Clash of dates for Bologna12 July 2007
This year's Tanning Tech, which took place alongside the spring edition of Lineapelle and Simac, was greatly reduced in size but the machinery still filled Hall 35 and put on a good show of latest developments in technology. Nearly everyone had something new to show even if it was simply an upgraded version of an old favourite. This is not a show to attract thousands of visitors but the ones who do take the time to visit are often the top decision makers. It is not always easy to differentiate between the various people on the stands but many looked to be involved in serious business discussions. One problem experienced by this particular group of shows is that there was a clash of dates with Fimec in Brazil, which is regarded by many as an important show. This meant that a number of companies had to either show in both places at once or take the tough decision and opt for just one. One such company is Equitan who supply conveying equipment. The owner, Antonio Antoniazzi could not attend both so opted for Bologna out of loyalty to his home country. He was well rewarded. He was busy all day every day and it was extremely difficult to catch him between customers to exchange a few words. The only real venue for full scale tanning machinery is in Bologna and some heavy duty decision makers from major league tanners were spotted visiting the machinery manufacturers in Hall 35: Elmo, Boxmark, Mastrotto to name but three. In addition to the tanners who were interested in seeing the machinery on show, there were also a number of Chinese looking for joint ventures or hoping to get a look at European technology. One aspect of the show which became apparent was the very understandable concern over being copied. One exhibitor said that in the past the first people on their stand to look at new machines was always their competitors; another, Bergi was showing a successful model of a machine which they had never before exhibited publicly because of the issue of copying. Erretre took the decision to have a completely enclosed stand keeping competitors guessing as to whether there was a machine on their stand or not. Their philosophy was that just looking at a machine means very little to the tanner who is more interested in learning what the machine could achieve. With this in mind they created a luxurious interior featuring a series of windows containing the type of finished goods which could be created from the leathers made with their finishing equipment. Antonio Gallioto said that Erretre are in the business of problem solving and will tailor make their milling drums and spray drying lines to suit their individual customers. The company also have an enlightened view of human resources with all staff (including those in the accounts department) receiving training in the whole leather making process, from the beamhouse onwards. A medical course is also laid on for staff to advise on health matters when travelling. Simac filled Hall 34 while the chemicals sector only managed to fill around half of Hall 32. It is hard to envisage a long term future for the chemicals supply sector at this show but only time will tell. There seemed to be some uncertainty among exhibitors as to when the next show will be held, the best guesses being biennially in alternate years and/or also alternating between the spring and autumn Lineapelle shows. Now that Tanning Tech and Simac between them only occupy the halls once filled by Tanning Tech, it makes economic sense for Assomac to combine their efforts into one timing only, rather than double up on administrative costs for events held at separate times of the year. Simply by alternating between spring and autumn the shows would be held roughly 18 months apart which could prove to be a good compromise.