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Second edition of SPS Italia Digital Days

31 maggio 2021

With 176 exhibitors, 90 partner companies, more than 1,200 products, a programme of 62 meetings and 130 talks, SPS Italia used Contact Place, its online trade show platform, to host the second edition of Digital Days. To mark the online event, which ran from 25 to 27 May, a new matchmaking function was launched, enabling users of Contact Place, a community that now numbers more than 7,000, to continue using the platform to establish contacts with companies and experts in the field of industry digitization and automation. By logging into Contact Place, users can follow coming events as they are happening or re-experience SPS Italia Digital Days events through video on demand.

The inaugural round-table discussion with ISPE Italia looked at innovations, processes and enabling technologies in the Italian pharmaceuticals industry where the benefits of humans working hand in glove with technology are more apparent now than ever. Little wonder, then, that SPS Italia should choose this as the opening event.

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The second day was dedicated to Competence Centers. These, of which there are six located up and down the country, came together to consider the state of play in the world of public tenders in Europe, and to discuss the European Digital Hub (EDIH), the opportunities offered by initiatives connected with the national recovery and resilience plan (NRRP), and the immediate outlook and future prospects for companies in the sector.

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Scientific conferences. The comments of the moderators.


Additive Manufacturing in an industrial context: digitization, sustainability and customization

Michele Lanzetta, Professor of Technologies and Production systems at Università di Pisa and head of the Additive Manufacturing Group (Aitem), declared: “The conference was attended by some of the leading lights of the additive manufacturing industry. As the title of the session suggests, the discussions centred on the various considerations that cause a company to choose this method of production. Not only were the illuminating presentations accessible for those working in the general area of process automation, but they also included plenty of points of interest for specialists. The speakers very ably illustrated the great potential of this technology by means of real-life example.  For instance, Everex - HP showed how its adoption of additive manufacturing had enabled it to reduce the number of components involved in the production of laboratory instruments. Siemens displayed a working environment that makes use of the digital capacities of additive manufacturing for the purposes of product development. Stratasys displayed some of the many products it has built using its additive manufacturing machines. B&R Automazione Industriale demonstrated the potential of AI through Roboze, which brings the benefits of additive manufacturing to the global supply chain.”

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New frontiers in automation. Flexible manufacturing systems for the automation of industrial processes.

Pierluigi Beomonte Zobel, Associate professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering, Information and Economy at Università degli Studi dell’Aquila, reported: “The conference on flexible manufacturing systems for the automation of industrial processes was very interesting and stimulating thanks to the contributions of twelve speakers representing a cross section of suppliers of advanced components and systems for industrial automation. The session touched upon some of the key aspects of these technologies, which bring flexibility and adaptability to the manufacturing processes of diverse industries by using, for instance, Digital Twin technology, which creates virtual and testable models of machines and manufacturing plants, and Virtual Commissioning, which runs full-spectrum tests of machinery and manufacturing plants using a digital model. I was very interested in the sustainable way in which these innovative digital technologies are being brought into the world of manufacturing, and in the examples of their practical application. The session went into some detail on the question of the digital architecture of manufacturing, the strategic importance of continuous staff training and the need for more trained personnel in these new sectors.”

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Achieving truly flexible and customized production

Alessandro De Luca of the Digital, Automation and Management Engineering Department of “La Sapienza” University of Rome, declared: “Thirteen leading companies in the fields of Robotics and Mechatronics presented innovative products and discussed emerging technologies for the digitization of advanced manufacturing systems (Industry 4.0 and beyond). Among the topics touched upon were: the introduction of transport systems based on 3D magnetic levitation units, the development of compact and lightweight electric motors for the propulsion of drones, innovative haptic interfaces, the adoption of force-torque sensors for the detection and regulation of the forces generated by robotics systems working together, the increasing diffusion of robotic manipulators erected on mobile bases so that, when fitted with the appropriate sensory and navigation systems, they can be deployed in intra-logistics, the integration of open source middleware robot operating systems (ROS) with factory information systems, communications between PLCs that supervise manufacturing cells and the diverse robots operating there, and communications between  PLCs and simulation environments. What all the proposed solutions had in common was their promise of greater efficiency and flexibility in processes of technological automation, along with ease of use and sustainability".

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Industrial IoT and the journey from data to information. Automation at the service of the data-driven enterprise

Giambattista Gruosso, Associate Professor at Politecnico di Milano, declared: "Connectivity and data play an increasingly important role as manufacturing transitions to the Industry 4.0 model. In the course of this scientific conference, several very interesting and innovative points of view were aired that will have helped the comprehension of those interested in applying Industry 4.0 to their organizations. The session dealt with connectivity, new technologies that allow information to be processed directly where it is produced, and the growing usefulness of edge computing for deployment of artificial intelligence applications in manufacturing sites and/or near the site of operations. The discussions also touched upon the collection, management and processing of large amounts of data. The panellists who attended were able to combine these themes and give an integrated vision of what is now called the data journey, which also includes the enrichment of datasets used for the design of digital systems with a high information content. The data journey, however, is not free from pitfalls and dangers, which were well highlighted by some speakers on cybersecurity who showed how to make the process more secure.”

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SPS Italia Roberto Maietti Award

The Scientific Committee of SPS Italia continued its practice of selecting the most memorable contributions from the event and recognizing them through the SPS Italia Roberto Maietti Award, which this year went to:

  • Niccolò Giannelli, Senior Manufacturing Manager EMEA Stratasys for his talk entitled "The Three Phases of the Adoption of Additive Manufacturing in Production and Automation: Principles and Cases of Practical Application",delivered to the conference session: Additive Manufacturing in the Industrial Sector: Digitization, Sustainability and Customization.
  • Gianluca Mangialardo, Motion Technology Specialist Keba Italy for his talk entitled: "KEBA: Local Dynamic Modeling for Condition Monitoring Applications and Machine Control Optimization", which he delivered to the conference session: New Frontiers of Automation: Flexible Production Systems to Automate Industrial Processes.
  • Michele Frigo, HW Mechatronics Designer and Michele Tasca, Automationware SW Designer for their talk "The Composition Of Mobile Robotic Systems Managed through ROS", which they delivered to the conference session Robotics and Mechatronics: Achieving truly Flexible and Customized Production
  • Anna De Carolis, Head of the Miraitek Consulting Business Unit, for her talk "Machine Learning: The Robot of Managers", which she delivered to the conference session Industrial IoT and the Journey from Data to Information. Automation at the Service of the Data-Driven Enterprise

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