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Record attendance at the sixth edition of SPS IPC Drives Italia, the leading trade show for industry automation in Italy

31 May 2016

674 exhibitors (+11%) showcase the state of the art of international factory automation and Industry 4.0 related technology to 28,614 visitors (+22%).

The three day event dedicated to the world of industry automation ended with an unparalleled success, and growth in attendance has exceeded the most optimistic forecasts and expectations. The entire scope of the international automation industry exhibited in three halls and the record 674 exhibitors of the sixth edition of SPS Italia were visited by also record 28,614 visitors. SPS Italia is not only a trade fair but also a knowledge platform focused on topics that involve the future of the manufacturing industry, e.g. Industry 4.0, which will be the main driver of innovation in the years to come. Donald J. Wich, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Italia, the organizer of the event, commented as follows: "the constant increase in visitor attendance over the year involves all the major players in this market: OEM, machine manufacturers, users and end customers, distribution partners, system integrators, the trade economic and local media, universities and all those who operate within the broader framework of the manufacturing industry, one of the strongholds of the Italian economy. Reflecting the general mood of our customers, we could not be happier with the results."

Thanks also to the special area labeled "Know how 4.0" which showed the state of the art of the fast developing digital and connected factory concept, SPS Italia confirmed itself as the premier showcase for Industry 4.0 in Italy. The demonstration area set up in the entrance pavilion, though broadly announced beforehand, was a pleasant surprise for all the participants. Giambattista Gruosso, Professor at Politecnico Milano and curator of this area, spoke about the success of the project: "Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory are subjects that come up often, and we wanted to offer SPS Italia visitors a broad overview of the most promising applications. First among these is the integration of automation with robotics, through connectivity, the Internet of Things and the potential that all this holds in terms of predictive maintenance, efficiency and the services that are made possible due to these technologies. Thanks to a section dedicated to augmented reality and industrial software we completed the Know how 4.0 overview: this was a real guiding light for visitors throughout the entire exhibition."

The first day began with the scheduled Cisco convention: the third round of IoE Talks on the Digital Factory. "We selected Parma and the collaboration with SPS Italia, the latter being a reference point for automation, since, in line with our history and our future, we believe that the Internet can contribute hugely to digitising manufacturing industries," said Agostino Santoni, CEO of Cisco Italia. "People are and will continue to be at the heart of the change; using increasingly intelligent machines that are connected to the Internet in innovative ways will allow us to create opportunities for growth, income and employment in our country."

On 25 May, the meeting "Automation and Manufacturing, the 4.0 combination in Italy" hosted Giuliano Busetto, Chairman of ANIE Automazione, who presented the results of the 2016 Italian Industry Report on Automation: "It has by now become a tradition to present our figures in Parma, at the exhibition. The automation segment has grown 5% on an annual basis in Italy from 2012 to date, and the total turnover generated by the manufacturing automation market in 2015 increased by 7.3% to reach 4.2 billion Euro. SPS Italia is an event that reflects this growth, an important signal that can and must capture the attention of the manufacturing segment". Mr. Busetto also presented the most technologically dynamic segments, the most active Italian regions and the reference industries and sectors, as well as the emerging technologies, such as 3D printing, an area which ANIE Automazione is already placing a particular focus on.

Next, Paolo Massardi, Senior Partner of Roland Berger Italia, presented the eagerly awaited results of the research conducted by Roland Berger on Industry 4.0 in Italy. 250 companies were included in the study and, even though the factory of the future has yet to be built, almost all Italian companies recognise the key role it will play in innovation. Some industrial players have launched pilot projects and the conclusions are encouraging: Industry 4.0 may be the way to relaunch competitiveness in our country, revitalise the domestic industries, create new jobs and seek more efficient production models for companies. Key questions regarding the challenges and risks connected to change and the state of the art in Italy were made to the top managers of the involved companies. In additions, the summary indicators of the results were presented.

For those who missed this year's edition or wish to repeat the experience, SPS Italia will be held again in Parma, from 23 to the 25 May 2017. During the year, there will be further 4.0 studies which can be consulted on the event website.

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