ANCCEM Italian spring manufacturers association

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Raw materials, inflation, and the spring industry: a word with F. Silvestri (Anccem)

Published: - 13/05/2022 Author: Vood, Sales Dep.
Raw materials, inflation, and the spring industry: a word with F. Silvestri (Anccem)

What is the impact of the high costs of raw materials and the inflationary pressures caused by the Russia-Ukraine and the post-Covid phase on the spring industry?
We have asked Francesco Silvestri, President of the association of Italian Spring Manufacturers (Anccem), along with other questions about the association's activities and upcoming events for spring manufacturers.

What is the mood like among spring manufacturers?
Good, if we look at order books, which remain full. Of course, raw materials and energy cost increases have affected us all, but mostly indirectly. Spring manufacturing is not particularly energy-intensive compared to other industries, such as our suppliers and, in some cases, our customers. Steel mills and wire drawing mills have been dramatically affected by these price hikes and have passed them on to us. Sometimes, there have also been some speculations, I'm afraid. The costs of carbon steel and stainless alloys - which are suffering from the nickel price surges - remain very steep. Suffice it to say that alloy surcharges have tripled since 2020, and I don't know how long this situation of continuous increments can persist. The most pressing difficulty for us is negotiating these sustained increases with our customers.

Do supply difficulties persist?
They have somewhat declined compared to the second half of 2021.

What is the outlook for the months ahead?
Inflation has become a huge problem, and it has not yet come to affect consumer goods. The thing is, this cost explosion does not correspond to an expansion of the real economy. Furthermore, we come from 20 years of low inflation and are utterly unprepared to face a decrease in purchasing power of this magnitude.

Back to Anccem, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding.
That's right, and we plan to celebrate it with a special conference scheduled for October 1 in Milan. This conference will be the only event in 2022 for the association, in contrast to the usual two conventions per year. This time, we have focused all our efforts on this convention, which will feature a rich program of speeches and convivial and cultural moments. Presidents of counterpart foreign associations will also be invited. Therefore, I expect a large turnout.

One of the prerogatives of your association is the emphasis on continuous training of your members.
Yes, this year, we have organized a busy calendar of training courses and finally resumed in-person meetings. I would like to highlight a four-day theoretical/practical seminar that will be held in July at the Bihler company in Germany, a well-known manufacturer of bending, punching, and assembly machines. The initiative, aimed at spring factory operators, will provide basic mechanical and software training. We have also organized courses on shot peening, Industry 4.0, sustainability, and circular economy.

Another area in which Anccem is deeply involved is standardization.
That's right! Standardization works are well underway. Anccem is leading an international project regarding the ISO 22705-2 norm for tension springs control. The goal is to achieve a single, internationally valid method for controlling these products. By the end of this year - max. by early 2023 - we will have this standard that will finally serve as an unambiguous benchmark for spring manufacturers and end-users.

Will we meet at the wire fair in Düsseldorf?
Definitely. The International Spring Makers Conference organized by the European Spring Federation will also be held during the event on June 22.

In an effort to include finished wire products in the exhibition spectrum, the trade show organization has decided to include spring makers among the exhibitors.
Yes, I can say that this choice was frowned upon in European circles by us spring manufacturers. Although there was a lack of a spring-specific fair, we did not feel the need for one, as we have always relied on individual specialist exhibitions in the various fields of application for our products. Mixing finished products and machinery was not welcomed by all, as the Düsseldorf show was seen as the place to look for suppliers, not to compete with each other.

So, happy anniversary to Anccem, and see you soon in Düsseldorf!

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