The rubber and plastics industry is one of the major players in Italian manufacturing.
The sector produces and distributes a wide variety of products, used in the many different fields and for the most diverse purposes.
Tyres, soles, building components, packaging: this and much more is part of the daily life of more than 45,000 workers in the sector, as Federazione Gomma Plastica, which bring together the main Italian manufacturers, testifies.
What do these companies, with their different histories and specialisations, have in common?
The continuous search for new solutions, the quality of the offer and the contribution to national exports. In a rapidly changing environment, how can you continue to grow?
Companies are called upon to devise new strategies: not only to defend their market position, but above all to do better. This is also necessary for the rubber and plastics industry, which has to review its processes and is often at the centre of controversy because of its environmental impact.
Looking to the future: the need for change
The negative view of the industry is often biased. While the problems of plastic pollution cannot be denied, the positive contribution that companies can make in terms of innovation should not be underestimated.
The development of new solutions is a prerogative of those operating in the sector and can translate into valuable business opportunities, designed to strengthen circular economy models in the long term.
Not only: the European political context, dominated by the theme of ecological transition, imposes models of industrial development different from the past. A transformation that is now urgent for national governments.
Businesses can play their part, and the world of rubber and plastics is no exception.
There are two key words: partnerships between companies and digitalisation. Two essential directions for the change we have mentioned.
New strategies for greater efficiency
Digital processes and strategic agreements along the supply chain are therefore the way forward to achieve solutions that have less and less impact on the environment. A principle that also emerged during the recent Plastic Forum 2021 organised by Fanuc Italia and dedicated to innovation in the sector.
Artificial Intelligence, IoT and robotics are just a few examples of applications that can be used to track the processing phases of materials, identify resource wastage and optimise the consumption of raw materials.
The use of digital technologies makes it possible, for example, to store huge amounts of production data, defining new parameters with which to increase plant safety, prevent over-consumption and monitor the disposal of products at the end of their life cycle.
These processes are complex and require partnerships between companies in the supply chain in order to develop joint research projects. This is a trend that is destined to consolidate in the immediate future for Italian companies as well.
A choice that can translate into concrete competitive advantages, with which they can continue to grow in both domestic and foreign markets: exports have historically been one of the sector’s vocations.
Making production more sustainable is a fundamental piece of the puzzle, and to this is added the need to continue to meet demand, both at home and abroad.
Setting new commercial objectives is therefore fundamental: only through the synergy between all these elements – innovation, development of new relationships and economic growth – will it be possible to redesign the future of the entire sector.