Acimga forecasts negative 2020, rise in 2021

Acimga’s General Meeting elects 4 new board members

Acimga’s president Aldo Peretti Photo Acimga
Acimga’s president Aldo Peretti Photo Acimga

In 2019 the printing, packaging and converting machinery sector closed with a slight decline. 2020 is expected to be negative, but 2021 will be on the rise, says Italian Manufacturers association.

On 1 July 20202, Acimga (Italian Manufacturers Association of Machinery for the Graphic, Converting and Paper industry) brought together in an online meeting its associates to elect four new board members and to discuss and illustrate the sector’s balance for 2019, and the prospects for the next two years. Saverio Lombardini (Ims Technologies), Giorgio Petratto (Petratto), Andrea Dallavalle (Koenig & Bauer), and Emilio Della Torre (Simec Group) joined the General Council, in addition to President Aldo Peretti and the vice presidents, as well as past presidents and representatives from the product groups (rotogravure, non-woven, tissue, and corrugated cardboard).

According to Acimga, the Italian graphic, converting and paper machinery industry closed 2019 with a decrease of 1.6% compared to 2018, which ended with a positive figure of 5.6%. The sector was penalized by a contraction in exports (-8.5%), while national deliveries held strong, growing almost 11 points (10.9%). The industry again confirms a strong export tendency in 2019, with 60% of sales deriving from international sales.

2020 negative due to Covid-19

Looking at the future, 2020 for the Italian sector will close with a negative number, due to Covid-19. The value of production (a parameter differing from that of turnover, used for Acimga’s study center projections based on data from the International Monetary Fund, historical data from UN Comtrade, Eurostat and the US Census Bureau) will fall by 14.8%, to rise again by 7.4 percentage points in 2021. However, in terms of turnover, we expect to see a decrease by 20-25% this year, in line with the other machine production sectors in Italy. This trend will be [reflected in] all global trade in printing, packaging and converting machines, falling, in production value, by 12.9% in 2020 and rising by 9.2% in 2021.

“Even though ours was listed among the essential industry segments and therefore allowed to continue work and production,” – explains Acimga’s president Aldo Peretti – “lockdown has still shut borders, penalizing a sector like ours that exports most of its production. But our association didn’t stand still. This year’s Print4All Conference, focused on smart manufacturing and sustainability, was an international appointment for the whole supply chain, allowing all the players to take stock of the situation and start again.

“We also announced the new dates of the Print4All fair (3-6 May 2022 – again part of The Innovation Alliance), ready for the future. With this in mind, we will continue to engage in Industry 4.0 training and, at the same time, develop and promote our technologies with product groups (rotogravure – non-woven – tissue – corrugated cardboard).”

Acimga’s Roto4All in Florence 23 October 2020

Peretti continued, “The next scheduled event is Roto4All, the first Italian event on rotogravure held in Florence on 23 October. In the meantime, we are expanding our strategic collaborations. We joined Intergraf (the European federation for print and digital communication), and we are continuing our commitment within Federmacchine and Federazione Carta e Grafica, while also working in collaboration with Argi — National Association of Graphics Industry Suppliers, our partners in the Print4All trade show. I thank all of the Acimga members, who always show great participation and commitment in membership life, and I wish all the best to the new board members, with whom it will be a pleasure to work with for the benefit of our industry.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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