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6/15/2016
Gaiotto (Sacmi Group), a new plant in Piacenza at the heart of the mechatronics district

The launch is set for 29 June with a conference dedicated to “Industry 4.0”, the factory of the future which will change the way we work and create new values thanks to robotics and automation

Creativity, skills and human experience will be of increasing importance in the factory of the future. All of this thanks to the latest generation of industrial automation systems and in particular thanks to advanced robots. These machines have the ability to teach themselves – by identical, infinite repetition – the actions carried out by human operators with a flexibility that was unthinkable until recently. In this way, new opportunities for increased competitiveness open up for the best of Italy's manufacturing industries.

This is the background against which Gaiotto, the Sacmi Group company specialised in the designing and marketing of solutions for industrial automation (from robots to product handling) operates. The company will inaugurate its new premises on Wednesday 29 June within the mechatronics district in Piacenza.

Gaiotto is ever more fundamental to the Sacmi Group, being the company which supplies products and services for robotics and automation (the well-established robots used for glazing ceramic bathroom fixtures as well as the brand new handling systems for large ceramic slabs, and the collaboration with NuovaSima for the design of innovative automated plants with LGVs). The company has made significant progress this year, 2016. As the General Manager of Sacmi, Pietro Cassani, says, the Group has decided to dedicate “Industry 4.0” to the move forward as a starting point – and at the same time a goal achieved after spending years putting procedures into place within the Sacmi network – of a “strategy for intelligent innovation where the real and physical world of machinery and the virtual world of digitalisation come together in the efficiency of procedures, the customisation of production, the promotion of skills and the qualification of work carried out.”

This, indeed, is the theme of the convention entitled “Production companies in Italy in the 4.0 era. Scenarios and perspectives of adaptive automatic lines,” organised by Gaiotto for the day of the official launch of the new plant where the technical sales department has already moved and all of the production units will be transferred by the end of the summer. The conference will be attended by prestigious representatives from various institutions (including the mayor of Piacenza, Paolo Dosi and the under-secretary for the economy, Paola De Micheli), the industry (as well as Sacmi-Gaiotto, the colossal Siemens, former long-term partner of the Group, will be represented, as will Parmalat and FCA) and the University system (Prof. Cesare Fantuzzi, Engineering department at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia).

“The concept of automation,” explains Emilio Cavazzini, General Manager of Gaiotto, “unites and optimises the most significant skills in the fields of mechanics, electronics, software and sensoristics. What at one time were generally separate fields of business are now a part of a single process where robots, video cameras, sensoristics and advanced mechanics contribute together to the reduction of total cost ownership. In practice, they make it possible for industrial costs to be reduced considerably, whilst increasing the quality of the product and flexibility of production.”

This has been called “Industry 4.0” whereas in reality – explains Cavazzini – it is an extremely solid process that has the ability to grow (or bring back) competitiveness to production companies by means of a precise strategy which, starting from robots that can carry out actions as well as a production flow still governed by push logic (from production to the warehouse), inverts the order, taking requests made by the clients and partner companies as a starting point and offering solutions for production and logistics that can provide the client with real added value.

Shedding light on this aspect also through a debate with prestigious representatives from the world of industry and applied research is in fact the aim of the conference organised by Gaiotto on this red-letter day. As explained by Prof. Cesare Fantuzzi, from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, who will introduce the topic from the academic point of view, “Industry 4.0” includes a wide range of technologies for the acquisition, processing and communication of information within a production system in a widespread fashion. Naturally, it is vital to understand what kind of services, under this approach, can be set up in an efficient and inexpensive way that is advantageous for the client-supplier relationship.” As concluded by the professor from the University – which itself has a long-standing working relationship with Gaiotto – this is the reason why a debate is so useful between the various end-users (companies such as Parmalat and FCA), the system manufacturers (Sacmi-Gaiotto) and those who produce the devices (including Siemens) “with a single shared objective – to increase the chain of values.”

As the General Manager Emilio Cavazzini adds, it isn't by chance that this 4.0 industrial revolution for Gaiotto – which had a turnover in 2015 of 15 million euro, a third of which from orders outside the Sacmi Group – starts from Piacenza. “We've chosen to be based here as it's the homeland of successful mechatronics firms; as Piacenza is at the centre of an area where virtually all the principal local towns have their own engineering pole of excellence”. In other words, at the centre of a district where the best skills and most qualified experiences of the area can make their contribution in a decisive manner, on all levels, to create the factory of the future.
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