Interview with Giuseppe Sceusi
MARPOSS Bentivoglio Bologna Italy
“The new sectors we are looking at: e-mobility, consumer electronics and biomedical industry”.
Could you give us a preview of what you will exhibit at EMO MILANO 2021?
At EMO MILANO 2021, we will present our company with a single Group stand. Our presence will be focused on the issue of digitalisation for quality and process control of production. Actually, we will show our data collection and analysis from our systems for process monitoring on machine tools, from measuring, inspection and testing systems throughout the production process. With a more specific reference to our product ranges, besides the latest novelties with regard to applications for machine tool measurement and control, we will present our complete line of flexible, optical measuring equipment, manual measurement devices and Aeroel laser measuring systems, applications for leak testing and inspection of mechanical components related to electro-mobility. Particular attention will be dedicated to applications developed for the sectors we have identified as the new strategic ones: e-mobility, consumer electronics and biomedical items.
What does EMO represent for you and, in particular, what does this edition represent? What do you expect from EMO MILANO 2021?
We have always considered EMO as the Exhibition par excellence and in addition, when it takes place in Milan, it is our home trade show. It gathers the most important players of the market and it is undoubtedly the event of reference for the metalworking sector worldwide. Relying on the vaccination campaign, we hope that this edition will be even more special, the first big event after the unavoidable stop to exhibitions in person. Even though we do not have any certainty, we believe that if the situation evolves as we all hope, there will be a lot of excitement, activity and desire to re-establish personal relationships; we are a bit tired of meeting through a screen.
How do you see the year 2021? What are your expectations for 2022?
The year has begun at the same pace as the last quarter 2020 had ended, i.e. with a remarkable recovery compared with the trend of the previous period. It looks like the industrial world, at different paces from market to market, is however convincing itself that the Covid emergency will be overcome through vaccinations and that it is necessary to start looking beyond. This seems to have given new energy to investments in capital goods. Obviously, the entity of the recovery is not yet enough to achieve the values of 2019 or the record figures of 2018. Now the big question mark is the impact after the Covid effect on the entity and composition of investments in structural changes, principally the revolution from ICE/Internal Combustion Engines to EV/Electrical Vehicles, which are underway. We expect a progressive improvement in 2021 and a return to the pre-crisis values from 2022.
Which are the most dynamic end markets?
In terms of market segments, we are observing good trends in the sectors of semiconductors and consumer electronics in general, as well as in the biomedical field and in that of glass containers, which seem to be anti-cyclical compared with the general trend. A different scenario is that of the automotive sector, which has always been a driver for the industry over the last decades and is now experiencing a period of extensive change. The large majority of investments is focused on electric cars and only few exceptions concern the production lines of endothermic engines. If we look at the geographical markets, China is certainly the country that, before the others, returned to a pre-Covid level after having substantially defeated the virus. The results of the order collection in China were even better in 2020 than those registered in 2019. Other Asian markets had less lively trends, however highlighting a strong recovery. The improvement trend was a bit slower in Europe and in the USA.
Could you give us an indication about the technological trends that characterise the sector and, in particular, your product offering? What do customers require?
With regard to the automotive sector, companies offering quality-control systems are asked to provide almost exceptional technical changes. The parts to be checked before, during and after their production process are completely different and thus customers need and require different types of control systems. Obviously, in a phase of extensive transformation, there are no definite points of reference and each player looks around with great attention, searching for the best available solutions. Even those who are generally supposed to have a higher know-how are now more willing to define the most suitable solutions together with their potential suppliers.
For a Group like Marposs, which has always been a privileged supplier of the Automotive OEMs in every major geographical area, this represents a threat and an opportunity at the same time. Over the last years, we experienced a deep transformation in our proposal of solutions and today, we can certainly affirm that whichever direction the big automotive players may decide to take, (whether accelerating towards the use of batteries or focusing on fuel cells or even revitalising the old endothermic engines with new solutions) they will always be able to find the right solution at Marposs. We can provide appropriate solutions in the metrology sector, which is traditional for us, as well as in the relatively new sectors of leak testing, inspection of electric parameters up to fully automated assembly of key subgroups, including battery packs or fuel cells, without neglecting machine-vision control and noise testing systems for transmission shafts, the only mechanical part of the power unit that will maintain technological similarities compared with the past, even if with higher quality and precision requirements.