ASSAGO, ITALY -- Last Oct. 28, Valencia hosted the Annual general meeting of Eumabois, the European federation that gathers thirteen national associations representing the leading woodworking machinery and tools manufacturers.
The assembly – summoned during Fimma-Maderalia – had a very committing agenda. After thanking the management of the Spanish association Afemma for hospitality and greeting all participants, Eumabois president Franz-Josef Buetfering welcomed the new delegates Ivano Coral and Erich Zeller, representing the Italian and Swiss association respectively. The latter has also become a member of the Eumabois board, as a substitute for Niels Erik Lundvig.
The Eumabois president then announced the further expansion of the federation to the Ukraine association Uwma, represented in Valencia by its president Vasyl Masyuk. With this new entry, there are now 14 associations sitting at the table of the European federation.
There are new entries also in the exhibitions calendar of Eumabois. As you know, the federation has always been committed to avoiding the useless proliferation of events in the industry, sponsoring only the exhibitions that comply with specific requirements. As from today, the World Exhibitions Network of Eumabois includes two more events, namely Holz-Handwerk in Nuremberg (Germany) and Internationale Holzmesse in Klagenfurt (Austria).
Buetfering read his report, which traditionally opens the works of the annual assembly. “Let me say that, today more than ever, we have to believe in what we do,” he said. “The industry needs vision, planning capacity, forward-looking attitude. We are well aware that we have to be very practical right now, close to daily facts, but I personally think that the duty of an association like Eumabois is also to look ahead, to expand the scope of its action to avoid missing the big picture. So, my invitation to all of us is to pay great attention to what is all around here and now, hic et nunc, as well as not to give up the capacity to believe in feelings and sensations, to create emotions that represent the true meaning of being entrepreneurs.”
Buetfering could not avoid mentioning the economic situation of the industry which, despite moderate recovery in 2010 and early 2011, has certainly not brought woodworking technology companies back to pre-crisis levels; however, some satisfaction must be expressed for a specific figure, namely that “… out of 7 billion Euro turnover achieved by the global technology trade in 2010, as much as 56.2 percent was generated by Eumabois member companies.”
A few remarks on exhibitions: from the liveliness of the recent Wood Processing Machinery and Intermob in Istanbul to great expectations for the upcoming Holz-Handwerk/Fensterbau in Nuremberg, (“… a biennial event acquiring ever increasing importance year after year”, Buetfering commented), without forgetting Xylexpo. “Italian colleagues are working hard to confirm the role of the next event as the most important exhibition in even-numbered years,” a commitment shared by Eumabois, which once again confirmed its full support to the Milan exhibition.
Buetfering closed his speech with a few significant hints and topics for discussion and in-depth analysis. “Technology is changing and woodworking machinery will be different: 'greener' from any point of view, capable of consuming 30 percent less energy with the same efficiency standards. They will be more and more flexible, with increasingly higher automation levels: the automated or “one man factory” is a popular concept, not just a dream for the future. Technology will require smaller investments, solutions will take up less space, they will be built with standard constructions using equally standard and highly industrialized aggregates, but still capable of delivering the desired result to users. High-end technology will move down to improve low-end systems: plants can already be operated by anyone through a simple touchscreen. Maybe we should focus attention specifically on this aspect, on these machines that will no longer require joiners or experts of wood and wood-based materials, but rather simple technicians who can press a button. Maybe we still don’t realize the impact of this change."
Many issues were dealt with in the Eumabois president’s speech, and even more in the subsequent debate: from Tool Group activities to working programs for specific technical issues (Tool Group, Iso Standardization, Machinery Directive – Tc 142, Ontario Pre start and Safety review, Quebec standards), particularly relevant for European manufacturers.
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