Milan show shines spotlight back on Italy

Some of the many Indian visitors to the Milan trade fair gather for a chat at the SCM Group’s stall.

The 27th edition of Xylexpo, the biennial international exhibition of technology for the wood and furniture industry, closed after four busy days in Halls 22 and 24 of FieraMilano-Rho.

According to the organiser, satisfaction was tangible from the very start, supported by the desire to restore personal meetings and handshakes, which ultimately translated into positive figures for the exhibition.

Satisfaction was also supported by the fact that Xylexpo 2022 was probably the only post-pandemic exhibition that has achieved a number of unique visitors, in line with the last pre-Covid-19 event in 2018.

The share of international visitors decreased, from 28% in 2018 to 25% in 2022. But this was in line with the expectations of the organisers, due to the closure of markets like China, Russia and Ukraine, traditionally more interested in Italian woodworking technology.

Xylexpo 2022 was held alongside Viscom Italia, a digital communication show, and 33.Bimu, the exhibition organised by the Italian machine tools, robots and automation systems manufacturers’ association. According to the organiser, Xylexpo 2022 alone recorded more than 16,000 unique visitors.

According to Luigi De Vito, President of the exhibition and of Acimall, the figures have confirmed not only the role of Xylexpo, but also the re-designing of the layout. “The focus this time was on the elements that will be the pillars of future exhibitions: a different strategy in product presentation and a strong focus on new digital services that can only expand the scope and function of this exhibition,” he said.

Xylexpo ‘Oscars’

The XIA-Xylexpo Innovation Awards, a traditional event, were judged and rated in five categories: solid wood, panels, finishing, digitalisation and sustainability. The winners were awarded the Xylexpo “Oscar”, a dwarf designed in 2014 by Elio Fiorucci for Riva 1920.

The award for the ‘Solid Wood Processing’ category went to Paoletti Energy for its gluing system, Iglueing PUR Hyper. It was found to be an innovative system for the application of polyurethane adhesives in finger jointing, with massive reduction of applicator cleaning time, more efficient use of adhesive, and easy integration with several machines.

In the ‘Panel Processing’ category, the jury decided to reward two solutions: ‘Hand Guard’ by Altendorf in Minden (Germany) and ‘Blade Off’ by SCM in Rimini. The innovations revolved around a significant improvement of operator safety in machines, “potentially applicable also to other types of machines”, the jury opined.

In the ‘Finishing’ category, the automatic spraying machine, Excellent Cm80 by Makor was declared the winner. Its innovative features include enhanced belt conveyor cleaning, greater efficiency in paint use, and more effective overspray recovery.

The ‘Digitalisation’ award went to the ‘Digital Factory’ system of the SCM Group. This eco-system helps capture information and data from a production environment and up to after-sales, the jury stated. “It enables the OEM to leverage new business models in line with the current market trends.”

The award for the ‘Sustainability’ category went to the wood dust extractor by Spänex (Germany). Energy saving, environmental protection and the integration with existing recycling systems were recognised as environmental benefits.

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