Industry and training: MECSPE returns to Bologna March 6-8 to address manufacturing challenges

The 22nd edition will create a bridge between companies and specialized training for an industry which is increasingly internationally competitive

The benchmark trade fair for manufacturing meets in Bologna with a renewed focus on talent preparation, integration of sustainability into industrial processes, and innovation as driving forces for the sector

Milan, Jan. 15, 2024 – Italian manufacturing is constantly on the hunt for professionals and new resources, in fact, Unioncamere – Anpal data indicate that manufacturing will need as many as 500,000 workers by 2027 and at least 50,000 ITS graduates the year . These figures clash with the difficult time the sector is experiencing in terms of resource availability: in fact, it is estimated that nearly half of the profiles sought (45 percent) will be unavailable. In fact, the positive trend in manufacturing employment over the past year (with 957 thousand entries, +22 thousand over 2022) is not enough to bridge the gap between the world of education and industry, which continues to have difficulty finding skilled workers. The mismatch between the needs of companies and market supply reaches 60.3 percent and increases further (touching 65.5 percent) in the case of ITS graduates, a percentage that peaks in the case of specialized technicians in the mechanical area (74.3 percent).

In this context, MECSPE, the most important trade fair for the manufacturing industry organized by Senaf, returns to BolognaFiere next March 6-8. Now more than ever, MECSPE is a point of reference for bridging the gap between training and work, providing insights and initiatives to prepare young people for their entry as professionals in the manufacturing world. An edition focused on training that will take shape with the presence of numerous Demonstration Units and with MECSPE Young&Career, an area that offers young visitors and students the opportunity to participate in training appointments organized by exhibitors and meet companies looking for professionals and new resources. The area aims to highlight which skills are sought after in the sector by pinpointing the ones that can be acquired with the goal of increasing ever more young people’s interest in manufacturing.

MECSPE’s rich program will therefore give ample space to the theme of training, which, together with innovation and sustainability, not only represents one of the three directions along which the fair is developed but also traces the main macro-trends that are changing the labor market, with a particular impact on manufacturing. The three souls of the event will materialize within the Exhibition Core, the central area enlivened by demonstration units with working machines and proposed again this year, which with workshops and conferences throughout the three days of the Bologna event will bring to life projects specifically dedicated to the involvement of younger people.

Young talent will also be emphasized inside the Mold Square, where ample space will be given to the DEMU project, a challenge posed by a group of six international companies to second-year students of the Design degree program organized in Vicenza by the IUAV University of Venice in collaboration with the Fondazione Studi Universitari di Vicenza. The challenge was to enhance the potential of advanced injection molding through the design of a small object made of renewable source polymers with a use value. The winning project among the 23 submitted by students is “Jaketa”: a folding travel hanger, awarded for its features of immediacy, usefulness, and ease of communication, which, in recognition, will be produced and distributed at the fair. With this Square, MECSPE further highlights the close synergy between companies and university students.

The focus on sustainability will be emphasized by the Sustainability Objective Path, a long-standing MECSPE event committed to rewarding companies that are virtuous in implementing sustainability in their business strategies, in all its three aspects: environmental, social, and governance. Sustainability is increasingly crucial for companies as it is an essential choice for meeting global challenges, responding to market demands and gaining a competitive advantage not only in the domestic market but especially in the international arena.

In fact, exports are a driving power for the Italian economy and ensure the health of the industry every year. In fact, according to the latest data from the MECSPE Observatory, more than a quarter of exporting companies generate 46 to 70 percent of their turnover abroad, while 15 percent of entrepreneurs get to invoice more than 70 percent abroad. In this sense, to ride on the theme of internationalization, the Italian-German Forum returns to MECSPE for its second edition, an event dedicated to industrial transition in the automotive sector and the major changes that are impacting the entire supply chain. The second edition of the Forum, organized in collaboration with the German-Italian Chamber of Commerce and the international association VDMA, will take stock of the current picture of the industry internationally and examine all the technological aspects that the industry is introducing (including new eco-friendly fuels, digitization, electrification, and autonomous driving) with the goal of eco-friendly mobility.

“We are returning to Bologna with a new edition of MECSPE rich in content and novelties, emphasizing more than ever the need to bring young people closer to industry,” said Maruska Sabato, MECSPE project manager. “By working on the main axes of the fair such as sustainability, training, and innovation, we encourage the creation of synergies between different stakeholders to create useful value for the country system. Manufacturing represents one of the country’s most driving sectors and is on the verge of a turnaround on several frontlines. Thanks to the insights that will emerge during the fair, we will be able to bring our contribution to the international level as well.”

March will also see the second edition of the Aluminum Energy Summit, a panel dedicated to this crucial and infinitely recyclable material, as much as 42 percent of which is used in Italy by the transportation sector alone. A summit to explain what may be the possible future of primary metal production, the conservation of energy content through recovery and recycling, and what is the position of our country in relation to foreign competitors.

There will be no shortage of initiatives dedicated to the theme of innovation, one above all the Competence Center Area, a space created to foster a matching between the MECSPE community—exhibitors and visitors to the event—and the Competence Centers and Digital Innovation Hubs, which will be able to share guidance, training, and innovative projects in the Industry 4.0 sphere.

Finally, this year MECSPE again offers the Solution Award, an award for innovation in robotics and a prestigious recognition for Companies in the robotics and automation industry.

Facts and figures MECSPE Bologna 2023

59.845 visitors operating in the trade sector (+52 percent compared to 2022), 92.000 sq m of exhibition space, 2.034 participating companies, 2.000 sq m of the Exhibition Core “Energy Transition and Mobility of the Future”, and 20 special initiatives.


MECSPE Exhibitions

Machines and Tools – Machine tools, Equipment, Tools and Design Software; Machines, Materials and Sheet Metal Working – Bending, Stamping, Cutting, Assembly, Welding, Materials and Software; Digital Factory – Industrial Informatics, IoT, Industrial Sensing, Cloud-manufacturing, Automatic Identification Technologies, Applications, Devices, Instrumentation and Intelligent Components for Process Interpretation and Interconnection; Logistics – Packaging, Handling, Material handling, Lean manufacturing, Warehouse management software, Supply chain management, Safety systems, PPE, Outsourcing; Mechanical Subcontracting – Precision mechanical processing, Metal carpentry, Mechanical construction, Fasteners, Foundries, Small parts, Wire processing, Contract industrial processing, Micromachining; Electronic Subcontracting – Cem (contract electronics manufacturer), Wiring harnesses, Ems (electronics manufacturing service), PCB (printed circuit board manufacturers), Engineering and design offices; Eurostampi – Plastics, rubber and composites – Plastics, rubber and composites processing, Machines and plants, Auxiliary equipment, Innovative materials, Moulding, Extrusion, Packaging, Blowing, Moulds, Models, Standardized components for molds, Design, Simulation and design software, Micromachining; Additive Manufacturing – 3D printing, Rapid prototyping, Rapid Manufacturing, Systems and services for reverse engineering, Additive technology, Materials, Services, Hardware: 3D printers and scanners, accessories, Simulation and design software; Treatments and Finishes – Surface Treatment Plants, Furnaces, Electroplating, Chemical and Electronic Processes, Washing, Metallization, Enamelling, Galvanizing, Products and accessories for treatments, Heat Treatments, Painting; Non-Ferrous Materials and Alloys – Processing of non-ferrous materials (Aluminium, Titanium, Magnesium, Light Alloys), Die Castings, Foundries, Contract Industrial Processing, Technologies, Design, Engineering; Automation and Robotics – Automation and Robotics, Assembly, Mounting and Handling; Control and Quality – Certification and quality control, Metrology, Measuring instruments, Laboratory testing, Calibration, Analytical equipment, Vision; Power Drive – Mechanical power transmission devices, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Mechatronics, Motion control, Maintenance, Compressed air.

For further information visit www.mecspe.com

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