According to the recent monitoring centre of ANIE Automation, the situation for 2018 is in general positive, but for the slowdown of the second part of the year due to the national and global uncertainty.
How is the health of the automation field in Italy? Which trends have to be considered for the future developments?
To provide an overview of the situation of this strategic field for Italy is ANIE Automation, in its monitoring centre published recently considering 2018 data.
The Association is one of the Industry Association of ANIE (Federazione Nazionale delle Imprese Elettrotecniche ed Elettroniche) and includes small and big industries (about 100) developing activities in different business sectors, among which process automation, electric actuations, mechatronics.
From a report on Italian automation, 2018 saw an average increase of 8,4% of the turnover of the associated companies and the positive influence of the digitalisation incentives, started with industry 4.0 and become after that company 4.0, proceeded. However, in the meanwhile a slowdown in the second part of the year occurred, because of the national and general uncertainty. Besides this, the risks connected to the new protectionism, the reduced currency policy and the conflicts in the financial markets.
In spite of the fact that investments have been reduced in the second part of 2018, they gave an important input to the growth. Among the most dynamic sectors the pharmaceutical industry, while the mechanical industry maintained its positive trend even though slowing down.
The industrial automation registered an increase of the turnover of 7,3% and puts in evidence how the technologies of the automation are very important for the manufacturing sector in consideration of 4.0.
An important support to the demand arrived from the first three sectors of technologies for the automation in the Italian market. In details mechanics (20% of the internal turnover), food (9%) and packaging (8%).
Direct exports, always concerning the industrial manufacturing automation, between 2013 and 2018, increased with an average rate of 4%. The main destination markets of the Italian technologies for the industrial automation in Europe are Germany, France, Spain with a rate near to the 30% of the total export.
Then, the main sales channel for components and systems of the industrial automation is the OEM (63%), followed by systems engineers and electric panels (13%) and final users (10%).
First assessments of 2019
Hard to make previsions for the future. The uncertainty is the most suitable word for this first part of the year. Slowdown in Europe are evident. Europe is an important reference market for Italian companies.
The trust of operators in Italy is accompanied by pessimism and, consequently, the slowdown in the investments, which could limit the potential growth of the industry. In fact, they represent a growth engine for the Italian economy also in consideration of the specialization of the manufacturing sector.
The forecast of the Centro Studi Confindustria for automation in Italy shows an undermining due, once more to the more instable macro economical contest and to the actually missing suitable instruments.