регистрация /  вход

Industry Production Essay Research Paper Industry ProductionThe (стр. 1 из 2)

Industry Production Essay, Research Paper

Industry Production

The structure of industrial production and the service industries is

characterized by the prevalence of smarkforce, 30% beingll and medium-sized

companies (94% and 5.6% according to 100 workers) thoug981 data), employing,

however, only 70% of the workforce, 30% being monopolized by large c ompanies

(more than 100 workers) though these comprise only 0.4% of the total. This means

that companies are widely dispersed over the whole country, obviously with

significant location and concentration of industry, and more than half the

industrial comp anies operate at little more than workshop level, as is seen by

the small workforce in each production unit.

On the other hand, the small number of large companies is explained by increased

concentration, at that level also indicated by the high number of employees.

There is only a limited number of cooperative companies (food sector and the

transformation of agricultural products), while large companies tend to become

multinational. The presence of companies with foreign capital monopolizing

specific commodity secto rs (pharmaceuticals, photographic materials,

electronics, cosmetics etc.) is far from rare.

One particular kind of development regards medium-sized companies, frequently

derivations of small family-run businesses with a specialized production, which

as a result of management flexibility have succeeded in reconverting production

and using technol ogical innovations which, with increased competitivity, enable

them to penetrate international markets, in this way contributing to the

consolidation of the Italian image and presence throughout the world.

The Industrial Sectors

The steel and metalworking industries

The country’s economic revival in the immediate postwar period was essentially

sustained by development and expansion of the basic industries, particularly the

steel industry, itself conditioned by the importation of raw materials such as

ores, scrap iron and coal.

Membership of ECSC enabled the Italian steel industry, which had installed the

integral processing cycle, to attain extremely high levels of production thus

satisfying increasingly greater domestic demand, such as that of the engineering

industry, as well as the export market. Following plant reconversion steel and

metal production is now stagnating due to the international economic situation

dominated by strong competition from Japanese industries and plastics, leading

to overproduction in the principal European countries.

The engineering industries

Mechanical engineering production is extremely varied and includes companies

such as shipbuilding, aerospace, carbuilding etc. with complex work cycles,

together with the manufacturers of simple tools. Component manufacturing is also

well developed and cl osely allied to companies producing durable goods not

easily classified in any one sector (for example, non-metallic materials used in

the car industry: rubber, glass, plastics etc).

In practice, mechanical engineering with its diversification and multiple

relationships with other industries is considered the mainstay of the national

productive system also in terms of the large workforce employed (over 2,2

million according to the 198 1 census, including small workshops). Apart from

cars and other vehicles, the most highly developed industries are tools,

household appliances, electronic equipment, precision instruments etc. The

industrial machinery sector is particularly active with ex tensive overseas

markets, and includes components for complete process cycles.

The chemical industry

The chemical industry is closely linked to mining and quarrying and uses

prevalently liquid (oil) and gaseous hydrocarbons (methane) from which an

immense range of materials is produced (rubber, plastics, synthetic resins,

synthetic fibres, fertilizers et c.), apart from traditional utilization as

heating fuel, engine fuel etc.).

Like the steel industry, the chemical industry has been going through a critical

period due to over-production and problems related to modernization of plant.

One serious additional condition is the need to resort to large-scale

importation of raw materia ls for transformation, and consequent submission to

fluctuating conditions on the international market.

The textile industry

Textiles are the oldest Italian industry, widespread throughout the former

States on the peninsula and frequently linked to the rural community which

provided plentiful low cost labour. In the postwar period, this sector faced a

period of crisis caused pr imarily by the use of old machinery and inefficient

working methods, though also by competition by foreign producers, particularly

in developing countries which were already raw material suppliers (cotton, wool,

jute etc.).

In actual fact, the crisis in the textile industry has deeper roots in the

progressive decay of some traditional related activities, such as silkworm

breeding and the cultivation of hemp and flax. The utilization of artificial

fibres derived from cellulos e, and later of synthetics derived from

hydrocarbons, together with renewal of production plant (mainly automated) and

job reorganization, has enabled far higher levels of productivity to be reached,

offset by a considerable decrease in the workforce and concentration of


For its raw material supplies (synthetic fibres) and the utilization of the

fabrics produced, the textile sector is closely allied (also by vertical

mergering of companies) to the chemical and garment manufacturing industries.

The latter, in particular, i s still scattered over the country, in the form of

small firms.

The food industry

Development of the food industry is a direct consequence of the expansion of

large urban centres and progressive industrialization. Strictly allied to the

primary sector (agriculture and livestock) it makes considerable use

nevertheless of imports, the re sult of insufficient national agricultural and

livestock production.Ascatteringofsmallartisan-typefirmsgenerallyoriented

towards meeting local demand is now flanked by numbers of medium-sized companies

operating at a national level, using advanced systems of processing,

conservation and packaging, themselves flanking the pasta, wine and oil

producers, and other traditional companies. The food conservation industry is in

a special position, connected with agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

Certain sectors of the economy such as wines, bakery products and confectionery,

are particularly renowned abroad. A number of big multinationals monopolize

supplies and are thus in a position to influence market conditions, while mass

distribution (super markets) is interdependent with certain food manufacturers,

while frozen and vacuum packed foodstuffs have helped to extend seasonal

consumption, particularly of fresh fruit, vegetables and perishables.

Here is a chart showing the dramatic changes in Industry.

The Geological Substratum

Even if it is not very extensive,theItalian territory is distinguished by the

considerable variety of its substratum rocks. The Alps are largely formed from

crystalline rocks (granites, gneisses, mica-schists, porphyries, etc.) but there

are also sedimentary rocks (limestones, dolomites and sandstones) that are

widespread in the eastern sector and the pre-Alpine belt. Sedimentary rocks are

also prevalent throughout the Apennines (limestones, dolomites, sandstones,

clays, marls, etc.), including Sicily, and are found in Sardinia too, where

crystalline and volcanic rocks predominate. There latter (formed from ancient

and recent lava and tufa) also appear in Sicily and along the peninsula’s

Tyrrhenian margin (where there is a considerable concentration of volcanic

phenomena, in part still active) as well as in the Alps. Finally, the flat areas,

including the great Po-Venetian Plain, are basically formed of mixed deposits

that are mainly fluvial in origin (conglomerates, gravels, sands, clays). The

great variety of rock types characterizing the Italian framework is mainly the

result of a complex geological past, distinguished by marked environmental

alternations – now marine, now continental – as well as frequent changes in

climatic conditions. Furthermore, even if present mountain forms are considered

to be rather recent, Italy does contain extremely old rock formations. Some of

the metamorphic outcrops in the Alpine arc and in the Sardinian-Corsican and

Calabrian-Peloritan massifs were formed before the Palaeozoic era, that is more

than 600 million years ago, and therefore do not contain significant traces of

organisms. During the Palaeozic era (lasting from circa 570 to 230 million years

ago) the area now occupied by Italy was largely covered by a tropical sea

(called Tethys by geologists) from which must have emerged some mountain folds,

as those of the Caledonian period, begun some 500 million years ago and whose

traces remain in southwestern Sardinia (Iglesiente and Sulcis). The next

mountain building period, the Hercynian, occurred during the last 100 million

years of the Palaeozoic era and was accompanied by considerable volcanic

activity. This provoked the formation of the original nucleus of the Alpine

chain together with the emergence of the Calabrian-Peloritan mountains

(Aspromonte and Sila in Calabria and Peloritan in Sicily) and the Sardinian-

Corsican massif. The volcanic activity of this period also affected the Alpine

arc (porphyry effusions in the Adige Valley), as well as in the northern

Apennines (Garfagnana and Apuan Alps) and Sardinia and Corsica. Following the

Hercynian orogenesis, the mountains formed by it were subject to intense erosion.

Thus at the end of the Palaeozoic era there emerged from the waters of the

Tethys (the extensive oceanic basin separating the Euro-Asiatic continental

plate from the African) the remains of the palaeo-Alpine chain, part of the

northern section of the peninsula – probably connected with the Sardinian-

Corsican massif, and, further south, the other great island fold of the

Calabrian-Peloritan massif. During the course of the succeeding Mesozoic era,

lasting for over 160 million years, almost all the present area of Italy

remained covered by a large marine basin on whose bottom (which varied

considerably in depth) was deposited on different occasions material of various

types. This was to produce, following a process of compaction and orogenesis,

disparate rock formations: limestones, dolomites, sandstones, marls, etc. In

particular, in the northeastern area there formed extensive coralline reefs from

which the present Dolomites are derived. Towards the end ot the Mesozoic era the

progressive moving together of the African and European continental plates

reduced their common marine space and caused a folding of their respective

margins and part of the bed of the Tethys. This was to produce the Alpine and

Apennine chains whose curvature reflects the anticlockwise movement of the

contact line between Europe and Africa produced by the particular forces of

their respective plates. Their collision took place some 40 million years ago

(between the Eocene and Oligocene periods) in the first-half of the Cenozoic era,

which is considered to have lasted from circa 65 million to 2 million years ago.

lc>The formation of the Alps and the Apennines continued throughout the Cenozoic,

slackening in the succeeding Miocene and Pliocene periods in which however some

uplifting continued. This was accompanied by intense volcanic activity that has

left traces in the Lessini Mts. (Venetian pre-Alps), Euganean Hills, Sardinia,

Tuscany and Sicily (Iblei Mts.). Already, however, during the Miocene period

erosion had considerably increased on the Alpine and Apennine peaks and this

also continued in the Pliocene period, resulting in the depositing at the feet

of the chains of huge deposits of sand, gravel and clay. There then followed a

phase of general increased marine predominance, lasting a good part of the

Miocene and all the Pliocene. At the end of this latter period, circa 1.8-2

million years ago, with the withdrawal of the sea and the filling up of the

great Po depression the shape of the present-day Italian region and particularly

the peninsula and islands began to gradually appear. The Neozoic era, which is

still in progress, was characterized in its early part (corresponding to the

Pleistocene period) by alternating warm and cold climatic phases, which resulted

on several occasions in the expansion and retraction of the Alpine and Apennine

glaciers with a consequent alteration in sea level. The last glaciation ended

circa 10-12 thousand years ago, giving way to the current Holocene period

characterized in Italy by temperate climatic conditions. During the Neozoic era,

usually called the Quaternary, volcanic activity has re-occurred very intensely

especially on the Tyrrhenian side. Surface erosion followed the relief modelling,

filling in with detritus the internal Apennine depressions previously occupied

by lakes (Val d’Arno, Val Tiberina, etc.) and also forming the plains at the

edges of the peninsula and islands. At the same time, while our present flora

and fauna were evolving, there appeared the first known representatives of the

human species in Italy, whose traces have recently been found near Isernia (La

Pineta) and date to some 730,000 years ago.


The complexity of its geological history combined with the wide variety of its

substratum rock types, often dislocated by numerous fault-lines and folding of

the rocky strata by orogenic forces, have contributed to Italy’s extremely

diverse morphology. Less than a quarter (23%) of its total territory is formed

by plains, while mountainous areas occupy over a third of its surface (35%).

Finally, over two-fifths (42%) consists of hill zones. Italy’s maximum height

above sea level corresponds with the summit of Mt. Bianco, 4,810 m., on the

border with France. The far eastern section of the Po Plain has in contrast some

zones slightly below sea level, which are generally subject to subsidence

phenomena. However, physically, the Italian territory can be considered to

consist of the following regional units, characterized by a certain

morphological similarity and at times also climatic: the Alpine system and Po-

Venetian Plain in the continental section; the Apennine system and anti-Apennine

reliefs in the peninsula section; and the large islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

The Alps

Almost the whole southern side of this great mountainous system belongs to Italy,

covering as it does a length of circa 110 km from the mouth of the Rh?ne to the

mid-Danube plains and varying in width from circa 150 to 250 km. This southern

side contains many longitudinal (Valle d’Aosta, Valtellina, Val Venosta and Val

Pusteria) and transversal valleys (Val di Susa, Val d’Ossola, Val Camonica and

Valle dell’Adige). It can be divided in three sectors: western, central and

eastern Alps. The first two of mainly crystalline rocks and the third of

sedimentary rocks. Their traditional groupings are still in use: western sector

of Ligurian, Maritime, Cottian and Graian Alps; central sector of Pennine,

Lepontine and Rhaetian Alps; and eastern sector of Adige, Carnic and Julian Alps.

The first two groups contain the highest peaks, often exceeding 4,000 m. (Gran

Paradiso, Mont Blanc, Cervino, Rosa and Bernina). The pre-Alpine belt is mainly

formed of sedimentary rocks. It stretches from the mouth of the Valle d’Aosta to

the Valle dell’Isonzo and is particularly disjointed, especially in two zones:

the Lombard pre-Alps, where the landscape of valleys is enlivened by large

glacially excavated lakes (Orta, Maggiore, Lugano, Como, Iseo and Garda); and

the Venetian pre-Alps, which contain numerous plateaux (Lessini, Sette Comuni

and Cansiglio).

The Po-Venetian Plain

This is the principal Italian plain, extending for circa 42 sq km to the south

of the Alpine arc and having its other border with the northern Apennines and

the Adriatic where it merges into a coast that is low and sandy on the Romagna

shore and ringed by lagoons on the Venetian shore. The Po River cuts across the

centre of the plain and, over the past two thousand years, has created a huge

delta on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. In this it has been assisted by many

Alpine and Apennine tributaries, as well as by other watercourses descending