The Rupp Report: Quo Vadis ITMA Europe?

Everybody who is involved in textile machinery knows that ITMA Europe, as it is known today, will be held from November 12-19, 2015, at Fiera Milano Rho in Milan, Italy. The show will happen later than is usual because from May 1 to October 31, the World Expo is being held at the venue.
Many people in the industry are still wondering if everything will go well later this year in Milan. The Rupp Report has expressed its doubts in some already published reports. Over the past months, lots of information has arrived at the desk of the Rupp Report reporting about all kind of organizational challenges facing ITMA 2015.
Italy Is Inviting
The Rupp Report received an invitation from the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) regarding a press gathering for the international textile media to learn about the forthcoming ITMA 2015. The international textile trade press would receive some firsthand information about the progress of the forthcoming event — at least, that was the guess. The program was very promising. First on the agenda was a visit to Expo Milano. Most of the attending journalists were certain to get some information about the ongoing work for ITMA at this fairground, and possibly visit the halls of ITMA 2015.
Italy Is Successful
The event started with some excitement: The same day, ACIMIT was celebrating its 70 year anniversary with its member companies. This occasion presented the opportunity to shake hands with many Italian industry leaders and friends. ACIMIT can be proud of its achievement: Italian textile machinery sales in 2014 were 2.3 billion euros, with exports accounting for around 1.94 million euros. Exports to Asia amounted to 41 percent in 2014; and exports to Europe 40 percent, with a further 16 percent sold within Italy itself. In the first three months of 2015, sales of Italian machinery within Europe increased by 9 percent; with those to France, up 29 percent; to Germany, up 23 percent; and to Portugal, up by 100 percent.
Exports of textile machinery represent 84 percent, going to some 130 countries. In the first quarter of 2015, Italian exports of textile machines were divided as follows: Asia with 42 percent; followed by Europe with 41 percent; Latin America, with 7 percent; North America, with 5 percent; and Africa, with 5 percent. In the same period, the biggest contribution to Italian exports of textile machinery came from China, valued at 58 million euros. China is followed by Turkey with 47 million euros, Bangladesh with 31 million euros and India with 25 million euros.
Italian textile machinery exports by category for the first quarter of 2015 show the following split: 22 percent spinning machines; 8 percent weaving machines; 14 percent knitting machines; 29 percent dyeing, finishing and printing machines; 24 percent accessories; and 3 percent other machines.
While China remains the biggest destination for Italian machines, exports to the country fell by 25 percent in 2014, and dropped by a further 14 percent in the first three months of 2015. A full recovery in exports to China, however, is anticipated for the remainder of 2015.
Italy Is The Largest Exhibitor
At the press conference, ACIMIT President Raffaella Carabelli said that some 30 percent of the total exhibition space at this year’s ITMA is reserved by Italian machinery manufacturers, which equates to 430 companies occupying 31,000 square meters of space. And she added that this would be an increase of over fifty percent compared to the last ITMA 2011 in Barcelona. The textile machinery sector, Carabelli added, is moving towards more competitive production processes, where reduced production costs, through savings in the consumption of water, energy and raw materials, are combined with greater attention to environmental issues.
Alessandro Liberatori, director of the machinery division of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) in Rome, said in his short speech that Italy is the second largest exporter of machinery in Europe with exports of around 200 billion euros annually. ITA is heavily supporting ACIMIT’s activities. “The role of generating public support for internationalization is our key role, and the support of international fairs is crucial to this,” said Liberatori. “The last ITMA in Barcelona attracted over 100,000 people from 150 countries, and we are sure we can increase this significantly in Milan this year.”
Italy Is Quiet
However, there was no news about forthcoming exhibits at the next ITMA 2015. This was of course no news because no one is disclosing any novelty at the moment. In this context, three specialists from the industry talked about possible news and trends. Mentioned was a detailed history about knitting technology developments by Lonati and Santoni over the past 20 years, yet without mentioning any names.
Another speaker mentioned considerable savings in fabric dyeing in terms of reducing water, energy and dyestuffs consumption, and also of the significance of digital ink-jet printing. As a matter of fact, this technology was driven to a certain extent by Italian technology and provides just-in-time production, low energy consumption, waste reduction and easy operation.
Italy Is Not Responsible
There was still little news about ITMA 2015. The people from ACIMIT are not able to answer questions about it beyond their participation. It is somewhat strange for an old horse of this industry who has attended ITMA shows since 1987 in Paris. For decades, it was virtually common sense for an ITMA in Europe that the corresponding textile machinery association in the host country would help organize the event. However, with the start of ITMA Asia in 2001, this is not the case anymore. ITMA Europe is today organized by a company from Singapore. There is no doubt about it — this company is a professional show organizer. But CEMATEX should ask itself if this is the right way to maintain the high level of ITMA in Europe. The Rupp Report has heard rumors from exhibitors that there are some mainly logistical problems with Milan for ITMA 2015.
Another question mark is also the fact that ITMA Europe 2015 has organized many events during the show. The question remains if exhibitors who pay a lot of money for this event are very happy with the fact that many visitors – and their own people — are absorbed in a lot of events and away from the show floor. Quo vadis ITMA? Where are you going?

ITMA Year City
1 1951 Lille, France
2 1955 Brussels, Belgium
3 1959 Milan, Italy
4 1963 Hanover, Germany
5 1967 Basel, Switzerland
6 1971 Paris, France
7 1975 Milan, Italy
8 1979 Hanover, Germany
9 1983 Milan, Italy
10 1987 Paris, France
11 1991 Hanover, Germany
12 1995 Milan, Italy
13 1999 Paris, France
14 2003 Birmingham, England
15 2007 Munich, Germany
16 2011 Barcelona, Spain
17 2015 Milan, Italy
18 2019 ??????????