On October 15, the 27th edition of Xylexpo, the biennial international exhibition of technology for the wood and furniture industry, closed with great satisfaction after four busy days at the FieraMilano-Rho Exhibition center in Milan, Italy. 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.
Xylexpo 2022 was attended by more than 16 thousand unique visitors, a figure that reaches up to over 22 thousand visits. Out of 16 thousand unique visitors, 12,356 were recorded at the entrance turnstiles. For the first time this year, the biennial exhibition of wood and furniture technology was held concurrently with the digital communication show and, leveraging a much more effective synergy, with the machine tools exhibition. The two events dedicated to manufacturing technology really created a virtuous circle, generating an impact that was immediately clear to the organizers during the exhibition days, and already announced in the preregistration phase, when most visitors had declared their intention to visit the parallel show.
Satisfaction was also supported by the fact that Xylexpo is probably the only post-pandemic exhibition that has achieved a number of unique visitors in line with the last pre-Covid event in 2018. Capital caught up with Piero Borroni, Xylexpo Marketing Officer to talk about the significance of the exhibition. Excerpts;
Capital: What is the significance of this exhibition to the industry?
Piero Borroni: The significance of Xylexpo is very important for the entire wood industry. Xylexpo is probably the only worldwide post-covid event that was able to attract a large number of visitors not only from Italy but also from abroad. We must also not forget that the technologies for woodworking belong to the broader sector of the capital goods industry, a highly developed production system in Italy, and this is a further added value for Xylexpo.
Capital: How do you see the technological advances of Italian companies compared with other countries?
Piero Borroni: In the field of woodworking technologies, Italy is one of the most important producers in the world. The technological supremacy therefore belongs to us by right, because the sector has years of experience behind it in the design of machines and systems, of experimentation, in order to find more and more innovative solutions to be made available to the wood industry.
Capital: When we see Africa, most industrial machines are kind of manual, your machines are cutting edge technology of the wood industry. How can you integrate the two so that you can transfer technology?
Piero Borroni: The integration of manual machines with automated ones can occur when the production volumes of any product, in perspective, can grow, consequently the needs change. But to do this, it is necessary to increase investments.
Capital: How do you see the potential of Africa and specifically East Africa?
Piero Borroni: It is very difficult to make predictions, the potential could also be there, what is strongly needed is above all political, social and economic stability. With these three conditions everything would be much easier.
Capital: When do you think Africa will be your major market?
Piero Borroni: The whole African continent will acquire more and more importance in the long term. The Italian companies that produce wood technologies, to a small extent, already export to some countries, especially in the African Mediterranean belt and some already sell in the sub-Saharan area.
Capital: What is Africa’s role in your wood industry?
Piero Borroni: Africa mainly supplies raw material, that is wood to be processed, but also supplies semi-finished wood products in quantity. What we all hope is that it will also become a market for finished wood products, hence furniture, only in this way can the entire continent be able to define itself as a large mature market.
Capital: Climate change is a major issue nowadays, how are you dealing with it?
Piero Borroni: Every industrial sector of whatever country it belongs must do its part so that the climatic upheavals do not get the better of man. In our sector the eyes are mainly focused on the development of systems that optimize production cycles, so as not to waste raw material unnecessarily and on plants that produce energy, using wood waste, which pollute less and less.