While unveiling Evox and Axiavert - a coaxial gearmotor and frequency inverter, respectively - Carboni stressed how Bonfiglioli, who make and distribute gearmotors, drive systems and planetary gearboxes to clients in the off-highway machine and other industries, recorded its highest ever turnover in 2019 ( €973mn + 6.7%). He also emphasised how the Italian firm had made significant investments last year, with capital expenditure amounting to €62.4mn, completing an investment cycle of over €170mn over the last three years.
Carboni said: "Lockdowns and restrictions had a significant impact on the company's  economic performance. The month of April saw, apart from Germany performing similarly to the previous year, a largely negative result in Europe and North America. Our April performance was even more drastic in India, where the country was totally paralysed due to a very hard lockdown and intra-state transport blocks.
"A whole different story went on in China, where, after the first weaker two months of the year, it began to grow at rates of more than 40%, compared to the same months of the previous year. Starting from June 2020, [our] order intake has been significantly higher, and in August total company performance was 13% higher than August 2019.
"All [Bonfiglioli trading] countries set a remarkable turnover recovery in August: China has increased its growth rate to more than 60%, India reached 10% growth, while western economies, despite much better results, are still struggling, except for Germany, up by 40%. The Wind Generator market represents one of the most important contributors to [our] growth."
All Bonfiglioli's geographical macro-areas have seen recent sales growth, with North America now accounting for 20% of business. In 2019, trading outside Europe accounted for slightly less than 50% of the company's total sales.
Last year, Bonfiglioli completed the construction and started the operation of the new EVOlution gearmotor plant (EVO) based in Bologna. It consists of two merged plants and benefits from a complete layout, process and competence redesign, featuring a wide-scale integration of 4.0 technologies.
Moreover, in 2019, BMR, Bonfiglioli's mechatronics research and system company based in Rovereto, north-east Italy, has extended its operation into a new 6,000m² building, capable of also hosting IoT development and test rooms.
Well established in India for over 20 years, Bonfiglioli has extended its R&D activities in the country by making a significant investment in rapid prototyping and a working cycle simulation lab for wind turbines' yaw and pitch drives. In India, the firm is also involved in R&D innovation focused on improving the reliability of construction machinery drive systems.
Bonfiglioli has also become a leader within IoTwins, one of the most crucial research programs within Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation. IoTwins stands for 'Digital Twin' of the industrial processes that will enable the virtual testing of plants and equipment in advance of production. This research group is responsible for 12 new digital twin platform.