade Commission and the Ministry for Economic Development.

Emphasis on innovation is moreover apparent in the association's relationship with universities and research institutes. At ITMA Barcelona, ACIMIT will sponsor a Research & Education Pavilion presenting Italian institutes and universities.

On top of that, the so-called "Observatory ACIMIT" will hold its ninth event — titled "Positive contamination: From nanotechnology to composites, innovative technologies and new applications for the textile industry" — on June 20, 2011. Various speakers will reflect on these subjects in different presentations.

Strong Recovery In 2010
The Italian textile machinery industry also is satisfied that this ITMA will be held in a year that looks forward to a continuation of the recovery for the complete global textile machinery industry. The figures already showed a recovery in 2010, following a two-year period of decline. Last year, according to statistics compiled by ACIMIT, production rose 26 percent to 2.43 billion euros; exports increased by 27 percent to 1.91 billion euros. There also was a recovery in Italy's domestic market, where textile machinery demand reached nearly 1 billion euros - a 27-percent increase over 2009 demand.

Salmoiraghi mentioned that these gains in sales and orders are a consequence of the low levels of the previous two-year period. "However", he said, "it does underscore a general reprise for textile machinery across many geographical areas." Italian machinery demand was driven mostly by the major markets worldwide, with double-digit sales growth in China, India and Turkey. Overall, Italian exports obtained positive performances on all primary textile manufacturing markets, with global demand driven by Asia and South America.

And Promising First Quarter 2011As reported last week, Italy's textile machinery sector continued on its positive trend during the first quarter of this year (See " ACIMIT: Textile Machinery — First Quarter 2011 Orders Confirm Sector's Recovery," www. TextileWorld.com, May 31, 2011). Received orders for the quarter grew by 12 percent over the previous quarter, to 164.6 points on ACIMIT's index of orders, and by 42 percent over first quarter 2010. Domestic and foreign orders are increasing, reaching 143.9 points and 176.3 points, respectively. Furthermore ACIMIT reported an order backlog of five months as of March 30, 2011. The spinning machinery sector is even in a better position, with an order backlog of 10 months from that date.

June 7, 2011