With this article, we are starting a new series – Association of the month. Every month, we will publish about one woodworking association from the world, and bring you articles, interviews, and more. Coinciding with XYLEXPO 2012 to be held in Milan, Italy from 8-12th May, our association of the month is ACIMALL – the Italian Woodworking Machinery and Tools Manufacturers association. They are also the organizers of XYLEXPO. Read on for more information…

Founded in 1966, ACIMALL – the Italian Woodworking Machinery and Tool Manufacturers Association currently represents the interests of 215 companies. Together, they produce more than 85% of the national turnover in a sector with over 300 major corporations, 12,000 staff and product sales of 1.4 billion Euros (2003), 80% of which is from exports.

ACIMALL is highly respected among international associations for the woodworking industry. It actively participates in the work of Federmacchine, the Italian federation that groups together 11 national associations representing the same number of sectors in the machine tool industry, and Eumabois, the European federation that represents and acts as secretariat for 12 national associations. As a national trade association, it is a member of the CFI(Industrial Tradeshow Committee), Confindustria (Italian Manufacturers Association), and UNI (Italian National Standards Association).

Acimall is active in Italy and abroad in lobby groups for the establishment of technical and safety standards. It conducts industry studies and analyses that provide members with essential information for mapping out their strategies. Both independently and in collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission, it coordinates the participation of Italian businesses in the most important trade fairs around the world. Acimall promotes Italian manufacturers in all markets with a woodworking industry. It organizes the attendance of delegations of business people and technical experts in Italy to show what Italian know-how has to offer. Plus, Acimall coordinates training activities, including setting up training centers in countries of particular interest to Italian manufacturers, such as the center in Bangalore, India.

Through Cepra Spa, it publishes the magazines Xylon and Xylon International (in English) and organizes Xylexpo, an international exhibition that represents the world’s most important industry fair staged every even-numbered year. XYLEXPO 2012 will be held in Milan, Italy from 8-12 May at the FieraMilano fairgrounds in Rho.

Organizational structure of the association-

At the top of the Acimall organizational pyramid is the general assembly, which meets every year to decide Association policy. The Assembly elects an executive board comprising nine members, from among whom a president and two vice-presidents are nominated.

The Association’s general management is entrusted with the job of carrying out resolutions through its various offices – that is, Studies & Promotion, Technical, Xylexpo, Administration and Financial, Press, and Publishing (which publishes Xylon and Xylon International magazines).

So as to more effectively pursue the objectives stated in its statute, Acimall also works through Cepra (Acimall promotion center), a public limited company that works as the operating arm of the manufacturers’ association.

The current board of directors includes the President Mr. Ambrogio Delachi (Delmac SpA), Vice- Presidents- Mr. Ivano Coral (CORAL SpA) and Mr. Franco Paviotti (METAL WORLD SpA), the Chairman Mr. Paolo Zanibon, among others.

The Acimall general management coordinates all the activities of the different offices that make up the Association’s structure.
It works with the Board of Directors and is responsible for implementing the decisions made by the Board, which underpin the day-to-day activities of the Association, and representing it both in Italy and abroad at meetings, assemblies, and seminars.

XYLEXPO office-

Acimall’s Xylexpo Office is responsible for the organization and management of the biennial International exhibition of woodworking technologies and furniture supplies held every even-numbered years that represents the most important event for the entire wood commodity chain.

Since two editions Xylexpo did not just host the finest woodworking machinery and accessories but opened the doors to products: a ultra-modern lay-out where woodworking technology is places side by side with semi-finished products, furniture and woodworking supplies, raw materials, products for building industry, surface finishings and treatments.

The office handles exhibitor relations and every phase of the delicate job of stand allocation. The promotion of the show all over the world is supported by the Studies and Promotion Office of Acimall and by a huge network of agencies around the world.

The next Xylexpo, the 23rd, will take place from 8 to 12 May 2012 in the Fiera Milano Rho fairgrounds.

One again Xylexpo will represent a fundamental moment for manufacturers and international business operators to meet face to face. During the last edition, in a total net exhibiting area of 42,500 square meters, 648 exhibitors presented their production to 52,000 international visitors, 48 percent of whom coming from outside Italy.

In the stands visitors will find everything for processing wood and wood-based products, from felling to finishes.

Studies and promotion office-

The Acimall Studies & Promotion Office focuses on two key areas: economic analysis and the promotion of Italian-made woodworking technologies. These two closely interconnected activities make it possible to put in place targeted synergies that create new opportunities, such as the distribution of technical publications and the establishment of professional centers in emerging countries.

The Studies & Promotion Office produces a wide range of economic surveys and studies, ranging from analyses of cyclical trends and import/export performance to foreign market research and monitoring the economic indicators of key competitor nations. This work has produced an invaluable storehouse of information that serves as the basis for the educational work the Association performs for all the players in the timber commodity chain.

In the area of promotion, the Office plans and manages technology seminars, foreign business delegations, and the participation of groups of exhibitors and the setting up of information booths at tradeshows outside Italy. Through these initiatives, it contributes to spreading awareness of Italian-made technology around the globe.

The Studies & Promotion Office is also responsible for communication and the Press Office, coordinating newsletters, international press campaigns, press conferences, Italian and international press information, meetings with opinion leaders, and corporate image

Technical Office-

The Acimall Technical Office takes care of one of the Association’s key objectives: that is, to provide businesses in the industry with consultancy and information on all the issues arising from national and international safety laws and standards. It achieves this through its active participation in the UNI (Italian National Standards Association) and CEN (European Committee for Standardization) as well as monitoring the activities of the CEI (Italian Electrotechnical Committee), Cenelec (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization), ISO (International Standards Organization), and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

Product certification, manufacturer’s liability, trade enquiries, public tenders, and international contracts are other fields in which the Technical Office is involved, along with the organization of working parties that tackle specific technical issues and participation in committees formed to draft standards and specifications.

Finally, the Office coordinates relations between the Association and national and international technical bodies.

The association’s office is located at

Centro Direzionale Milanofiori
1° Strada – Palazzo F3 (first floor)
20090 Assago (Milan)
Tel. +39 2 89210200 Fax 8259009

Their website www.acimall.com has detailed sections with market analysis, data and documents to facilitate readers and members about the facts and trends of the Italian woodworking industry.