Issuu on Google+

TECHNOLOGY FOR EXCELLENCE

TECHNOLOGY FOR EXCELLENCE

THE ITALIAN EDGE


CREDITS All rights reserved This publication is a project by: The Italian Trade Commission – ICE

Rome Project Coordinator: Matteo Picariello

Chicago Team: Josephine Albanese, Corrado Cipollini, Bart Pascoli, Kate Roberts and Christopher Thompson

Production: EMC / Il Sole 24 Ore Juliet Faber

Translation Team: Brigitte Auteri, Giorgio Di Berto, Susan Chandler, Ruari McCallion, Miron Stefan and John Venerella

Chicago Project Coordinator: Pasquale Bova

Editorial: Nova Lab / Il Sole 24 Ore

Graphic Design: EMC / Il Sole 24 Ore Pier Paolo Bozzano

© 2009 The Italian Trade Commission The editorial content of "The Italian Edge: Technology for Excellence" (including, without limitation, all information pertaining to the persons and organizations referenced therein, financial projections, analysis, research, conclusions and opinions) has been prepared by and represents the sole and exclusive work product, representations, views, conclusions and opinions of Nova Lab/Il Sole 24 Ore. The Italian Trade Commission disclaims and shall not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, quotations, citations or statements of fact made by Nova Lab/II Sole 24 Ore. You should not rely on "The Italian Edge: Technology for Excellence" for investment, tax or business planning advice. The “The Italian Edge: Technology for Excellence” is not produced, commissioned, sponsored or endorsed by any of the persons or entities referenced or depicted therein. All rights reserved. "The Italian Edge: Technology for Excellence" is subject to, without limitation, the copyright laws of the United States, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and the Universal Copyright Convention.

Printed by: Meridian Printing

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, now known or hereinafter conceived, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Italian Trade Commission.


PRESENTATION Umberto Vattani

INTRODUCTION The tecnology behind “Made in Italy”

MACHINES TO EXCEL (MACHINE TOOLS)

The machine for bending tubes

From the shoe to the lamp: The uses and traditions of tools

Life saver: Equipment that tests dialysis pumps

The leading 400

The machine that wears shoes

Four wheels that never need towing

11 13 14 18 20 23 24 27 28 30

1

400

FOREWORD Nouriel Roubini

TABLE OF CONTENTS

5


THE STORIES ELICA

SHAPING MATERIALS (MACHINES FOR PLASTIC)

40 42

THE STORIES ARTEMIDE

ALL-ITALIAN BIOTECH (BIOTECHNOLOGIES)

THE ELEMENTS OF “MADE IN ITALY” (THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY)

Italian design in the pharmaceutical lab: The taxol molecule - Research and pharmacy

43

The machine that molds toothbrushes

The leading 300

The machine that packages food

The machine that produces the parts for the Fiat 500

36

300

6

34 44 46 50 54 56


The Mater-Bi niche: Total biodegradability

When bacteria take care of restoration

How chemistry applied to the construction industry made its appearance at Beijing 2008

Chemicals, plastics, and fibers

THE STORIES MAPEI

MACHINES THAT MOLD BEAUTY

Glass The aesthetics and energy of a material

Ceramics and marble Workmanship of the past, techniques of the present

Footwear Italy, the world player

Textiles The history, the challenges, and globalization

58 60 62 64 66 70 72 74 78 80

2

7


8

Food Secrets from the land of good food

Wood New generation, ancient origins

THE STORIES COTONIFICIO ALBINI

THE STORIES ACQUA DI PARMA

THE STORIES LORO PIANA

THE STORIES VIBRAM

THE STORIES FERRAGAMO THE STORIES NEXT TECHNOLOGY TECNOTESSILE Società Nazionale di Ricerca r.l. THE STORIES ILLYCAFFÈ

THE STORIES DONNAFUGATA

84 88 90 94 96 100 104 108 110 114


THE STORIES ARNALDO CAPRAI

MACHINES FOR TRAVELING (NOT JUST STYLE, BUT ENGINES)

THE STORIES MICRO-VETT

THE STORIES DAINESE

THE STORIES DALLARA

THE STORIES DUCATI

THE STORIES FERRETTI

List of Associations

List of Companies

3

118 122 124 126 130 134 138 142 143 9


W

ithin its borders Italy contains a universe of trades and arts. It is a country of artisans who give life to the ideas in their head by working with their hands. Behind “Made in Italy” shoes, or cars, or design, there hides a web of production composed of many smaller traditions. This web is an enormous asset for Italy and is a fundamental part of the country’s economy. This way of working is characterized by the many clusters of small and medium-sized companies distributed throughout Italy. It would be a mistake, however, to believe that behind all Italian products there are only small workshops. The true strength of “Made in Italy” — the thing that gave international recognition to the workmanship and art demonstrated by Master Geppetto, the father of living puppet Pinocchio—is technology. Manual craftsmanship has become integrated with high technology equipment to allow customization in style, and give the same, if not better, precision in the process of manufacturing. Constant emphasis on research allows today’s Italian industries to rely on highly sophisticated machinery and production means. It is from this fertile terrain that the technical knowledge and potential behind “Made in Italy” flow and is the reason it is known globally as a mark of superior quality. It is thanks to the manufacturing hotbeds and small to medium enterprises that, despite the recession, Italy has retained its prominent position in the international arena. According to the European Commission, clusters (defined as highly specialized production systems that are largely unique in a given geographical area) in Italy have maintained a strong position as they create jobs, increase export levels, and foster innovation. Italian clusters provide an interesting production mix: they do not concentrate only on machine building, as in Germany, and they do not focus exclusively on traditional goods, as in Spain. Here are a few examples to illustrate the efficiency of “Made in Italy”

14

THE ITALIAN EDGE


INTRODUCTION THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND “MADE IN ITALY” products. In the automotive sector, the most important cluster in Europe is in Stuttgart, Germany (136,353 employees), followed immediately by the one in Piedmont (85,915 employees). In the field of mechatronics, however, Italy is the leader in Europe: the most important area is in Lombardy (90,283 employees), followed by Stuttgart (82,471), Emilia-Romagna (60,723), and the Veneto (43,931). “The entire electronic components industry is extremely well-placed and very strong,” confirms Angelo Airaghi, president of the R&D Commission of ANIE (the Italian Federation of Electrotechnical and Electronic Industries). The components industry is a network of suppliers

On the left, the Fiat 500 attracts numerous visitors during the first public weekend of the 79th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, March 8, 2009 (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi) Above, detail of the vehicle’s offside fender

15


and subcontractors who work on commission and who invest continually in innovation. This is witnessed by cases like Comerson, the company that has developed software capable of reconstructing details of images captured by video surveillance equipment. Another example is Magneti Marelli, which has pursued numerous lines of research on vehicle telematics products in the automotive field. The outcomes of this research have had applications for brakes, lights, and, most recently, for power steering. Furthermore, Lombardy also ranks top in Europe by number of employees (166,590) in the machine building sector. The metalworking and mechanical engineering industry is another interesting example: the 232,000 companies involved represent 4.5% of all the businesses in Italy, but account for 7.6% of Italy’s economy. These figures only partially reflect the constant work being carried out by thousands of engineers and technicians who daily try to adapt new technologies to the diverse production needs of Italian companies. According to information from ISTAT (National Institute of Statistics), in Italy there are 38 mechanical industry districts, or areas in which “a community of people and a population of industrial companies are mutually integrated.” Each is in service to the other; each exists as a function of the other. Mechanical industry districts are located mainly in the northwestern (17) and northeastern (16) areas of the country. These districts owe their vitality to the close ties they have developed with other large production sectors in Italy, such as the automotive and faucet industries. We should also note the significant contribution from builders of machines and materials for foundries made through export. This sector of the Italian mechanical industry, represented by Amafond, earns 70% of its profits from foreign sales – one of the

16

highest percentages compared to other divisions of the machine building industry. Yet it is made up of only 84 companies, with around 8,000 employees. The data relating to these companies export figures attest to the quality of Italy’s production system. They also showcase how much value the Italian sector has contributed on an international scale. But even beyond this, they underline the importance of craftsmanship as the central element in what it means to be Italian, harmoniously representing a culture of sustainable industry based on local specialism. Through all of this runs one common theme: the capacity for technological innovation.

Above: A decorated area within the headquarters of Bisazza in Vicenza Below: A Piaggio Vespa


Ingenuity and creativity are shown in a creation by fashion designer Giorgio Armani (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) and in Artemide’s installation at Bicocca (below) Near Right: Interior design Muri by Marazzi Group

17


BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND INNOVATION he “Low Dust Technology” developed by Mapei can reduce 90% of dust emissions resulting from mixing, processing, or using construction materials. The multinational, Milanbased company’s concern for the environment is certified by the ”Green Innovation” logo, a symbol that guarantees conformity to international ecosustainability norms. Ultracoat, for example, is a line of waterbased products that protect parquet flooring. The products feature very low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) but are able to offer lasting protection, even for floors subject to intense traffic. “Flexibility and adaptability have been the decisive elements of our success: we are world leaders in the floorings, coatings, and ceramics sector,” says Giorgio Squinzi, the sole director of Mapei and president of Federchimica. Sales revenues in 2008 reached 1.7 billion Euros. Output is divided into 15 product lines that span the entire range of construction needs, from the foundations to the roof. The company processes 16 thousand tons of materials a day and fulfills 80% of its orders within 48 hours. Mapei dedicates over 70% of its annual investment resources (about 85 million Euros) to research into eco-sustainable products. The majority of its machinery is developed in-house, by its own engineers. It

T

Mapei’s eco-sustaining flooring materials combine low emissions of volatile organic compounds with durable protective qualities. The firm’s Ultracoat products are water-based protectors for parquet flooring Top: Applying Mapei’s Ultramastic product Right: Mapei’s Kerpoxy Production

66


THE STORIES

M A P E I 67


has 10 R&D laboratories employing some 730 people. Three of the labs are in Italy: in Milan (Mapei S.p.A.); Treviso (Polyglass S.p.A.); and Villadossola, Piedmont (Vinavial S.p.A). Seven additional labs around the world are found in Toulouse (Mapei France S.A.); Wiesbaden, Germany (Sopro Bauchemie GmbH); Sagstua, Norway (Rescon Mapei AS); Laval, Quebec, Canada (Mapei Inc.); Deerfield Beach, Florida (Mapei Corp.); Dalton, Georgia (APAC); and Winter Haven, Florida (Polyglass USA, Inc.). The company’s ongoing innovative efforts require a constant flow of resources. In 2007, Mapei enhanced its plants that produce sealers, water-based emulsions and fluidizers at the Robbiano di Mediglia (province of Milan) production site. At its Latina plant,

Mapei is supported in its research by partners in academia: Bocconi University in Milan and the National Research Center are two of the institutions that are collaborating on projects

68

THE ITALIAN EDGE


NASCAR driver Robby Gordon drives through turn three during qualifiers for the NASCAR Pennsylvania 500 auto race in Long Pond, Pa., at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2007 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

investments were made for premix and liquids installations. Italian universities provide a network of support for the company. Mapei is currently collaborating on projects with the Federico II University of Naples; the Polytechnic Universities of Milan and Turin; the Universities of Padua and Bologna; Bocconi University (Milan); and the National Research Center. Worldwide, Mapei is made up of

TECHNOLOGY FOR EXCELLENCE

57 associated companies, with 55 production plants operating in 24 countries on five continents. “We are a global company and the US market holds great potential for us,” says Squinzi. “Eastern Europe and the Middle East are starting to appear over the horizon. Although they currently represent just 1% of sales, we expect that, within 10 to 15 years, China and the Far East will also become strategically important.”

Mapei is a trademark known to every Italian, not only because of its achievements on the industrial front, but mostly for Mapei Sport, a division that has propelled it to the forefront of cycling, motor racing and soccer. Mapei owns Sassuolo Calcio, an Italian second division league team

69


MACHINES AND IDEAS When Salvatore Ferragamo returned to Italy from the United States in 1927, he brought with him his extraordinary creativity and an idea for the most advanced production strategies. This idea influenced not only the company he was about to create, but also the many craftsmen who worked with him. Since then, the company has always struck exactly the right balance between creativity and innovation, registering more than 400 patents: a record in the world’s fashion market. In 2008, Ferragamo posted sales of 691 million Euros, with operating profits of 64 million Euros, and net profits of 39 million Euros. But the scale of this company can only really be understood by visiting its historical archive in Florence. “We have 13,000 models of shoes here, which document the history of footwear and fashion,” explains Stefania Ricci, archive director. “The innovations introduced by Ferragamo are countless. They go from wedges in 1937 to special heels with a shell-shaped sole inspired by Native American moccasins. They include the celebrated gold shoes of the 1950s and the latest anti-shock heels. Innovations introduced during wartime, such as nylon and cellophane shoes, are part of the archive. They received the prestigious Neiman Marcus award, the Oscar of the fashion world.” Salvatore Ferragamo: master shoe builder. His vision led to the company’s registering 400 design patents, a fashion industry record, and its winning the coveted Neiman Marcus award

104

THE ITALIAN EDGE


THE STORIES

FERRAGAMO 105


Ferragamo’s attitude toward innovation also influences the other sectors in which the company presently operates. In the leather goods division, for example, they launched a line of highly ecofriendly and sustainable handbags in spring of 2009. The new Eco Ferragamo collection of handbags is produced using systems that don’t have any environmental impact, as certified by the SG-Mark Institute. The entire product line is produced with an innovative ecological tanning process that does not require the use of metals. Dyeing takes place using tannins of plant origin exclusively obtained by processing tree bark. The majority of the raw materials used in the production of these bags originate in Italy, as Italian tanners are amongst the best in the world. The Eco handbags are only the latest in a series of innovations where research on materials has played a fundamental role. Since the 1990s, Ferragamo has been creating a handbag with a handle that is made using a different material each year: wood, Plexiglas, carbon. Production of the handles is always studied down to the smallest detail, and sometimes requires the commissioning of adhoc machinery from external suppliers.

Shoes remain the company's core business and its creative engine. Their high quality is based on the maker's attention to model construction and to its dedication to the manual tradition that continues to be a feature of the production cycle

Ferragmo’s designs have been synonymous with footwear innovation for decades. In wartime, the company pioneered the use of cellophane in its models instead of shoe leather. Far Right: Ferragamo’s design for WedgeHell, 1937 Near Right: Stilettos, 1958

106

THE ITALIAN EDGE


Salvatore Ferragamo has long sought a good relationship with the academic world. As early as 1998, the company had instituted an international competition dedicated to students in universities and art schools, asking them to design creative and ergonomic shoes, paying special attention to the materials. Ferragamo currently has continuing relationships with many universities and academies, among which are the Polimoda in Florence and the Polytechnic University of Milan.

TECHNOLOGY FOR EXCELLENCE

107


italian edge 2009