AITA – ASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA TECNOLOGIE ADDITIVE (Additive Technologies Italian Association) is born from the initiative of 13 founding members, during a meeting held in July 2014:
- geared towards industrial applications of Additive Technologies;
- able to give a proper and consistent image of the industry with its industrial connotations;
- able to represent “additive” in Italian and International level;
- favoring the knowledge of Additive Technologies;
- to group the Italian players in the sector.
Currently, the association includes over 75 members ranging between manufacturers and sellers of machines, users, service centers, software companies, publishing houses, other associations of manufacturing and potential players in the sector. There is no shortage in universities and research centers, which ensure the development of knowledge and a potential competitive advantage for the sector.
We had the pleasure to share some time in Milan with Enrico Annacondia, Launch Manager at AITA, during their latest conference “Service Centers: the access points to Additive Technologies“.
What will be the next steps? What upcoming events/conferences are you planning?
The Association is working towards a further enlargement of the number of its associates, particularly in the biomedical, aerospace and automotive sectors, which represent the most interesting ones for the application of additive technologies in the manufacturing sector.
In parallel, we are planning activities as of conferences, to improve the “perception” of additive technologies to industrial users and provide the evidence of the skills/expertise of our members. This will be followed by an equally rich calendar of workshops that aims to give operability to potential users and improve the competitiveness of those who already work in the field.
– AITA at EMO Milano 2015, Hall 9 Stand D15 (Milan, October 5th to 10th, 2015).
The association is organizing the Additive Manufacturing Focus, in order to show both practical but also potential applications that this innovative way of working will be introducing in the field of mechanical manufacturing.
– ”International Conference on Additive Manufacturing” (Milan, October 6th, 2015 – 14.00 – Service Centre, Room Sagittarius), in cooperation with CECIMO (European Association of Machine Tool Builders).
Speakers from the European industry and academic world, as well as from industry organizations, will illustrate the expectations on additive technologies and their impact on the machining and, more generally, manufacturing world. They will also analyze some successful cases, proposed by European associations in cooperation with companies that are making the additive technologies a competitive advantage for their businesses.
Where do you see Additive Technologies in the near future?
From our point of view, Additive Technologies will increasingly be integrated into manufacturing production systems, having the role of “machine tools of the new generation”. This underlines the increasing use of these technologies for the realization of parts (in metal, plastic or other materials) that move out from the prototype dimension and turn more and more to the industrial and manufacturing one. This trend is becoming clearer in those contexts where there are strong needs of “mass customization”, in order to create products with a very deep component of personalization, grafted on a large numbers matrix. However we are just the beginning: the potential of additive technologies yet to be “unveiled” could lead to very unexpected solutions. To achieve these objectives is still necessary to make a remarkable effort, not only in the direction of the development of the processes. Materials, design techniques, control systems (both in-process and to check the quality of the finished product) and shared regulations will be the “fields” where it will be played the game for the real competitiveness in the sector, in an industry perspective.
Where is Italy placed in this landscape?
Italy has a long tradition on this topic, which draws its origins from the implementation of rapid prototyping. In particular, the sector of service centers has been able to adapt quickly to the needs of the digital manufacturing and Additive Technologies. At the same time, we have seen the birth of some new players in the production of machines working with plastic materials, often from the so-called “world of the makers”, and that gradually became the “low end” of the market. It’s been different with the high-end machines and metal machines, where some have already emerged in the recent days and we hope that soon some other will join.
Additive Technologies are an interesting stimulus for the manufacturing sector: offering a potential competitive advantage for those fields characterized by a considerable need of product customization (and here there is a good correspondence with the Italian industry landscape), they also had the merit of awakening the interest in manufacturing, bringing many people (many youngers) closer to topics such as design and production which, in recent years, complained of a lack of “appeal”, both from a professional and a media point of view.