The event was held in Milan on Tuesday 23rd January 2018  to present the next edition of the Biennial world exhibition for woodworking technology and components for the furniture industry (FieraMilano-Rho, 8-12 May 2018)


Here I am again, to introduce the next edition of Xylexpo, the biennial international exhibition of woodworking technology and supplies for the wood and furniture industry. As you know, the event is scheduled next May 8 to 12 at Fieramilano-Rho and will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. The first edition dates back to 1968.


Before we go into details and specific remarks, let me give a warm welcome to all of you in this room.Some of you are coming from far, far away, so thank you for accepting our invitation. We consider it a sign of esteem and friendship, but it is also evidence that Xylexpo has restored its appeal to the global industry media, because Xylexpo is a topic the industry wants to know about.
Such vitality is recognized also by the people sitting here with me today.
So, let me thank MarinellaLoddo of Ice, always standing next to Acimall – the association that organizes Xylexpo – for the promotion of the Italian industry around the world, and for the organization of this press conference.
Thank you to another long-term partner of Xylexpo, I mean Fiera Milano, which have been with us for fifty years.I am really proud to toast to this achievement with their president, professorLorenzo Caprio, welcome from myself and all of us.
These are valuable partnerships, enduring relationships that have supported our story and success.Having success today, in a more and more crowded and often confused trade fair landscape, depends on several factors, some of them really strategic, such as the partnerships with Ice and FieraMilano.


It’s equally strategic to be part of a European entity, a federation that gathers the representatives of European industry associations.And so, thank you Luigi De Vito, EumaboisVice President.


And thank you Federico Rossi, an architect by education and a “technologist”, if you allow this definition, by vocation.He is an architect who has realized the benefits that digitization brings to creation, project and design. Today, he runs an important laboratory at the London Southbank University and you will hear about his experience from his own voice.He is the testimonial we selected for this edition of the press conference, after Paolo Fantoni and Maurizio Riva, with an “Industry 4.0” angle.


And just like two years ago, we are proud to say that Xylexpo is the only Italian event dedicated to technology and supplies for the wood and furniture industry, sponsored by Eumabois, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and Cfi-ComitatoFiereIndustria (Confindustria).


I would also like to thank the sponsors of this day,They are “top exhibitors” of our event, big global groups as well as small and medium companies,So, thank you to all the protagonists of this third edition of Xylexpo Information Event:Leuco, Salvador,Homag Group,Biesse Group,Leitz,Giardina Group,Weinig, Metal World,Scm Group,Greda, Costa Levigatrici and Finiture.


I can tell you that our biennial exhibition – the only industry event in Italy, as I said – has a peculiar feature, i.e. it is organized by an industry association, Acimall, which is the trade unions of entrepreneurs in this industry.It’s a non-profit association on a mission to invest its experience and expertise in the definition of a real “marketplace” where demand and supply can meet effectively, an international showcase, a global review where the Italian industry is in the forefront, but together with all the most important players from several countries around the world.
Our exhibition is not an end, it’s a means to an end, a vehicle to contribute to the success of an industry that ultimately enables the manufacturers of furniture and millions of wood-based goods to improve the lives of their end users.


Fifty years of changes, commitment, vitality, which have resulted into the exhibition we are presenting today and you will not miss to visit next May.An exhibition that, in 2016, at the latest edition, hosted 441 exhibitors on a net exhibition area just abobe 29 thousand square meters, visited by 17,145 operators (exceeding 41 thousand visits in total), 29.1 percent from abroad.The past edition showed the effects of the virtuous circle we have launched: you will all remember the 2012 edition, definitely the less “brilliant” in our history, for many reasons.We learned the lesson, deploying an extensive campaign to bring more international players to Milan from all over the world, which resulted into a sharp increase in visitor figures in 2014 – also following the comeback of a few market leaders, so we convinced many exhibitors that Xylexpo was a “must”. In 2016, with all global leaders attending, things went very well on both sides, with excellent results for the number and quality of exhibitors and visitors.


And how many will be there in May? We are quite optimistic, as we believe that this “virtuous circle” will keep generating positive effects: the current status of registrations is clear and shows a good trend.Until January 16 we finalized the participation of 300 companies for a total net surface of 30,000 square meters, compared to the final result of 29,400 square meters in 2016.


Consequently, we decided to add a fourth hall, as communicated by our press office a few weeks ago, to meet increasing demand by many exhibitors, not only big groups, but also small and medium businesses.


As a result, we will adjust the distribution of product categories and place market leaders in each hall:in hall 1 there will be Biesse Group and Barberan, in hall 2Scm Group, in hall 3HomagGorup and Cefla, in hall 4Weinig and Ima Group.Past solution categories are outdated, as more and more companies, I daresay all of them, have a huge and diversified catalog, addressing small woodworking handicraft workshops up to industry giants that process hundreds of panels at every working shift:also in this respect Xylexpo has made progress, creating a consistent “continuum”, while highlighting the specific features of some industry segments in dedicated areas inside the halls.
Let me go back to visitors to say that this year we have confirmed the decision we made in 2016 to set a price of 15 Euro for the admission ticket, while offering free entrance for preregistered visitors on; this is a valuable piece of information that is worth stressing.


For the third time, our “Xylexpo Award” will be back with its proven formula, a jury of academic and research representatives, plus a new category, so this year there will be four.“Primary operation and solid wood processing”, “Panel processing” and “Finishing” have been added with “Tools”, to acknowledge the peculiarity and richness of an essential element for the overall effectiveness of any technology.


We have worked and are still working hard to offer an exhibition that meets the expectations of our industry.Such commitment is also extended to side events and initiatives.Hall 4 will host Xylexpo Arena, a “conference room” inside the exhibition, launched in 2010 to offer a place for confrontation, discussion and in-depth analysis.This area will feature meetings, presentations, events where exhibitors are in the forefront, together with institutes, research centers and other organization with interesting things to say to our industry.


And of course, we will also celebrate and stand together for some “networking” at the second edition of “The Night of Xylexpo”, a gala evening on the second exhibition day, May 9, for the official distribution of Xylexpo Innovation Awards.


So, before I give the floor to director Dario Corbetta, let me thank you all for your attention and I am looking forward to meeting you from May 8 to 12 at FieraMilano-Rho.


“Xylexpo and the global trends of technologies for the furniture and woodworking industries”




Let me start with an overview of visitors, definitely one of the most critical elements for any exhibition.Well, visitor figures have increased in the past three editions (by 7.1 percent in 2014 and by 14.2 percent in 2016), and we expect to achieve double-digit growth also this year.As President Primultini said, it is clear that the efforts to reposition Xylexpo, combined with an improving economic scenario, have generated a virtuous circle with a clear outline: a quality exhibition focused on secondary operations, capable of involving “big customers” from the global retail and distribution business.


Figures indicate that we are the reference exhibition in Europe in even-numbered years: 71 percent of foreign visitors come from the Old Continent, 20 percent from Asia and Oceania, 6 percent from the Americas.


An interesting element related to the “type” of visitor is that Xylexpo is most attractive for “panel-based” furniture manufacturers (22.3 percent versus 18.7 percent using solid wood), followed closely by machinery and tools trade (196 percent).This means that the project I have just mentioned has been implemented: the “trade” business is attending Xylexpo, because our exhibition is a key event for technology sales, especially for those companies, including most Italian manufacturers, who do not address users directly.


Xylexpo attracts a numerous, interested and qualified audience, coming to Milan as a result of our continuous effort to promote Xylexpo’s contents and potential, in collaboration with Ice and Fiera Milano, which I take the opportunity to thank for long and intensive joint commitment.Briefly stated, this is an exhibition that meets expectations, st edition, revealing that 86 percent of exhibitors is satisfied or very satisfied with the number of visitors and the quality of the event.


An event that, let me say it again, is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is an excellent showcase for industry players willing to operate in the Italian market and to compare all the options offered by the technology portfolios of the world’s leading vendors.


As a matter of fact, Xyexpo is an exhibition of technological relevance.A content-rich, high-quality exhibition focused on industrial manufacturing and smart machines designed to be interactive and to create highly automated production routes.Xylexpo is the home of the “smart factory”, with over 300 technology vendors, most of them from Germany and Italy, which are the two “cradles” of leading-edge solutions for the wood and wood-based materials industry; definitely the only global event in even-numbered years with such a reputation.
And as I mentioned before, this opinion is shared by the trade business: just think that, next May, the Lombardy capital will be visited by agents, representatives, importers and resellers from more than 60 countries.


There is no doubt that, like any other exhibition or business activity around the world, the global economic situation has an impact.We are literally crawling out of the black hole where we had fallen: in recent years, global production is increasing again by approximately 3 percent annually, compared to a substantially stable trend of European economy (plus 1.8 percent in 2018).In the past few years, Italian gross domestic product has been growing too, although a slight reversal is expected in 2018 (plus 1.2 percent versus 1.5 percent in the year just closed).
Another element to be factored in for macroeconomic analysis is Italy’s strong vocation to export in all industrial and economic segments, evidence of the technical and technological resources and expertise of Italian companies.So, fertile ground in a positive season, benefiting from the measures by the Italian government to support investments in leading-edge technology.Facilitations have been extended until the end of 2018, which means Xylexpo will take place right in the middle of a very favorable season for investments, a situation that all exhibitors in Milan will certainly leverage.


Looking specifically at the wood technology industry, I would like to stress that the core businesses of Italian industry are the secondary processing of panels and finishing technology.Our skills in transforming resources we do not own is the best expression of the ingenuity of Italian entrepreneurs, together with taste and surface quality: it’s not mere chance that we are the country of beauty, quality, style and design, envied by the entire world for our leadership in these domains.The woodworking technology industry in Italy is comprised of 250 companies, 150 of them Acimall members;9 thousand employees generating revenues back above 2 billion euro, as we will see later on, with a 75 percent export share.


This is the economic organization that takes part in the global woodworking technology business, playing a leading role together with Germany, with 31 percent and 43 percent shares on European production respectively.
This situation, at least for Italy, is corroborated by the results achieved in 2017: preliminary balance figures indicate that the Italian woodworking machinery industry reached a production value of 2.29 billion euro, up by 11.6 percent from the previous year.Excellent results for export, growing by 7.1 percent to achieve a total value of 1.6 billion euro.Talking about export, it is worth stressing that Italy’s top customers are the United States StatiUniti (165.5 million euro), followed by Germany (105.8 million), Poland (102.4 million) and France (92.5 million).


Also import increased by 10 percent (199 million euro) with a strongly positive trend in the domestic market (695 million euro, plus 13 percent versus 2016), with expectations of further growth in the short and medium term for the reasons we mentioned before:in 2016, Italian users invested 743 million euro, in 2017 the total value went up to 894 million, and in 2018 we expect to get very close to one billion.According to our forecasts, we should reach 983 million, a new record level since 2001, when domestic business amounted to 900 million.


We believe this information is important for all those operating in Italy, which is characterized by significant import volumes, mainly covered by Germany (166 million euro) followed by China (68.7 million), Austria (13.1 million) and Switzerland (10.7 million). It is worth reminding that Italy has more than 40 thousand companies in the wood-furniture value chain, over 360 thousand employees and 30 billion euro turnover.Italy is a demanding customer, looking for effective and innovative technology, willing to have in-depth information before making a purchase decision, by attending events where -as we said before – you can compare all product offers… events like Xylexpo!



The fieramilano exhibition halls


the-big-playersHalls 1 – 3
Technology for panel, solid wood processing and surface finishing, consumables and accessories for the furniture industry


Halls 2 – 4
Technology for panel, solid wood processing and surface finishing; first processing machines; consumable and accessories for the furniture industry