Luigi de Vito: Look forward to ‘Industry 5.0’

The Italian company SCM is a technology leader in processing a wide variety of materials: wood, plastic, glass, stone, metal and composites. WoodNews spoke with Luigi De Vito, General Manager of SCM Group and the current President of Eumabois, along with Kunal Roy, the new country manager of SCM India, on their plans for India and the current economic scenario in Europe. Excerpts:

Luigi De Vito (R), President of Eumabois, introduces Kunal Roy (L), the new country manager of SCM India.

Could you fill us in on what has been happening at SCM in the recent past?

Luigi: SCM Group, a specialised conglomerate, which excels in various sectors, notably machinery for working with materials like glass, stone, fiberglass and woodworking. Our comprehensive range of technologies spans from cutting to coating and drilling.

In the context of India’s burgeoning focus on digital innovation and sustainability, IndiaWood holds particular importance. We are dedicated to positioning ourselves as key players in India’s market, and our ambitious growth plan over the next 3 years, led by Kunal, underscores this commitment.

Kunal: As the head of the India region, encompassing India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.

I am excited about our strategic move to establish a subsidiary in Bengaluru. We are very soon launching our office here.

This step reflects our unwavering commitment to the rapidly growing Indian market. With over 70 years of industry experience, coupled with Italian design principles and a deep understanding of human psychology, our primary focus remains on delivering excellent service and user-friendly technology.

Could you share details new machines launched by you at IndiaWood?

Kunal: One of our highlights is the P200, a five-axes machine designed to streamline mass production processes. This machine facilitates drilling, routing and milling without requiring frequent adjustments, thereby significantly reducing production time. I would say it is one of the best machines on the show right now.

Luigi: At SCM, our approach to product innovation prioritises not only introducing new technologies but also ensuring that they are user-friendly. We place a strong emphasis on human-machine interface to simplify complex processes, thereby making our technology advanced yet accessible.

How is the Indian wood industry adapting to technological concepts like Industry 4.0 and IoT?

Kunal: India is gradually embracing Industry 4.0, especially within the woodworking industry. We’ve implemented fully automated factories in Gujarat as a testament to the significance of automation and data accessibility in optimising processes and minimising errors.

This is a starting point where customers are now starting to realise that automation has to become a part of production, making it with technology, using Internet for an easy access of data across organisations.

People can optimise things, understand and relate data. That is very important. We need to move away from manual entry of data. We need more control, we need more automation. I think that is the key to have a sustainable long-term solution, which is in the interest of everybody.

Sustainability is now a key focus area for all industries. What is SCM doing in this regard?

Luigi: In Europe’s Industry 5.0 initiative, technology and sustainability are integrated through a concerted effort. The focus is on developing high-performance machinery with reduced energy consumption.

This is particularly crucial considering the expected growth in energy demand, as seen in India’s projected quadruple growth within the next decade. To address this, our team prioritises software optimisation in manufacturing processes.

By leveraging artificial intelligence, we detect and rectify defects during production, minimising waste and enhancing efficiency. This approach allows operators to concentrate on machine management while technology handles optimisation, fostering innovation and addressing sustainability challenges.

Recycling probably would not really be directly your area of interest, but it is something that cannot be ignored. What is SCM’s view on this?

Luigi: While recycling isn’t our primary focus, we actively collaborate with recycling networks to understand their needs. In Europe’s Industry 5.0 initiative, sustainability is a key focus area.

We collaborate with recycling companies to understand their needs, recognising that only 8.6% of furniture in Europe can currently be recycled due to various factors. The implementation of the ‘Green Deal’ regulation is crucial in this context, aiming to transition Europe into a resource-efficient economy and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This regulation requires compliance with standards throughout the supply chain, including aspects such as glue, materials, edges and energy consumption. I view the regulations as opportunities rather than problems, as they ensure the sustainability of our business for the next 50 years.

Additionally, sustainability for us goes beyond environmental impact; it also involves inclusivity for workers. By simplifying technology, we can employ individuals with varying skill levels, promoting inclusivity. This concept, termed “human simplicity”, is central to our approach and serves as our payoff.

With the current economic downtrend in Europe there are a lot of challenges. How do organisations like Eumabois, of which you are the President, and Acimall, handle the ongoing economic downtrend in Eyurope?

Luigi: Eumabois was born in 1960. It is an organisation with a lot of experience. We prioritise innovation and community building, exemplified by our support for events such as IndiaWood as collaborative partners. We believe in fostering a collaborative environment that drives the industry forward collectively.

Italy’s woodworking machinery sector is thriving, with organisations like Acimall, representing us globally. Events like Xylexpo in Milan provide valuable opportunities to engage with customers and stakeholders from surrounding countries, further solidifying our industry’s position.

Is there a shortage of skilled labour generally in Europe and Italy in particular and how do you plan to address this worrying trend?

Luigi: While Italy has seen improvements in employment levels, addressing labour challenges remains crucial. Our internal initiative, SCM Campus, focuses on training and collaboration with educational institutions to bridge skill gaps and ensure a sustainable workforce.

Kunal: SCM’s Campus initiative offers a diverse range of courses, including digital learning, to enhance skills and track progress effectively. This initiative serves as a valuable resource for industry professionals and newcomers alike, ensuring continued growth and development within the sector.



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