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Italian Textile Machinery Orders on the Upswing in 2017

The orders index for textile machinery compiled by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, rose 29 percent for the period from October to December 2017 compared to the same period for the previous year.

The index value, which has a basis of 100 established in 2010, stood at 120.9 points. The growth rate affected both foreign markets, for which the index registered an absolute value of 128 points, up 23 percent, and the domestic market in Italy, which saw an increase of 72 percent compared to the period from October to December 2016, for absolute value of 94.5 points.

On an annual basis, the index registered an average increase of 18 percent compared to 2016. Domestic orders were up 36 percent, a significant rise that stands to confirm the effectiveness of the government’s measures to support investments by Italian manufacturers, ACIMIT said. Foreign markets also registered a substantial increase in orders for the entire year of 16 percent.

Alessandro Zucchi , president of ACIMIT, said, “The orders index for 2017 confirms that our sector is in good health, with a production trend that has been growing since 2015.”

Based on updated data for the first nine months of 2017, Italian exports increased 10 percent compared to the same period in 2016, with solid performances by Italian businesses in the industry in all major markets. In Italy, the measures envisaged in the National Industrial Plan 4.0 were responsible for launching purchases of advanced machinery, ACIMIT noted.

The plan, launched last year, offers tax incentives to the industrial sector to encourage competitiveness and investment in innovation.

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“The textile sector is currently constrained, more than ever before, to attentively look into the applications offered by Industry 4.0,” Zucchi said. “Demand in the industry is evolving continuously and the concept of time-to-market is taken to extremes, so that the required production processes must be just as fast and interconnected to meet the demands of end consumers. Nonetheless, it would have been difficult to imagine such a significant leverage effect from the 4.0 incentives.”

[Read more about Industry 4.0: Lectra Looks to Put Industry 4.0 on Fast Track for Fashion]

ACIMIT represents an industrial sector comprising around 300 manufacturers, employing close to 12,000 people and producing machinery for an overall value of about 2.7 billion euros, with exports amounting to more than 85 percent of total sales. Italy’s textile machinery is known for its creativity, sustainable technology, reliability and quality.

In November, ACIMIT opened the Italian training center for textile machinery at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in Vietnam, which Zucchi said “provides a further opportunity to consolidate the presence of Italy’s textile machinery sector in this emerging market.”

Financed by the Ministry for Economic Development, as part of the Extraordinary Program for the promotion of Made in Italy – Country Project Vietnam, the project intends to support the development of the local textile industry through the realization of a technology center, specifically for the production of men’s socks and hosiery, outfitted with a complete line of Italian machinery and equipment.

The Vietnamese market represents the eighth largest destination for Italian exports, with textile machinery constituting the primary export sector to Vietnam among the various machinery types.