Italian Machining Technology at BI-MU 2018
The 2018 edition of the Italian machine tool trade show emphasized start-ups, additive manufacturing and the automotive industry.
BI-MU, the biennial Italian machine tool trade show, returned to the Fiera Milano convention center this year with new features and a focus on digitalization. The show’s theme of “the digital era of machine tools” was reflected in a section of booths devoted to start-ups, which included software, sensor and 3D-printing companies.
Additive manufacturing was a popular topic outside of the start-up area as well. During the show, the Associazione Italiana Tecnologie Additive (AITA) booth hosted presentations on a range of additive manufacturing topics given by companies including 3D Systems, HP, Renishaw and Siemens as part of the show’s BI-MUpiù Additive program.
The combination of foreign companies (40 percent of the more than 1,000 companies at the show came from 27 countries) and Italian companies reflected Italy’s role in the international machine tool market. According to data provided by UCIMU (the association of Italian machine tool, automation systems and ancillary products manufacturers), the country is the third-largest machine tool exporter, behind Germany and Japan.
Among Italian companies, customization and flexibility are frequent themes. This applied to all kinds of products ranging from milling and grinding machines to automation and workholding. Large machining centers are also common, as are companies that make accessories, like die splitters and pallet changers for large aerospace components, designed to work with these machines and the components they produce.
Another industry that received special attention at the show was automotive. FCA-Alfa Romeo showcased two of its cars. There was also an area outside the halls where attendees could test-drive cars from a range of companies, including Jeep and Fiat.