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THE AUTOMATION SECTOR REACTS TO THE CRISIS WITH EXPORTS.
It is certainly too early to talk about a recovery, but in the first half of 2013 the automation sector has definitely shown signs of improvement over the same period last year, despite being so badly affected by the crisis.
This fact is confirmed by Anie Automazione , one of the organisations federated to Anie (the national federation of electro-technical and electronic businesses), and concerned in particular with the automation sector.
The President of Anie Automazione, Giuliano Busetto, explained the situation: “Turnover figures for the industrial automation sector in the first six months of 2013 confirm the industry’s resilience in comparison to the same period last year.
We cannot yet see a real recovery, but the figures are positive with respect to other sectors. The industrial automation segment is characterised by a strong export drive, fed by both direct and indirect components, the combination of which makes up 65% of our total turnover. The indirect component is sustained by our machine manufacturers, whose turnover is largely due to exports”.
In fact, the figures released by Anie Automazione confirm that in 2012 the domestic market went through a very critical period (down 8.9% with respect to 2011), suffering from deterioration in the climate of confidence and lack of willingness to invest.
Exports also showed an adjustment in the rate of growth (+2.9%), as a result of the reduction in European demand. In 2013, return to a path of growth for the sector will remain tied to a continuing recovery in markets abroad, which would have positive implications for both direct and indirect exports. According to Giuliano Busetto, “the process of competitive repositioning abroad initiated by Italian manufacturers has not yet been fully concluded.
During a re-start phase in the economic cycle, this procedure may well increase the demand for technologies with higher added value”.
In order to make all this happen, the industry must somehow manage to deal with the problems which afflicted the entire sector in 2012; also involving the automation technologies, which have always played a vital role in carrying innovation into the industrial sector.
In fact, almost all the segments involved in the automation industry recorded a negative performance, even the most cutting-edge segments concentrating on extra-factory solutions. Also, the crisis acted as a partial brake on the potential for growth among segments new to the market, specialising in the application of new technologies to contexts outside the traditional norm.
Amongst the worst-hit segments were those of remote control, electric operation and input-output, while UPS, HMI and software companies were those to suffer least.