MECSPE Observatory: manufacturing, first four months holds up and many entrepreneurs focus on growth

MECSPE and METEF, the two trade fairs organized by Senaf at BolognaFiere until June 11, have been inaugurated today; more than 2,000 companies are involved

Milan, June 09, 2022 – Our country’s industrial sector is facing many challenges at this time, both due to geopolitical crises and difficulties in the supply of raw materials. However, the latest Istat data show a 6.2 percent increase in GDP over the same period of 2021 and beyond. Industry sales also grew in March (+21.4% over March 2021), reaching the highest level ever. So, Italian manufacturing does not intend to stop: on the contrary, industry players will come together again at the 20th edition of MECSPE – the exhibition of manufacturing and technological innovations for industry and for the new edition of METEF – the international aluminium expoboth organized by Senaf and scheduled to take place in BolognaFiere from today until June 11, with more than 2,000 exhibitors.

In early 2022, rising energy costs and increasing raw material prices had a medium to high impact on 88% of manufacturing SMEs . Fortunately, so far, seemingly this situation has not had a major impact on turnover in the first 4 months, which is up for almost seven out of ten entrepreneurs over the same period of last year. This is the case  also for the order book, which is in even better shape than last year’s first four months  (78% consider it adequate), and on the related level of satisfaction with the company’s current performance, which is positive in 63% of cases. On the contrary, the main effects include rising prices of finished products and delivery delays , as well as partly undermining the level of confidence in the market in general (39% vs. 48% at the beginning of the year) and especially in the international economic scenario, which plummeted from 35 to 17 percent.

This is what emerges from Senaf ‘s MECSPE Observatory on the first four months of 2022[1], as presented today by Stefano Cattorini, Director General of the BI-REX Competence Center, during the opening conference of MECSPE and METEF, which was also attended by xxx  , Minister of Economy and Finance,  xxx      , xxx of Confindustria, Vincenzo Colla, Councillor for Economic Development of the Emilia Romagna Region, Giovanni Mantovani, General Manager Veronafiere, Gianpiero Calzolari, Chair of BolognaFiere and Ivo Nardella, Chair of Senaf – Tecniche Nuove Group.

The outlook for the future, which looked even brighter in recent months, remains positive anyway. The expected  turnover at the end of the year is stable or growing for 80 percent of companies, although not as much as forecasted at the beginning of the year (-9 p.p.). Same for overall market trends over the next three years: where only one-fifth of the sample expects a decline. These are entrepreneurs who, in spite of everything, do not stop believing and continue to focus on growth, which is expected to occur as early as the next two years (71 percent), in terms of increasing size or expanding production into new sectors, or focusing on internationalization. Almost a fourth is also considering M&A (acquisitions and/or mergers) transactions within the next two years.

However, doing all this requires certain skills and capabilities in order to embark on a major digital transformation journey, also in view of the boost that the NRP could give to the country’s economy. More than half of the entrepreneurs believe that their staff’s skill set is in line with the company’s growth needs; in particular, 59 percent have already trained or hired staff with adequate training to cope with the 4.0 transformation in the company. A positive figure, but with wide margins for improvement. It is precisely on training that the Competence Centres established by the MISE with the aim of supporting companies in the revolution in the key of 4.0 Industry  , can provide valuable support for the growth of the sector, although to date the centres are still little exploited by companies (only by 8 percent).

Again with a look at digital growth, driven especially by the 42 percent of SMEs, what are the main investments in technology expected for 2022? The most notable are those in cybersecurity (43 percent), although only 18% of the sample say they have actually experienced a cyber-attack on their systems before; collaborative robotics (26 percent); and cloud computing.

With regard to the topic of the moment, namely the industry’s impact on the environment, four out of ten companies say they are sustainable, and in general, SMEs pay great attention to energy-efficient devices (58 percent), efficient and next-generation machinery (43 percent) and the reuse of waste materials with a view to circular economy (28 percent).

Quote from Councillor Vincenzo Colla

Quote from MEF

Quote from Confindustria

Quote from Gianpiero Calzolari

“MECSPE and METEF are taking place at a time when companies need to discuss sector innovation to improve their processes, with a view to digitization and sustainability and to seize opportunities in view of PNRR funds that could give a boost to the country’s entire economy, Ivo Nardella, president of Senaf, Tecniche Nuove Publishing Group, said. „In recent years the industry has completely changed, today it is more technological and closer to young people, as is the market, which is more responsive and global, and this is why the internal competencies of companies must be adapted to cope with new, continuously evolving scenarios. With the new edition, we wanted to devote more attention to 4.0 training for the digital factory, a priority theme for business growth, thanks to the support of the Competence Centres set up by MISE and the many companies that have given life to the core MECSPE LIVE ACADEMY exhibition. Against this background, our collaboration with BolognaFiere has enabled us to establish ourselves more and more as a leading international event for the entire industry.”



The Numbers of MECSPE and METEF

92,000 square metres of exhibition space, 2,000 square metres of the Cuore Mostra MECSPE LIVE ACADEMY, 16 special initiatives and conferences.


MECSPE Exhibitions

Machines and Tools – Machine tools, Equipment, Tools and Design Software; Machines, Materials and Sheet Metal  Working – Bending, Stamping, Cutting, Assembly, Welding, Materials and Software; Digital Factory – Industrial Informatics, IoT, Industrial Sensing, Cloud-manufacturing, Automatic Identification Technologies, Applications, Devices, Instrumentation and Intelligent Components for Process Interpretation and Interconnection; Logistics – Packaging, Packing, Handling, Material handling, Lean manufacturing, Warehouse management software, Supply chain management, Safety systems, PPE, Outsourcing; Mechanical Subcontracting – Precision mechanical processing, Metal carpentry, Mechanical construction, Fasteners, Foundries, Small parts, Wire processing, Contract industrial processing, Micromachining; Electronic subcontracting – Cem (contract electronics manufacturer), Wiring harnesses, Ems (electronics manufacturing service), PCB (printed circuit board manufacturers), Engineering and design offices; Eurostampi, Machines and plastic, rubber and composites subcontracting – Plastics, rubber and composites processing, Machines and plants, Auxiliary equipment, Innovative materials, Moulding, Extrusion, Packaging, Blowing, Moulds, Models, Standardised components for moulds, Design, Simulation and design software, Micromachining; Additive Manufacturing – 3D printing, Rapid prototyping, Rapid Manufacturing, Systems and services for reverse engineering, Additive technology, Materials, Services, Hardware: 3D printers and scanners, accessories, Simulation and design software; Treatments and Finishes – Surface Treatment Plants, Furnaces, Electroplating, Chemical and Electronic Processes, Washing, Metallization, Enamelling, Galvanizing, Products and accessories for treatments, Heat Treatments, Painting; Non-Ferrous Materials and Alloys – Processing of non-ferrous materials (Aluminium, Titanium, Magnesium, Light Alloys), Die Castings, Foundries, Contract Industrial Processing, Technologies, Design, Engineering; Automation and Robotics – Automation and Robotics, Assembly, Assembly and Handling; Control and Quality – Certification and quality control, Metrology, Measuring instruments, Laboratory testing, Calibration, Analytical equipment, Vision; Power Drive – Mechanical power transmission devices, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Mechatronics, Motion control, Maintenance, Compressed air.

For further information visit www.mecspe.com.



Raw Materials|Die casting | Non-Ferrous Foundry | Ferrous Foundry | Extrusion | Rolling | Engineering and Simulation |Finishing and Processing | Recycling 


METEF, the international exhibition for aluminium, metal foundry and innovative materials technologies, launched for the first time in Italy in 1997 by Alfin-Edimet, is now in the portfolio of an equal joint venture of Veronafiere and BolognaFiere, and stands as a leading event in the international metallurgical segment, updated in concept, structure and location. METEF, whose organisation is entrusted to Senaf, will be held at the same time as MECSPE, the reference event for the manufacturing industry in Italy. The organisational and structural innovations of the new METEF aim at enhancing the role played in the global market by a sector which is is extraordinarily important from the social and economic point of view  such as metallurgy and advanced light metal manufacturing. This segment has been undergoing significant development and is already generating a turnover for the whole sector of over 40 billion euros in our country.

For further information visit www.mecspe.com.


For further information

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[1] Methodological note: the MECSPE Observatory was conducted by GRS Ricerca e Strategia (research and strategy) on a sample of 514 Italian manufacturing companies, using the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing) method.