Among the panel manufacturers exhibiting at Sasmil in Milan, the Mauro Saviola Group of Italy once again created a spectacular stand which dwarfed all others in Hall 11. Covering 1,600m², it was walled round with white back-illuminated panels decorated with enormous leaves and flowers and the legend ‘Naturale Historia’ in bold lettering.

The spacious interior was liberally decorated with fresh flowers and provided a garden of tranquillity in the midst of a hectic exhibition.

“The theme of the stand is ‘natural’ because we use 100% recycled or ‘urban’ wood in the production of our panels – over 5,000 tonnes of it per day – and not trees,” said managing director Luigi Gozzi.

The company makes 1.5 million m³ of panels per year, of which 100,000m³ is MDF and the balance is particleboard.

The group launched five new brand names at Sasmil. These were ‘Trend’ from group company SIA, ‘UP’ from Sadepan Legno, ‘Avante Garde’ from Sit, ‘Primopiano’ from Silla and ‘Zoom’ from Sacio Legno. These are from separate design centres, producing five collections in decorative papers.

Mr Gozzi said a new company, Composad, has also been launched to develop the distribution of knock-down furniture which the company produces and packages under the Ecokit and Fatevoi brand names.

“We will be one of the most important producers worldwide and we are investing DM100m in this area,” said Mr Gozzi. Saviola has 15 subsidiaries employing 1,044 people in panel manufacture and processing, chemical manufacture and transport and has a particleboard mill in Argentina.

Kronofrance had an impressive model of an historic ship on its stand, made out of OSB from its new mill at Sully-sur-Loire. This attracted visitors to see the range of decorative panels which the company also has to offer.

Other major panel manufacturers Gruppo Frati and Annovati of Italy, Homanit and Hornitex of Germany and Trupan of Chile all exhibited their MDF and or particleboard products in the Sasmil halls.

Sesa (SpA) Press Plates celebrates 50 years in business this year, supplying a range of smooth and engraved press plates to the panel and furniture industries. It was also promoting the joint venture, created last year with MSF of India, to create Sesa-MSF, emphasising the company’s commitment to be a global player.

Schattdecor, the decor paper printer from Thansau in southern Germany, took the opportunity to announce it has set up a new design studio in München-Gladbach in the north of Germany, a national centre for engravers. It is equipped with a scanner and a camera to digitalise decors for production at Thansau. Schattdecor now has nine printing machines there, with a further two to be added by the end of the summer.

Another decor printer, Lamigraf of Barcelona, Spain and Bönen in Germany, was presenting new walnut designs for the Italian market which it says favours this species. White oak designs are also popular, said commercial director Albert Kirchner, adding that Lamigraf also specialises in fantasy designs.

Masa Decor of Germany claimed Sasmil as a great success for the company with many international visitors. The company offers a range of decors, specialising in wood grains.

Another major supplier of decor papers, Interprint of Arnsberg, Germany, said cherry has increased in popularity greatly among Italian designers, together with walnut mixed with light colours. A new trend is for ‘milky look’ light wood grains such as oak with a light transparent film over the surface.

Interprint is to open a new service centre in Verona, Italy, this summer, with a laboratory machine and colour matching system.

Berndorf Hueck celebrated its recent formation with a stand displaying its competence in engraved press plates and endless belts.

Hindrichs-Auffermann also presented its range of both engraved plates and endless belts for the decorative panel industry.

Italy is well known for its design flair and decor printers say Italian style is increasingly sought after in international markets. Sasmil thus provides a good opportunity for design oriented companies to show their products in what many regard as the home of furniture style.