It is now mandatory, for any industrial reality, to deal with the change dictated by Industry 4.0 and there is an increasing transition from pilot projects to real activities in the field. A sign of technological maturity that, together with the use of applications 4.0, shows that Industry 4.0 is no longer limited to the isolated inclusion of new technologies in processes, but is part of a process of digitization provided by the strategic plan of the company.
The applications 4.0 implemented by manufacturing companies that invest in innovation concern the development and management of the Product Life Cycle; Supply Chain Management; and the Smart Factory, from production to logistics, maintenance, quality, safety and standards compliance. While Industrial IoT and Industrial Analytics are the enabling technologies that, first of all, are driving the transformation of Italian companies.
But what is the actual level of digital maturity of Italian manufacturing companies, and in particular of SMEs? What is the contribution of the protagonists of automation to the innovation process? What are the local skills that have been acquired and the new technological goals that are being pursued? During the plenary session, authoritative figures from industry and university will outline the situation and introduce the issues that will be explored by suppliers of technologies and mechatronic solutions during the conference sessions. It will also be presented the update of the study “Mapping of mechatronic skills in Italy” carried out by Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with ANIE Automazione and Messe Frankfurt Italia, and focused this year on the analysis of the Tuscan industrial fabric.
The mechatronic approach in the digitized industry requires that mechanical, electrical and computer design proceed in parallel in a synergistic and automatic way. The results of mechatronic design, before being used to physically build the machine, plant or production line, are tested and validated in simulation on virtual models, minimizing design risks.
The integration and communication of systems, the interconnection of components and supply chain, Artificial Intelligence and, more generally, the digitalization of production processes leads to speed, flexibility and performance never achieved with a traditional approach. Through the continuous monitoring of production data, the minimization of material and energy waste, a better coordination of man-machine and machine-machine, it is possible to meet the needs of a market increasingly driven by customization without losing the efficiency of mass production.
Performance is a strategic lever for the competitiveness of manufacturing companies and involves production, logistics and services. The interconnected factory has a network infrastructure on which various types of information travel to optimize production, efficiently plan maintenance and act in advance on possible failures. Industrial communication, closely linked to the theme of cyber security, is fundamental for maximising performance.