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Good news for the Italian Automation Industry.

Automation: figures from ANIE Automation were recently presented, showing a 4.7 percent increase in member companies’ turnover.

Good news is coming from the world of industrial automation.

This is according to data from ANIE Automazione, which, with its 100 member companies, is the benchmark for companies supplying technology for factory, process and network automation.

The numbers we are talking about are those of theItalian Automation Industry Observatory, recently presented at the SPS IPC Drives exhibition, which show a positive trend in the sector for 2016 as well.

Let us see what are the most significant aspects of this study.

First of all, the numbers say that the increase in the market and turnover of member companies has settled around an average of 4.7 percent, in relation to the technologies and applications represented by ANIE Automazione:

  • Process automation
  • Electric Drives
  • Components and Technologies for Measurement and Control.
  • Mechatronics
  • PLC-I/O
  • Industrial Software
  • Telecontrol, Supervision and Automation of Networks
  • Telematics Applied to Traffic and Transportation
  • UPS – Static Continuity Groups

The aggregate turnover reported for industrial manufacturing and process automation reached 4.3 billion euros, while the industry supplying technology for this sector exceeded the turnover levels expressed in the pre-crisis period by more than 10 percentage points.

The highest growth rates in Italy sales were in Wireless, Remote Control, Brushless Motors and Drives. Total machine tool orders averaged an increase of 1.5 percent.

One of the considerations that emerges concerns domestic demand, which has contributed significantly to the sector’s growth. Of course, foreign countries also played no small role: foreign sales of industrial automation technology increased year-on-year by 2.2 percent. Within this framework, Germany and Spain emerge as the top European markets to which Made in Italy technology offerings are targeted. In non-European markets, on the other hand, the situation remains more unstable, and differential trends have emerged across geographic areas.

According to the latest available data from ISTAT, capital goods exports gained new momentum between late 2016 and early 2017. There are high expectations for the Industry 4.0-related cry launched in recent months that could lend support to innovative technologies.

In short, the balance overall for the industrial automation sector is positive. Fabrizio Scovenna, president of ANIE Automazione, is convinced of this:

Automation is becoming the key element in the industrial revolution, dictated by the principles of Industry 4.0, which is increasingly permeating the global and Italian industrial fabric,” the president argued. In our country, in particular, it ensures a boost to technological innovation, the only driver for manufacturing companies to develop and survive in global markets.”

The present and future will be increasingly geared toward integrating industrial processes with Information Technology, an area, however, that is not without security risks.

“The interaction and exchange of information between the IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operation Technology) worlds,‖ says Scovenna, -will make it possible to identify and implement new business strategies based on unprecedented technological-productive scenarios, but which will also generate significant connectivity risks. That is why Cyber Security becomes a key element that every company or player in the manufacturing world will need to address carefully and securely.”

The solution is an approach that includes risk perception, prevention by taking necessary measures, and responsiveness to these issues. Cyber Security will be the major topic of in-depth study and discussion among the major players in the field.