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The Rupp Report: Italy Is On The Move

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

From the beginning, Italy has been one of the major suppliers of textile machinery for the global markets. At ITMA, the Italians always have one of the biggest country representations. In the next few weeks, the Rupp Report will take a closer look at the Italian textile machinery industry. Here is a first glimpse:

Going Across The Borders
As the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) recently reported, "The year 2013 will be marked by a push towards internationalization." (See " ACIMIT Targets The Sector's Internationalization," TextileWorld.com, November 27, 2012.) As everybody knows, 2015 is in sight, and ITMA Europe will take place in Milano.

As reported last week, the promotional initiatives will cover some ten countries: Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam. The instruments to promote the sector will include technology symposiums organized overseas and training courses for foreign operators in Italy, mentions ACIMIT president Sandro Salmoiraghi.

ACIMIT also will be promoting awareness for its "Sustainable Technologies" project in India and Bangladesh. Initiatives will include a symposium presenting "Made in Italy" sustainable technologies in Bangladesh, which will be promoted both in India and Bangladesh.

Evergreen Jeans
As with most of the European textile machinery suppliers, the Italian manufacturers are mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. This is the case for classic textile machinery as well as for special equipment for the apparel industry. The Italian manufacturer Vi.Be.Mac., based in Verona, is one of these typical Italian companies, producing specialized machinery for the apparel industry in general, and for denim jeans manufacturing in particular.

Sales & Marketing Manager Simone Bianchi mentioned during a recent visit to the company's premises that Vi.Be.Mac.'s machinery is specialized for the production of jeans, dockers and military garments. The company started in the 1980s as a service center for Singer sewing machines and celebrated its 30th birthday in 2010. From the very beginning the company focused on the production of jeans. In the company's early days, this focus was quite a risk, but today, it could be considered a lucky decision. The innovative founder, Carlo Guerreschi, holds a few patents for sewing technology, particularly for jeans manufacturing: the puller system, the dynamic pressure control (DPC) of the company's feed-off-the-arm machine, a low-running-cost pocket setter and the first automatic belt-loop setter.

The Brain Trust
The intelligence and knowledge of the company is focused in its Jeans-tech consulting department. It is based on the modular system and includes company analysis, organization of production lines, logistics organization and management operation, plus personnel training and motivation. According to Bianchi, the main focus is to provide comprehensive service and support optimized development of apparel production, resulting in reduced costs of management and production. A lot of emphasis is put on the word "intelligence" - which at Jeans-tech includes elimination of all risk factors - as well as existing production lines and also relations with the involved workers, and, finally, the adequate technologies to define the customer's strategy and provide improved results and reduce cost factors.

Close To The Customers
Vi.Be.Mac. does not sell directly to the end-users. The reason is obvious: The company wants to control the after-sales service, which is guaranteed through authorized dealers in more than 55 countries. A further service center at the technical headquarters in Italy responds to customer requests in 24 hours.

The innovative Vi.Be.Mac. provides an excellent example of a company that is helping to boost Italy's textile machinery industry. As Salmoiraghi said at ACIMIT's recent Board of Directors meeting: "The number of newly associated firms [30 joined ACIMIT in 2011-12] represents an encouraging sign for the entire sector. The economic situation is indeed difficult, and also bears witness to the deep level of uncertainty permeating forecasts for 2013." He concluded, "Both the association and its members will work together to achieve common goals capable of providing a further boost to our industry."

December 4, 2012