Machines Italia Magazine Volume VIII: Italian Solutions Power Up North American Manufacturing Growth

As the North American economy continues to mount a recovery and sales begin to show steady growth, manufacturers are investing once again in new plants and equipment. Although millions of manufacturing jobs were lost over the past dozen years, we see companies starting to hire again to meet renewed demand.

In this new post-recession era, the bywords of manufacturing success are innovation, cost reduction, greater throughput, and improved quality. North American manufacturers are looking to Italian machinery firms to help them hone their competitive edge. Due to pricing pressures, the trend for at least a decade has been to outsource manufacturing and build plants overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor.

Today, we are seeing a reverse shift, as North American manufacturers in industries such as the automotive sector establish new plants closer to home and invest in retraining and retooling on the home front. In fact, state-of-the-art Italian machinery is being utilized to train thousands of U.S. workers from various companies.

In this edition of Machines Italia Vol VIII, we examine these issues with the aim of learning how companies are responding to competitive challenges. We take a close look at some of the innovative solutions that Italian machinery manufacturers are providing to their North American manufacturing customers. These articles are proof positive of the win-win partnership that has been forged between Italian machinery firms and North American manufacturers.

This volume of the magazine was published in collaboration with Penton Media, Inc. and its publication IndustryWeek Magazine. For more information on Penton Media, Inc. click here.

Official Release: Machines Italia / IndustryWeek Magazine Automation Survey 2012 Is Available Now!

During the fourth quarter of 2012, Machines Italia together with IndustryWeek magazine conducted its survey on the usage of automation in the manufacturing sector.  This Survey had as its objectives the following:

  • Examine the use of automation and robotics among manufacturers;
  • Investigate the use of and perception of Italian machines;
  • Determine future purchasing plans and the important factors and players in the decision-making process.

The methodology was straight forward as IndustryWeek's Penton Research emailed invitations to participate in the online survey to the print subscribers of its publication, IndustryWeek magazine. Over 342 North American manufacturers took part and the findings are available in the executive summary available for download. Nearly three in four respondents compete in global markets. Those who do indicated that automated equipment or robotics has helped their firm compete.

Some highlights which you will find in the survey are the following:

  • In order to accommodate the greater use of robotics and automation, 59% of respondents have expanded the skill level of their workforce. Among those, three in four have expanded the skill level moderately or significantly;
  • The majority of respondents plan to increase North American production in an effort to meet the needs of an expanding market. 39% of respondents planning an increase in production expect it to be by 10% or more;
  • The majority of respondents indicate a focus on high value-added niche products is an extremely or very important strategic target for their company. Establishing new plants is considered least important.

Machines Italia provides this executive survey free of charge in the hopes that you and your company will view the findings as helpful tools in your current and upcoming manufacturing activities.

For media interested in obtaining more information on the survey, kindly contact any of our Machines Italia offices located in the "Contact" section of our site.

Centrexpo/IPACK IMA Presentation @ Pack Expo 2012 "European Economy's Effect On Diverse Industries"

On October 30, 2012, Dr. Guido Corbella, CEO of Centrexpo / IPACK-IMA Group, presented "The European Economy's Effect on the Processing, Packaging, Printing and Converting Industries" during a media briefing luncheon at Pack Expo International 2012 in Chicago (USA).

The presentation, available as a download here, will not only provide you as it did the international journalists present at the luncheon, with some interesting information on Italy's place and role in said industries but within the global economy as well.

Canadian Machinery Trade Statistics 2011

The present publication contains the latest statistics - 2011 - on Canadian trade with particular reference to imports and exports of industrial machinery and equipment and the Machines Italia sectors.

Italian Technology Training Centers Global Directory

The Italian Technology Training Centers developed between the Italian Trade Commission, FEDERMACCHINE and local entities throughout the world, were created with the principal objective of positioning Italy within those countries in economic ascension. They not only illustrate Italy as a dependable provider of machinery, but as well as a qualified intermediator in training and project development on specification. Download the attached PDF to see where they are located throughout the world along with our listing of Italian and local partner organizations.

Working Paper: Innovation and Foreign Technology in Italy, 1861-2011

The Paper "Innovation and Foreign Technology in Italy, 1861-2011" explores the long run evolution of Italy's performance in technological innovation as a function of international technology transfer, reconstructing the different phases and dimensions of Italian innovative activity, tracking the transfer of foreign technological knowledge through a number of channels, analysing the impact of imported technology. The study is based on a newly constructed dataset, over the 1861-2009 period, composed of variables related to: innovation activity performance; foreign technology transfer; domestic absorptive and innovative capability. The analysis highlights, also by econometric assessment, the significant contribution of foreign technology both to innovation activity results and to productivity growth. Differences across channels of technology transfer and historical phases emerge, also in connection with the evolution of human capital endowment and domestic innovative capacity. Machinery imports contributed positively both to innovation activity and to productivity growth; inward FDI contributed positively to productivity growth, but not to indigenous innovation activity; the accumulation of technical human capital fuelled both. In the long Italian Golden Age, for the first time the association of foreign technological knowledge with indigenous innovation processes strengthened productivity significantly.

The paper entitled "Innovation and Foreign Technology in Italy, 1861-2011" was written by by Federico Barbiellini Amidei, John Cantwell and Anna Spadavecchia. It was presented in Rome as part of the Conference "Italy and the World Economy, 1861-2011" held October 12-15, 2011 hosted by The Bank of Italy.

The paper may be downloaded here or via the source link provided.

Italian Biotechnology 2011 State of the Industry Report

Over the last few years, biotechnology in Italy has become an established industrial reality in all fields of application, including human health, agro-food, and industry. The path has been difficult, but even so the biotech sector has progressed enormously, resulting in well-earned respect on an international level - an unimaginable achievement just a few years ago.

The 2011 edition of the "Italian Biotechnology Report" by Assobiotec and Ernst & Young, in cooperation with Farmindustria and the Italian Trade Commission, shows that the Italian biotech industry has responded positively to the difficult international economic situation by confirming the growth and consolidation trend which has characterized this field over the last decade. This is of major importance for Assobiotec, the national association for the development of biotechnology - which in 2011, celebrated its 25th anniversary. Assobiotec represents companies and technological and scientific parks operating in Italy in the various sectors of Life Sciences.

Italian biotech companies continually show that they are remarkably capable of maximizing investments in terms of value creation, that they can count on absolutely competitive scientific excellence and on the presence of an important link with academic research and, most of all, that they are still driven by the spirit of initiative that characterizes so many successful stories of Italian entrepreneurs. These are the reasons that explain the significant growth rate of biotech within the country.

For more information on this dynamic sector go to Assobiotec's website at and for a current directory of Italian companies involved in the sector go to

The State of Global Manufacturing Report 2011

The State of Global Manufacturing report is a comparison study primarily between North American and European manufacturers regarding their purchasing preferences as well as future acquisition plans. The methods, practices and sources for the report were developed and executed by the Italian Trade Commission in collaboration with HSM – organizers of the annual World Business Forum. This report as its base were interviews conducted both online and telephonically during the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2010. In total, 579 manufacturers participated, of which 418 were located in North America while 161 were in Europe.

This report was first presented at the 2010 World Business Forum held in New York City and was discussed in various publications such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek and IndustryWeek magazines. The main purpose of the report is to provide the reader with both a better understanding and insight into the challenges and issues manufacturers located in two different parts of the world are addressing during these recent turbulent times. As well, it illustrates how they are and/or plan to respond to said issues and challenges over the next few years.

The Italian Edge: Technology for Sustainability

This edition of the book (second) focuses on Italy's strengths and know-how in addressing various environmental and sustainability issues faced by local markets throughout the world. A breadth of stories and information on various Italian companies successfully addressing said issues are explored in depth.

Canadian Manufacturing Industry Business Outlook Report

There is a widespread optimism for the future of the Canadian manufacturing industry, at least according to a group of 384 senior executives surveyed for the Business Outlook 2011 – Innovation Advantage report. 

In fact, over 60% of the respondents anticipated that both sales and orders would grow throughout 2011.  Profits are also expected to grow significantly for at least 31% of the sample.

The report, sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and its Machines Italia project, are meant to make Canadian executives aware of the significant contribution, in terms of innovation, flexibility and increased competitiveness, offered by Italian machinery to the Canadian manufacturing sector.