Skip to main content
Print Friendly and PDF
Together Towards the Future - XYLEXPO!
This was the key message of several speeches delivered at the press conference introducing the next Xylexpo, the biennial international exhibition of woodworking technology and furniture industry supplies to be held from 24 to 28 May at the FieraMilano-Rho expo center. New initiatives include Acimall’s participation in the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2016 to celebrate the association’s 50th anniversary and the 25th edition of the exhibition, but most of all to open a dialog with a new audience, especially the world of design and creativity.

“For the second time, the event will show our own and our partners' determination to look ahead, with the awareness that we can achieve new goals and win tough challenges only if we stand together”. So said Lorenzo Primultini, Acimall president, as he closed the second edition of XIPC-Xylexpo International Press Conference, hosted in the fascinating setting of the UniCredit Pavilion in Milan last February 12.

This determination to “team up” has also been expressed by other reputable speakers: Andrea Mattiello of Ice and Corrado Peraboni and Paolo Borgio, respectively managing director and "guest exhibition" manager of FieraMilano, the general manager of FederlegnoArredo and Salone del Mobile.Milano Giovanni De Ponti, Acimall’s director Dario Corbetta and president Lorenzo Primultini, the event “testimonial” Maurizio Riva, owner of Riva1920 together with his brother Davide.

Clear messages, powerful words that certainly achieved the goal of involving industry media representatives coming to Milan from twenty countries, projecting them into the future of the Milan biennial exhibition, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.


The anniversary was the starting point for the speech by Andrea Mattiello of Ice, the foreign trade promotion and globalization agency for Italian companies, who reminded the longstanding collaboration between the agency and Italian wood technology manufacturers. As a result of such partnership, Xylexpo has been listed among the thirty world-class exhibitions of the Italian trade fair calendar, an additional driver for an even stronger joint action abroad. As Mattiello said, this action has translated into a number of initiatives, including booths and press meetings at the leading industry exhibitions, combined with a campaign in global industry magazines and web portals. And the promotion and communication campaign on the Italian market is starting soon “...for one of the most significant woodworking technology platforms on a global scale”, concluded Mattiello, illustrating the initiatives in the next months and the rich incoming program for foreign delegations invited to Milan in May.


Paolo Borgio, who was appointed a few weeks ago to manage the 60-plus “guest exhibitions” of FieraMilano, opened his speech by wishing happy birthday to Xylexpo for its 25th edition, “…a long time when we have always been working side by side, with a practical approach, to bring exhibitors and visitors to Milan”, he said.

“All-round collaboration has helped us overcome these tough years, a successful and deserved achievement for an exhibition with a big share of foreign visitors and a showcase of one of Italy's leading segments within the instrumental goods industry”.

The press conference also hosted a speech by Corrado Peraboni, managing director of FieraMilano. “I wanted to be here to tell about the long and close relationship between FieraMilano and Xylexpo, an exhibition we have always believed in for the values it expresses and the excellent standards of the industry it represents in Italy and worldwide. FieraMilano must be and wants to be up to the international standing of such events, providing services that are up to the commitment of organizers and exhibitors. We are confident that, together, we can do even better”.


The stage was then taken by Giovanni De Ponti, general manager of FederlegnoArredo and Salone del Mobile.Milano. “The fiftieth anniversary of Acimall – he said – is a great achievement and must be celebrated properly. Italian technology has given a great contribution to the success of Italian furniture; it’s not mere chance that the furniture districts are located in the same areas where many woodworking machinery and plant manufacturers are based.

We have been walking together for a long time and with mutual satisfaction, but now the time has come to take new steps together, going beyond the basic collaboration between the two universes we represent and drawing inspiration from our longstanding cooperation in the trade fair business – think about the combination of Xylexpo and Sasmil, the exhibition of furniture components and supplies – and the success we have achieved together for decades”.

“We are available, open, ready to discuss new ideas for collaboration, trade fair partnerships moving towards new areas where our group is already a leader: from Salone del Mobile to the exhibitions we organize abroad, up to Made Expo, topics around which we might build a joint project, test ourselves together in a new approach to the development and satisfaction of the needs of our companies", De Ponti said.



Lorenzo Primultini, president of Acimall, started by saying thank you to the speakers, praising the value of their opinions and the new opportunities that will have to be accurately considered in the coming season. “Active and practical collaboration with Ice and FieraMilano are and will always be valuable assets, just like an effective and proactive relationship with FederlegnoArredo, the possibility to discuss new developments that might be interesting for everyone: Today, “teaming up” is the key to any system: without new partnerships, without encouraging solid relationships, it is hard to add value to our experiences”.

“It‘s a great pleasure to meet you today - he then added to attending media - because we need your support this year more than ever: there are many ideas and projects we are working on, and it is essential to be supported by opinion leaders and trade media from all over the world, to communicate what we are going to do”.

Primultini stressed that next Xylexpo will be an exhibition of innovations – because that’s what the industry today asks from reference trade fairs – and the mirror of a much better economic season.

Xylexpo 2016 should exceed the results of 2014, “…when we achieved 440 exhibitors, 119 of them international, with a net exhibition area just above 26 thousand square meters. To date, figures are much better than in the same period of two years ago, with just above 300 exhibitors, one-third from abroad, who have submitted registrations for a total exhibition area of approximately 25 thousand meters, very close to the 26,176 square meter result of 2014. So, we expect to get very close to the 450 exhibitors and 30 thousand square meters thresholds. We are optimistic also for visitors: we expect better results than in 2014, when we had 44 thousand visitors in five days, or 15,250 “unique visitors” (30 percent from abroad), a figure we offer to our audience to evaluate the real business opportunities that Xyexpo can offer”, Primultini said.

The Acimall president then announced that, starting from this edition, entrance to Xylexpo will be free for all operators who register online at; without pre-registration, an entrance fee will be applied starting from this edition: 15 euro for one day, 25 euro for the entire period.

Primultini could not conceal his satisfaction as he reaffirmed that in 2016 Xylexpo will be again a “complete review”. “Today, at last, at Xylexpo we can find all the industry actors, really all of them. also Scm Group has decided to come back to Xylexpo, a decision that encourages us to do better and better, driving us to work all together to take new directions and undertake big proejcts”.

The first major step into a new direction will be the participation in the Salone del Mobile.Milano, “…a strong message, a “debut”, an experience that highlights the close relationship between machinery and design, the bridge between idea and finished product. We will take a place in the big Milan review to show the contribution of technology to living quality, as technology makes beauty repeatable through fast, powerful and flexible solutions, capable of turning even the most gorgeous item, the most elegant piece of furniture, into a product affordable to many more consumers”. 

Primultini closed his speech introducing the second edition of XIA-Xylexpo Innovation Awards, an award dedicated to innovation featuring a jury from academia and professional education, who will select the most innovative products in three categories: “Primary operation”, “Secondary operation” and “Finishing”.


The director of Acimall illustrate the industry’s economic scenario: “The message is clear”, Corbetta said. “Italian companies are still strong, committed, proactive, capable of attracting customers of any size and any product category around the world. 250 companies, including 174 Acimall members. Nine thousand employees, almost 1.8 billion euro turnover, with 75 percent export share and 18 percent share on global production. Significant figures that represent a vital industrial community”.

2015 was a positive year, with production growing up to 1,790 million euro, 7.2 percent more than in 2014. The trend towards pre-crisis levels (in 2008 the Italian industry turnover exceeded 2 billion euro) is apparent and consistent, with export beyond the one billion euro threshold, still the big driver of Italian technology (plus 6.8 percent compared to 2014) and import at 152 billion euro, as much as 22.5 percent more than 124 billion in 2014, for a trade balance that amounts to 1,188 million euro (plus 5 percent).
The domestic market performed well, exceeding 450 million euro up by 8.7 percent from 414 million in 2014. So, also the domestic market is showing a really positive development, further evidence of the effectiveness of Government measures to support investments and a more optimistic business sentiment, encouraging new investments in the upgrade or expansion of production tools.

After highlighting the key contribution of the industry to the Italian trade balance, Corbetta presented the forecasts of the association’s Studies office for the year that has just started: turnover might grow by 5 to 10 percent, an encouraging outlook. Good results are expected in the Usa and Canada, shrinkage on the Russian market, slowdown in China, and substantial stability in EU countries. Expectations are positive also for the domestic market, benefiting from the impact of recent industrial policy measures by the Italian government. These factors should “…give an additional contribution to next Xylexpo, a traditional review of technological excellence and a meeting place for supply and demand”, the Acimall director concluded.


The appreciated, exciting and explosive testimonial of the second edition of XIPC-Xylexpo International Press Conference was Maurizio Riva, co-owner of Riva1920 (, based in Cantù, with his brother Davide. The volcanic entrepreneurs enchanted Italian and international media as he told about his job and the relationship between design, wood and technology, but also the passion that has driven himself and his company to the results everyone knows. The creator of “Pangea”, the huge table that has become of one of most significant symbols of Expo Milano, started by saying that we have to do all we can to lend a hand, working together for the welfare of future generations. 

The carpenter from Cantù, as he loves to call himself, told about his story, his experience, the decision to use wood from sustainable sources or reused materials, to eliminate chemical substances from his production cycles, using essential oils for finishing operations. Total respect for wood, for what it represents, for the stories it tells. “Sometimes, early in the morning, I go to my workshop and I talk to the big Kauri boards we have extracted from the underground in a territory in New Zealand, where they had been buried for almost fifty thousand years, and to all the wood pieces waiting to be processed. And then I look behind my back, hoping nobody heard me...".

Riva stressed the value of collaboration: “Together we can go wherever we want!”, he said. “And we have to do all we can to offer effective training opportunities to young people, bringing them close to our world. And similarly, we have to inform designers, architects and engineers about the opportunities technology can offer.
Without these machines, without the support of numerical control technology, we wouldn’t be where we are today”, Riva concluded.


The press day was completed by the second edition of XIE-Xylexpo Information Event, involving fourteen companies that really believe in working together. These “Top Exhibitors” (Salvador, Emc, Giardina Group, Cefla Group, Scm Group, Homag Italia, Biesse Group, Greda, Incomac, Leuco, Costa Levigatrici, Metal World, Imal, Pal) decided to be sponsors of the day and to leverage the opportunity to meet invited media to preview the new solutions they are exhibiting at FieraMilano-Rho from 24 to 28 May. 

Note: the complete press kit can be downloaded at: