Acimit: Italian textile supply chain demonstrates resilience between digitization and sustainability

The 2021 figures for the Italian textile machinery sector are positive, and they are recovering and falling to levels ahead of Covid. But the future is still uncertain: the brakes of the pandemic (which have not yet been eradicated) are now adding to those associated with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Published July 5, 2022

The objective critical problems that the whole country would have to face during 2021, primarily dictated by a pandemic that disrupted all balance, did not stop the Italian textile machinery industry.

Specific positive data presented belowACIMIT annual meeting, the association of Italian manufacturers of machinery for the textile industry, held in Trezzo sull’Adda (Milan). In 2021, the sector recovered significantly compared to 2020 and reached levels before Covid. Especially Italian production expressed a value of 2,388 million euros (+ 35% in 2020 and + 5% in 2019), while total exports amounted to 2,031 million euros (+ 37% in 2020 and + 9% in 2019).

However, the results do not delete obstacles which companies still have to tackle. If we look at the near future, the horizons are expected to be uncertain, as emphasized by Alessandro Zucchi, President of ACIMIT: “2022 remains a years filled with unknowns. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the continuing risk of the pandemic risk seriously delaying the expected consolidation of growth for companies in the sector. The difficulty of finding raw materials and components negatively affects the complete fulfillment of orders collected as early as 2021. Rising energy costs and an inflationary trend common to many raw materials weaken corporate confidence. All this makes the outlook for the sector as a whole negative. Above all, the profit margin will be eroded in the near future “.

Two are the cornerstones on which ACIMIT aims to support the country’s textile machinery: digitization and sustainability.

4.0: the textile machinery looks to the future

The way to digital transformation it has already led many companies in the sector to revise the production process, making it more efficient and cheaper. The digital is evolving at a crucial pace in the supply chain for textile machines, where we talk more and more often about the Internet about things to connect the company’s ecosystem, about machine learning algorithms used for production, about predictable maintenance, about the cloud. for management integrated by the various departments.

It is no coincidence that ACIMIT has focused decisively on the Digital Ready project that they come up with. certified Italian machines using a common set of data for the purpose of facilitating integration with the operating systems (ERP, MES, CRM…) of client companies.

Green soul

Combines production efficiency and respect for the environment: a challenging goal that ACIMIT has created for its own, and which it promotes among the associates also through the project Sustainable Technologies. Launched as early as 2011 at the association level, the project highlights the commitment of Italian manufacturers of textile machinery to sustainability. The core of the project is Green Label, a green certification dedicated to Italian textile machines, which highlights energy and environmental performance. A heli-Italian seal developed in collaboration with RINA, an international certification body.

The pluses of the project: Rina Consulting’s study

The general meeting on July 1 was an opportunity to take stock of the project Sustainable technologies. Especially with the presentation of the study of Rina Rådgivning on the development and impact of Green Label in the last couple of years. results confirm the extreme validity of the initiative. The technological implementations that the companies participating in the project have made on their machines translate into benefits in terms of environmental impact (reduction of CO2-equivalent emissions of the machinery), and into economic benefits for the users of the machines.

Some data. With reference to the year 2021, it was possible to quantify in 204,598 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. that annual emissions avoided by implementing machine enhancements. A really important reduction that, just to provide a basis for comparison, corresponds to the carbon dioxide emissions from 36,864 cars that drive an average of 35,000 km per year. Good performance also in relation to energy savings. The use of green-labeled machines in textile machines has enabled a reduction of up to 84% in consumption.

A round table on the green label’s file rouge

The environmental and economic impact generated by the production processes of the Italian textile machinery using Green Label technologies was the focus of the roundtable that concluded the ACIMIT meeting. Moderated by Aurora Magni (holder of the Industrial Systems Sustainability course at the LIUC School of Engineering), the debate involved Gianluca Brenna (administrator of Lipomo Printing House and vice president of the Italian fashion system for welfare), Pietro Pin (Consultant for the Benetton Group). and President of UNI’s Textile Clothing Section), Giorgio Ravasio (Country Manager Italy by Vivienne Westwood), and ACIMIT President Alessandro Zucchi.

A unanimous voice emerged from the discussion of the speakers, called to share the experiences in ecological conversion processes of their companies: The future of the Italian textile machinery can no longer ignore an advanced technology that is able to offer sustainable solutions with a low environmental impact and at the same time able to reduce production costs. The road is marked and leads directly to the horizoncircular economy.

Employment at ITMA 2023

Finally, it is impossible not to mention that the most important international exhibition of textile machinery is arriving in Italy. From 8 to 14 June 2023, Fiera-Milano Rho will open its doors for the 19th edition of the ITMA. It is a fundamental event for the entire global sector. An international showcase for many new operating solutions. A marketplace that is able to offer participants exceptional business opportunities. The participation of Italian companies is managed by ACIMIT.

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