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Interview with UPIVEB President Sergio Pirovano
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1. What kind of important events has your esteemed association held and what kind of achievements or milestones has the association speaking for the interest of your members reached in 2018?

UPIVEB main yearly events are the General Assembly, which is hold in June, and the Christmas Dinner in December. These are two important moments where the Association summarizes the major activities carried out in the previous semester, giving points for discussion and encouraging dialogue among Members.

UPIVEB has three Product Groups (Group 1 for Screws, Group 2 for Bolts, Nuts and Washers, and Group 3 for Stainless Steel Fasteners) that meet very often and perform an high level activity dialing with commercial, economic and technical fields.
Our Association is one of the oldest in the European panorama, it was founded in 1961 and therefore it is 57 years that UPIVEB represents the voice of Italian Fasteners Manufacturers in the world and keep and promote close relationships with all the existing Associations linked to the Fasteners sector, in Italy, in Europe and worldwide. I am really proud to say that UPIVEB goals were many during all these years of history, so I will quote some of the most recent ones only: the acquisition of the Convenorship and Secretariat of ISO TC2 WGs 13 (Washers) and 17 (Stainless Steel Fasteners), the publication of the Technical book «Structural Fasteners» in cooperation with Fondazione Promozione Acciaio, the acquisition of the EIFI Secretariat management and organization of all the EIFI events (meetings, annual conferences, etc.), the organization of the First World Conference on Fasteners «Fasteners Meetaly – Challenge the Future», with more than 400 Attendees, the participation to the major worldwide Fastener Fairs, as Expositor (USA, Russia, Brazil, Europe in general).


2. Could you please tell us more about the production and trade statistics of the fastener industry in your region in the past few months? What do you think is the reason to cause such a development?

As far as production, we expect in 2018 a small increase in comparison with 2017.

Both Italian imports and exports have increased, in the period January / July 2018, respectively of around 5 and 3% in comparison with the same period of 2017.


Our market trend is different from the other EU Countries’ one, because Italian exports are always higher than its imports, we are talking about 480.000 tons exported vs. 260.000 tons imported in 2017.


3. What do you think are the main trends in fastener businesses? Do these trends cause any challenges or result in any benefits or influences to the fastener industry in your region?

The Italian Fasteners Production trend is positive and relevant forecasts are satisfactory. One of the major markets influencing our Industry trend is the Automotive, in September a very strong downturn of more than 20% in car-sales was registered in Italy and in Europe in general, and this was due to the entry into force of the new emissions regulation. This is not going to impact the full-year Automotive sector performance, which will close 2018 with a +2% in comparison with 2017.


4. The ongoing trade war between USA and China has generated many significant influences to the global industries for a couple of months. Do you think that the trade war will cause any concrete influences to the market and region your association represents (please specify)?

We had the occasion to talk about the trade war between USA and China in all the recent UPIVEB meetings and from the opinions collected from UPIVEB Member Companies it does not seem that this is, for the time being, generating influence on the Italian market.


5. As there is still no sign that the trade war will end soon, what do you think your association can do to help members face the challenges?

The principal role of an Association is to assist Members in all challenges; as far as your question, UPIVEB is fortunate to have in its Members panel some global Players with plants all over the world, USA and China included. Their contribution of experiences allows the association to be always informed about the developments of this and many other important issues affecting the worldwide fasteners sector: the sharing of ideas and information does increase the unity and the knowledge of all Member Companies.


6. With the advent of 2019, does the association have any plans to give or participate in any regional or internationals events?

After its attendance to the Fasteners Fair Italy in September 2018, UPIVEB will attend the Fastener Fair in Stuttgart – scheduled in March 2019 - as well, as expositor.


We will attend our Mother Association EIFI’s yearly congress, which will be held in France in May 2019, as well as all the major events linked to the Fasteners sector at both national and international level.

As said before, we will arrange the new edition of “Fasteners Meetaly” in September 2019, dates still need to be fixed; this will be the second world conference on Fasteners arranged by UPIVEB in Italy, Milano.


7. What is your expectation and prospect toward the fastener industry in 2019?

The Italian Fasteners Production Industry is strong and healthy, and we hope for a stable and satisfactory market trend throughout 2019.


8. Is there anything else you’d also like to share with our readers?

I am glad to announce herewith that starting from January 2019, UPIVEB Membership will be open to the Companies which are part the supply-chain of the fasteners production, i.e. steel mills, producers of cold-forming machines, surface coaters, and many others.

Such Companies will join the Union as “Supporting Members” and will have the opportunity to strength their relationship with UPIVEB Members, and to participate to certain UPIVEB activities at both national and international level.

This epochal change in the UPIVEB will certainly bring substantial benefits to both Members and supporting Members, and marks new steps towards the future in a globalized perspective.

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