The spring segment is elastic by definition, but how did the Italian spring factories withstand the impact of the pandemic, and how are they coping with the current situation? We asked Francesco Silvestri, President of ANCCEM (Italian Spring Manufacturers Association), to provide his insight on the subject.
Let's take stock of the present context: first of all, how are Italian spring manufacturers, with the necessary generalizations?
These are rough times for everyone, even for spring manufacturers. The lockdown weighed heavily on us, but we must say that since after the summer, we have seen a positive trend reversal, both in turnover and orders. This gives us hope, albeit in the short term, for a change of course. Let's say that we begin to see the light again. I sincerely hope that there won’t be a further slowdown caused by the complications of the second wave of infections.
In terms of raw materials, what is the current price trend?
If we are talking about carbon steel, the trend is stable for the moment.
As an association, did you have to cancel many activities?
In the last six months, we had to cancel several events. However, our training program hasn't stopped, despite COVID-19, but has been moved online: we have already held two courses on Lean Production applied to spring manufacturers, aimed at making our companies leaner, more efficient, and ready for recovery. We have also planned a new meeting at Villa Baiana in Franciacorta for our Annual Conference on November 13. It will be an opportunity to see each other once again in a place that has already been the background of some of our meetings. Also, in the last months, ANCCEM has carried on - always online - technical and regulatory sessions with the ISO/TC 227 committee dedicated to the standardization of metal springs. Not to mention that we have continued to develop a study on the elastic limits of compression springs, carried on in collaboration with the University of Rome and involving several spring makers.
One last question, see you in Düsseldorf?
Well, not only do I think the participation of many of our associates is unlikely, but I also believe the fair itself is at risk due to travel limitations.
I hope that during the next meeting of the ESF board, scheduled for October 23, we can take a unified stand towards the organizers of the event.
Above, a picture of the last ANCCEM conference, held in November 2019.