Industry Leaders Visit Italian ManufacturersCED Magazine January 2006
Article Date: 01-02-2006
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Italian equipment manufacturers want to expand their U.S. presence.
The Italian Trade Commission and UNACOMA/COMAMOTER, the Association of Italian Construction and Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers, recently arrange a trade mission to Italy for construction equipment industry leaders. "The purpose of the trade mission was to provide first-hand knowledge of the advanced state of the Italian construction machinery industry," says Alex Mussa, assistant trade commissioner of the Italian Trade Commission. "Such a mission helps establish rapport with American opinion leaders that will lead to future business opportunities for Italian manufacturers."
The group that went to Italy in early October included Les Bebchick, president of Equipment & Systems for Industry, Hopkinton, Mass.; Walter Berry, president of The Berry Companies, Wichita, and Chairman of AED; Toby Mack, President of AED; Mark Miskin, president of Miskin Scraper Works; and Dennis Slater, president of AEM.
"Many of the Italian products we saw had more features than comparable U.S. machines," says Berry, "and they were clearly geared toward working in compact spaces.
"It was very interesting to see how a familiar machine could be put to use for so many different applications."
Slater was impressed with the level of sophistication in the plants.
"There was extensive use of robotics at nearly all the plants," he says. "It was their solution to drive down labor costs and improve competitiveness. The technology they are employing clearly is a value-add and contributes to the high quality of their products."
Mack says he was impressed with some of the similarities of the factories to U.S. counterparts.
"Italy faces labor and resource challenges," says Mack. "One of the common manufacturing strategies for them is to outsource as much as possible, focusing on their strengths. This is analogous to many U.S. manufacturers' strategies of recent years."
The group met with:
• Bondioli & Pavesi SpA - makers of drive lines, universal joints, hydraulic components, reversing gears, multipliers, reduction gears, gear boxes, clutches and gears.
• Case New Holland
• Merlo - makers of telescopic handlers with two or three-axle off-road self-propelled power frames.
• Fiori - makers of dumpers, articulated loaders, articulated backhoe loaders, self-loading truck mixers and compact excavators.
• Macmoter - makers of hydrostatic crawler loaders, dozers, prime movers, and pipe layers.
• Euromach - makers of "spider-type" walking excavators.
• 3B6 - makers of weighing devices for wheel loaders, excavators and dumpers; laser systems for land leveling; ultrasonic systems for finishers; load and movement limiters for lifting machines; and electronic control devices for digging, drilling, earthmoving and road construction machines.
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