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.

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.

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 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. Click here to read it online.
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.


Machines Italia Article on CME's 20/20 Magazine

A sneak preview of the Machines Italia article featured in the May/June 2011 issue of 20/20 Magazine.  The magazine is published by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and the May/June 2011 issue will be distributed at the CME's Global Forum in Ottawa next June.

Machines Italia Spring 2011 Magazine Now Available

The latest issue of Machines Italia examines how North American companies are using Italian Machinery to overcome 21st Century challenges by using great design and creative problem solving. Areas covered in this issue are addressing assembly challenges with advanced technologies; improving asset-management features and supplying equipment for asset-management technology; handling operational challenges on the production floor, and much more!

Powerful Performance Measures (Best Business Practice Guide)

An executive primer to performance measures that drive improvement

Every organization has its favorite metrics - measurements that gauge control, progress, and success.  At a world-class organization, these measures serve as a common "performance language" that links corporate strategy, divisional goals, plant targets, departmental budgets, and individual incentives into a unified, results-oriented system.  But at a mediocre or failing organization, these measures usually turn into management babble and confusion - reams of records and disjointed findings tracked simply because "that's what we've always done."  Metrics at these organizations become straitjackets - restraints that actually waste resources, aggravate employees, and block improvement.