Brave face shown at Tanning Tech16 October 2009
Tanning Tech, the tanning equipment and chemical technology show, was a shadow of its former self as it took place alongside Lineapelle and Simac (the footwear machinery show) in Bologna, October 13-15.
It has been a rough year for the leather chemical and machinery suppliers as tanners have tightened their own belts as a result of falling leather sales caused by the economic downturn. Further competition for suppliers outside of Europe, particularly in China and India has also eroded market share.
A decade ago Tanning Tech covered three large halls of the Bologna Fiera and for exhibitors and visitors alike it was battle to find hotels, park their cars and get a premium stand location. It was ‘the’ place to look at the latest tanning equipment and learn about the new leather chemicals.
This year the show, organised by Assomac, covered two of the smaller halls (31 and 32) at the show with one dedicated to leather chemicals and the other to tannery machinery. Some exhibitors did show one or two pieces of equipment on their stands but most preferred to keep costs down and only took a booth.
As one leading European tanner put it: ‘If we want to look at new pieces of machinery we simply fly to Arzignano and visit the companies. We don’t look to see or buy machinery at Tanning Tech anymore.’
Despite the reduced size of the show this year many exhibitors, which were 80% Italian, said that they had seen good visitor numbers on the second day of show. However the first and third days were somewhat quieter.
The newly formed Carlessi Srl exhibited for the first time and companies such as Bergi, Erretre, Menphis and Cartigliano highlighted upgraded machinery at the show.
Lineapelle is comfortably the largest and most important show for tanneries in Europe and while this remains the case there will always be a platform to host Tanning Tech. However, the large shows of the past are unlikely to return and the leather industry may miss an exhibition, which highlights the latest tannery technology.