The construction machinery sector got off to a good start in 2023: with 5,313 construction site vehicles sold on the market between January and March, closing the first quarter with an increase of 5% over the same period in 2022. These figures based on purchases in the sector from machinery builders and importers analysed by Unacea, the Italian Construction Machinery Union, were published on the occasion of Samoter, the triennial international construction machinery exhibition scheduled until Sunday 7 May at Veronafiere. In particular, growth in the sector (albeit a little slower compared to last year’s performance) was driven by earthmoving machinery, which in the first three months of the year posted sales of 5,186 units (+7%) articulated dumper trucks (+27%), while road building machinery suffered a setback (-31%), an indication – according to UNACEA’s forecasts – that the market is progressively stabilizing.
Exports also performed well, with sales – according to the UNACEA-CER foreign trade report based on ISTAT data – worth in excess of 3 billion euros in 2022, up by 9% compared to 2021. Imports also saw an increase (+30%) for a total value of 2 billion euros. A significant increase in purchases from abroad which, while still ensuring a trade balance in the black by more than 990 million euros, nevertheless saw the balance fall by 18%.
With 536 companies from 23 countries, Samoter is the only event in Italy that represents this supply chain as a whole and is the main landmark event in 2023. The 31st edition of the event focuses on environmental sustainability and the development of new economic models: vital progress that goes hand in hand with the 4.0 revolution. Innovations include Samoter Lab, the exhibition area that brings together companies exhibiting the most innovative solutions, starting with the winners of the 24th Samoter Innovation Award, alongside training and refresher courses.
INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR DIGITAL CONSTRUCTION SITES OF ANY SIZE
Digitisation is making its way into construction sector in its own right and does so by providing technologies applicable not only for medium-large construction sites but even smaller work areas. This emerged during the first cycle of conferences and workshops at SaMoTer, the international construction machinery exhibition at Veronafiere until Sunday 7 May.
The road-building sector in one which has already clearly understood the importance of digitization and its application to every kind of construction site. “We have developed technologies that can be used even in very small construction sites,” explained Luca Iozzi of Leica Geosystems during the “Digitalisation and road construction sites – operating solutions” conference organized by e-construction, Vado e Torno. “A single software package now makes it possible to coordinate all the machines at work, from excavation to paving through to completion of the project.”
“Digitization responds to the challenge of increasing productivity in the sector,” said Cristiano Volz of Topcon. “From surveying to milling, by way of resurfacing asphalt, we have created an efficient process that adapts to all contexts.”
In turn, Corrado Bocci of Pavi outlined the advantages of the digital road building site: “The site is constantly connected with the technical office and this helps reduce on-site assistance costs. All the more, waste materials are reduced and paving quality is improved. Yet, above all, complaints from clients are prevented, since everyone knows about the project from the early stages.”
“Digitalisation is an opportunity to improve the construction world and all companies, from the smallest to the largest, can adopt it today,” said Alessandro Chiodin of Spektra. “We start off with a digitalisation plan and define the objectives, which include environmental and economic sustainability.”
“Until recently, we invested in technology to increase precision,” concluded Julius Bacchus of Ecovie. “Today, given the shrinking margins of building sites, digitalisation introduces criteria such as efficiency and transparency.”
The merits of digitization were also discusses by Andrea Bresciani, Marketing Manager with CGT who – during the “Digital platforms for remote monitoring of efficiency” workshop explained: “Technologies on-board machinery, in particular telemetry and remote services, have launched a new period of evolution in the construction sector, because they make using machines safer, easier and quicker. In addition, these systems provide data about productivity, use, costs and maintenance status, thereby allowing remote control of individual machines, the entire fleet or even the entire construction site. Thanks to digitization,” he added, “the operator and the entrepreneur can forget about machine management, because the control tower, i.e. a team of technicians based in our offices, handles this issue remotely.”
Digitisation was also discussed by Valentina Neri, Sales Manager at Kiwitron, during the “Reducing on-site accidents: the best technological solutions for promoting safety” event. This meeting summed up non-selective radars, pedestrian tags to be worn in man-machine interaction areas, anti-collision devices and zoning systems using antennas to intervene on machinery and slow them down if necessary. “A single cloud set-up means we can manage different machines by different brands,” he said. “Our technologies can be installed on all vehicles by any manufacturer to make machines smart and improve the good work of operators without interfering with their decision-making skills.”
SAMOTER 2023 INTERNATIONAL AWARD GOES TO TELT
The Award, founded in 1973, goes to the dual-national (French-Italian) public promoter responsible for the construction and management of the international section of the Turin-Lyon railway line, thereby joining a long and authoritative list of award winners.
TELT is the winner of the 2023 edition of the prestigious and historic SaMoTer International Award, established in 1973. Veronafiere has chosen the dual-national public promoter responsible for the construction and management of the international section of the Turin-Lyon railway line, a company owned 50% by the French Ministry for the Ecological Transition and 50% by the Italian State through Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato, thereby joining an influential roll of honour.
“Receiving this award makes us proud and encourages us all the more to carry out this great European project in the name of innovation and excellence. Our special nature as a dual-national Italian-French public promoter has placed us in a unique position on the international scene not only harmonizing two cultures with different standards and approaches but also of being a test ground for continuous experimentation in the various construction sectors involved. “A challenge – as the Director General of TELT, Mario Virano, pointed out – which we are implementing with the support of high-level universities and research centres; it also involves the search for new solutions in many different fields: from construction techniques to safety at work, protecting the environment, as well as the circular economy for excavated materials and the application of anti-mafia legislation in a transnational context.”
The new Turin-Lyon railway line for goods and passengers is currently under construction; it is 270 km long (70% in France and 30% in Italy). Once completed, it will help eliminate one million trucks from Alpine roads, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around one million tonnes of CO2 per year and significantly reduce travel times. All the more, the project is also extremely important in terms of employment: the cross-border section involves more than 1,400 people at work (4,000 at peak operations) on 10 construction sites for an investment of 8.6 billion euro. The completion of civil works is scheduled for 2030 followed by commissioning in 2032.