High Turnover at the Annual AITAL Assembly

Over 70% of members took part in the Association’s annual appointment

by Giampaolo Barbarossa

The annual Assembly of AITAL (the Italian Association of Aluminium surface Treatments) was held in October in Bentivoglio, a small town linked, as its name shows, to the Bentivoglios, the lords of Bologna, who chose it as their countryside residence.
The turnover of members at the assembly was very high. Roughly 70% of associates were present at the event. Such a high participation was certainly due to the interest of members in the association and he technical and statistical reports which were presented, but a relevant factor in determining this success was definitely the simultaneous celebration of the 60th anniversary of CIOA, the association of anode oxidizers which, along with VECTAL (the Italian Association of third-party aluminium coaters) enabled the foundation of AITAL in 1994.
President Francesco Memoli, after greeting participants and reminding them of the commitment to change a few passages of the association’s charter, then turned to the ex presidents of CIOA, many of whom were present in the hall, calling them “Masters”. This group incluede Walter Fabbri, Silvio Casadio Loreti, Silvio Pozzoli, Giancarlo Fenzi, Corrado Baroni, Antonio Tirapelle and Pino Ponzio. For president Memoli the example of dedication shown in the past by these presidents and by all board members is a signal of strong unity, compactness, shared objectives and values especially for the younger members of the association, considering the generation change is occurring in the sign of continuity and improvement with new ideas and new energies.
President Memoli ended his speech by addressing the entire Assembly and the candidates for the Board of Directors for the next three-year term, 2019-2021, urged directors to guarantee a concrete contribution and a constant presence.
The Secretary General, Giampaolo Barbarossa, then presented the day’s program and listed the main activities carried out by the Association during the past year. Above all, Barbarossa detailed the results of the magazine, Oxit, and the changes of the association’s website, which is now an information tool for members especially in the private area and is also about to improve the part destined to the technical information for users.
Barbarossa also mentioned the activity of the technical work groups. Even this year, the activity of some technical work groups was intense, especially the “Coating products” and “Anode oxidation” work groups which have the final objective of preparing specific Fact Sheets which become useful reference material regarding surface treatments for aluminium. The activity of the work groups concerned above all the safety aspects. Member companies were regularly informed, by means of circulars and news bulletins, on all necessary actions regarding respect for the health of workers and the environment. The updates, new regulations and obligations contained in the REACH directive are monitored very closely.
The Association continued its engagement in congress management activities. Particularly, AITAL, along with AIM (Italian Metalllurgical Association) organized the “Aluminium extrusion for a global market which demands quality, competence and added value” congress, held on June 7th in Milan, which was attended by a large audience. Even this year AITAL cooperated with Milan’s Polytechnic to organize the fifth edition of the ISM (Industrial Short Master) on the surface treatments of iron and aluminium with the participation of a large number of students.
A fundamental aspect of AITAL’s activity id to eb found in the partnership with QUALITAL (the Institute for the certification of aluminium and other materials)which once more proved extremely useful for member companies. QUALITAL represents a precise and consolidated reference point for companies, thanks to the technical support, competence and laboratory equipment present in this Institute.

Technical reports
The event continued with the presentation of some reports regarding technical and economic topics. Specifically, Carmine Garzia from the University of Italian Switzerland, presented a report on “The evolution of the door and window market in Italy and the outlook for development in the 2019-2020 period. The effects on the market of surface finishing”.
Professor Garzia’s speech aroused great interest for the detailed analysis of the situation in the finishing department, which showed interesting signs of an upswing during the past few years and has a certain stability which should last for the next few years.
The technical session “Update on the activity of Work Groups, Environmental Norms, contingent situation” provided information regarding research activities carried out by QUALITAL, on Quality Labels, on the results of the AITAL work groups, on the updates on the environmental norms, on the contingent situation of the aluminium surface treatment segment and on other topics specifically requested by participants. In greater detail, Giampaolo Barbarossa provided indications regarding the initiative aimed at a change in the legislation regarding the limits of aluminium in industrial waste water, the norms on the authorization to use hexavalent chromium and the norms on the use of nickel-based products.
Riccardo Boi presented the results of a research project and the relative experiments carried out at the QUALITAL laboratory on innovative continuous oxidation techniques for aluminium coils. Finally, Pozzoli informed the participants as to a new project for the recovery of hydrogen from anodizing plants while Giuseppe Casati (QUALITAL), in the coating session, presented the results of ongoing studies and research and new initiatives in the following domains:
• QUALICOAT work groups
• Open projects of the “Powders” work group
• Updates on the technical specifications of the QUALICOAT label.
As regards coating, Juan A. Bernabè (President, QUALIDECO) provided an overview of the development of this label in the world.
A special moment of the day was the celebration of CIOA’s 60 years with the former presidents, who expressed encouragement and appreciation for the representatives of the member companies present. AS suggested by the current board members, approved unanimously by the Assembly, it was decided to confer on all former presidents the title of honorary members.