Wood & Panel

Massimo Di Russo

Massimo Di Russo

Massimo Di Russo, Managing Director, Cefla North America speaks to Wood & Panel on the effect of the global pandemic, supply chain, the just concluded CeflaLIVE Charlotte and more.


The COVID-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic effect on the economy, globally. How do you see the current phase of the US woodworking industry?


Massimo Di Russo: We agree that during the first three months of the pandemic, there was an industry-wide slow down with companies learning to adapt to the ‘new normal.’ Once everyone got past the learning curve, there has been no difference between 2020 and any other year.


What about the supply chain? How are you addressing the challenges?


Massimo Di Russo: The supply chain is slightly longer in our line of work, but it is normalizing. Cefla Finishing has a unique situation where many of our suppliers are local to our businessin both Italy and in the USA. To address potential challenges, Cefla has increased stock levels on machine components and finished goods. By providing a deeper level of visibility to our vendors, they can better forecast their production and ultimately fulfill our needs.


CeflaLive Charlotte witnessed huge success. Can you tell us the main takeaways of the event?


Massimo Di Russo: In reflection, we see that the Industry is ready for in-person, focused events that dive deeper into quality content with live demonstrations and specific examples relatable to their business. Businesses are seeking information and value than cannot be replicated at the typical industry trade show or virtual event. From an advertising standpoint, our informative communications plan gavethe customer trust during a time period where event cancellation was, and still is, common.


The event was positioned to provide woodworking professionals with educational opportunities featuring live demonstrations and breakout sessions across the spectrum of finishing technologies, as well as one-on-one access to 15 exhibiting industry suppliers. Attendance exceeded expectations, attracting participants from all regions of the United States to learn about the latest tools, techniques, and technologies that can automate their finishing process. The event turnout gives the team at Cefla North America a positive outlook for what’s to come for the Woodworking Industry.


During the event, Cefla’s finishing LAB buzzed like a beehive with the humming of reciprocators, rollers, sanders, the spray of pumps and guns, and the chatter of participants exploring the breadth of technology right at their fingertips. Every technology housed in the LAB was utilized with tests taking place every 15 minutes – there was something to see and learn for attendees no matter the time of their arrival.


Each finishing technology featured an exclusive application and an assigned set of suppliers – not only to highlight the technology, but also the vendor’s product(s). Each supplier brought something memorable to the event, ranging from vibrant blue hued cabinet doors on the PRIMA spray machine, to stained shakers with low gloss top coat and the latest in fluid management technologies on the EASY and MITO spray machines. On the CFS Compact Flooring System, a roll-coating technology, a creative ‘chalking’ technique gave floorboards a distressed, weathered look. The J-Print MP industrial digital printer output beautiful, high-resolution images onto pressed board that were sequentially top-coated with clear lacquer using the Smartcoater PRO. Cefla North America is excited to house many of these coatings and fluid management tools in LAB, which will remain there for future testing and demonstration.


What are the most popular machines here in the US?


Massimo Di Russo: We see activity across all of our product lines, so its hard to pin it down to any one finishing system or technology. However, we can share that we see industrial digital printing as a trend that continues to grow with the use of alternative materials. The profile industry using local manufacturing has also seen an uptick in activity.


2020 is almost over. What are your plans for 2021? Are you planning for any expansion?


Massimo Di Russo: The industry appears to be strong going into 2021 and we are already gearing up for a successful year. Despite the initial slowdown from Covid-19, we feel our offerings are going to be very strong in the year to come.


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