MECSPE 2023 – Observatory data positive, but we still need to focus on Digital Transformation and Training 4.0

MECSPE 2023 - Data from the Observatory are positive, but we still need to focus on Digital Transformation and Training 4.0

The 21st edition of MECSPE, the largest event dedicated to innovations for the manufacturing industry organized by Senaf, leaving a long tail of useful ideas and indications for companies in the sector.

The first ones arrive from the inauguration day of the fair, which started on March 29th BolognaFiere, a 92,000 m2 exhibition space that hosted 2,000 exhibiting companies during the three days of MECSPE.

On this occasion, in fact, the data collected by theMECSPE Observatory relating to the second half of 2022, together with the consequent forecasts and expectations for 2023.

From these a salient point emerges: the need for companies in the sector to invest in digital transition e training 4.0, while also continuing to take advantage of the incentives still active since PNRR.

MECSPE Observatory: “Positive data for 2022 and optimism for 2023

“Despite recording a slowdown in the second half of last year, the industry's turnover in 2022 recorded an overall growth sensitive annual, equal to +18.0%. A sector, that of the manufacturing industry, which with its 457 thousand active companies confirms itself as a pillar for the Italian productive fabric"

According to the data illustrated by the MECSPE Observatory, almost 8 out of 10 companies they closed the last quarter of 2022 with a growing turnover or stable compared to the same period last year, and three quarters declared that they were able to count on an adequate order book.

Furthermore, a high level of satisfaction relating to the performance of the companies, which was declared as "positive" for the 68% of them, with a general confidence that sees only a small critical share (5%).

All net of the impact that, in the last part of the year, theprice increase raw materials and energy costs.

And starting from these excellent results, the forecasts for 2023 could only be optimistic, showing a positive scenario. 

"The dear energy it is certainly less scary (16% vs 49% in Oct. '22), but the unknowns due to theinflation (17% fears it; + 12 pp vs Oct. '22) and the evolution of the war Russia-Ukraine (for the 22%). Despite this, as many as 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs expect to close 2023 with an increasing turnover or stable, being able to count on a forecast of market growth in the next three years".

The challenge of digitalisation for manufacturing companies

The future could, therefore, be rosy. However, we must not give up and invest wisely to face the challenges. 

What should businesses do? 

According to the MECSPE Observatory, manufacturing companies will first have to push the accelerator towards a path of digital transformation

The process is certainly already underway. There is still data from the Observatory to demonstrate this, according to which, to date, almost 7 out of 10 companies declare that they have had one in the last year digital growth

However, it is necessary to continue investing. The leap forward must be clear and, to do so, adequate skills will be needed. 

On this juncture, manufacturing companies are divided into two: on the one hand there is a good 59% of companies that have already trained or hired personnel with adequate training to deal with the 4.0 transformation; on the other side there is a 27% of companies that believe they are not yet ready to face this challenge.

We need incentives for 4.0 businesses

The question that the MECSPE Observatory asked itself is the following: what do entrepreneurs need to improve digitalization processes and their llevel of skills?

The answer is easily said: resources and incentives.

A need already recognized by the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy, which through the National Transition Plan 4.0, with funds from PNRR, provided tax credits to stimulate investments in capital goods, in research and development, technological innovation, also in the green sector, and in training 4.0.

“The first results can already be seen: over half of the entrepreneurs (53%) declare they have already taken advantage of it and almost 2 out of 10 plan to do so by 2023. Looking at the current year, almost 4 out of 10 think they will request incentives for purchase of capital goods useful for digital transformation and the 31% for training 4.0; almost a third, on the contrary, do not want to use it".

One point, the one linked to training 4.0, fundamental in terms of Industry 4.0, but still little exploited today by the companies themselves.

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