Exports are soaring and Marco Calcagni, Acimga president for the coming biennium, speaks passionately about the challenges to be faced in order to foster the growth of the segment (and the country). And he explains, today more than ever, why participation is so important.
Elena Piccinelli

According to the calculations of the Acimga Study Office, the packaging and print-graphics machinery producers have filed away a record 2012, with turnover at over 2 billion euro (+9.1%) and exports growing by 11% (now 82.7% of the total, hence back to pre 2008 levels).
But it is not all downhill and, in particular, the Italian domestic market is still lacklustre. It is in this context that the association announces its new appointments, Felice Rossini’s term of office having lapsed, Marco Calcagni, business manager of Omet, has been elected as president. Who, with “the passionate calm” that distinguishes him, explains to us how he interprets his mandate, in the light of the general economic situation and the performance of the segment.

The prime task of an entrepreneurial association is to promote the growth of the sector; what undertakings, in your opinion, are needed to stimulate a domestic market that is lagging and to support the good run of exports?
Aboveall, without a coordinated action between the productive and political world we will not manage to achieve important and stable results, neither in Italy nor abroad. But it is not easy to get the Government to listen to you and understand you, and hence it is necessary that the single producers associate and the selfsame associations confederate. The good result of the long and tenacious work of sensitization carried out by Acimga as part of Federmacchine and that has led to the refinancing of the relief for investments in instrumental goods (law 1329/65 Sabatini), oxygen in the lungs of the entire manufacturing system, is proof of this. Having said this, personally I don’t see how we can start up a serious policy of supporting consumption, capable of setting off industrial production again, without solving our structural problem, like the excessive taxation and bureaucracy, the unsustainability of many structures and the persistent lack of investment in young people. Who in fact go abroad, depriving us of their enthusiasm, their skills and capabilities and their capacity to see things in a different light.

As far as exports are concerned, it is indeed true that they constitute the main growth driver in our segment, but it is also true that we are forced to measure up to technologically evolved western competitors (a lot more organized and cohesive than we are) as well as the operators of the emerging economies, who are speedily improving their supply capacity and that can still count on low production costs. Here too hence, in my opinion we should join together and work in order to valorize Italian products, or that is our special and very much appreciated technical and entrepreneurial approach.
On both fronts, in Acimga we are putting together an intense program of undertakings that – I am convinced – will give a concrete contribution to the support for the sector.

Representing a varied group like that of the Italian machine builders is no easy task…
Indeed so: it is a matter of piecing together the needs and demands, very often different, of small-to-medium-sized concerns, as well as overcoming that typically Italian resistance to organized representation. In my opinion though it can and indeed it has to be done. The experience within the association offers entrepreneurs and managers a precious chance of meeting and exchanging experiences that allow both people and companies to grow; once you have tried it out, you can no longer do without it. The same thing happened to me, and by assiduously frequenting the most lively international bodies I learned a series of things. For example, that promoting informal relations between members, to stimulate a more personal encounter and exchange, generates a sense of belonging and considerably increases the degree of participation at the institutional encounters. I have no doubts, this revitalizes programs and projects, leading to the renewal of companies and the sectors they belong to in cascade form.

The signs from the global economy are contrasting; machine builders are continuing to enjoy success and good results but, at the same time, many companies are in crisis and find it hard to focus on new strategies. What future lies ahead for the segment?
A future of development provided that one realizes that the world is changing and that one grasps the direction it is heading, consequently modifying the offer instead of clinging to the past… Things will surely be tougher for those who serve publishing and the print and graphic arts segments, and “easier” for those that operate in the packaging and converting sector that, at a global level, continues to grow alongside the growth in consumption and the spread of modern retail.
In a Darwinian way I would say “it is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the species that responds best to change”.                                 

ACIMGA: appointments 2013-2014
In the biennium 2013-2014 Marco Calcagni (Omet) will be supported by Aldo Peretti (Uteco Converting) in the role of vice president and Guido Corbella, confermed secretary general.
The Steering Committee is made up of Ugo Barzanò, past president (IMS Deltamatic), Silvana Canette past president (Flexotecnica), Felice Rossini past president (Rossini), Daniele Barbui (ACE of Barbui Davide&Figli), Alberto Brivio (BP Agnati), Giovanni Cama (Cason), Alfredo Cerciello (Nordmeccanica), Costanza Cerutti (Cerutti Packaging Equipment), Fabrizio Della Casa (Sitma Machinery), Giorgio Petratto (Petratto). Board of Arbitrators: Giulio Falcinelli, Carlo Grignolio, Gianfelice Scovenna. Reporting Accountants: Fiorino Bellisario (Bizzozero Mica), Pierangelo Colombi, Sante Conselvan (Gama).