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With Sacmi-Gaiotto, Piacenza launches the Industry 4.0 challenge

Long-standing robotics and industrial automation brand inaugurates new headquarters. Afterwards, key protagonists exchanged info and viewpoints at the “Manufacturing in Italy in the 4.0 era” convention

“Industry 4.0” is the factory of the future, where manufacturing and virtual reality merge to give rise to more efficient production processes, offering customers new services, from product personalisation to total traceability. A scenario, then, that hinges on automation and robotics, together with Information Technology, all part of the very DNA of Gaiotto – a Sacmi Group company established in 1999 and now a global player with over one thousand plants installed worldwide. On 29th June Gaiotto inaugurated its new headquarters in Piacenza, thus completing its move from the original site in Vaiano Cremasco.

The official opening of this new facility, located in the heart of the mechatronic district and one of Italy’s ley logistical hubs, was attended by the mayor of Piacenza, Paolo Dosi, who pointed out its importance for a future-focused area with long-standing know-how and manufacturing traditions. And it was, in fact, the future that was under discussion (following the guided tour of the new plant provide by Gaiotto’s manager, Emilio Cavazzini) during the convention “Manufacturing in Italy in the 4.0 era. Adaptive automatic line scenarios and perspectives”, held soon afterwards at the nearby Università Cattolica facility.

Opened by Francesco Timpano –Cattolica professor and vice-mayor of Piacenza – the meeting saw several key researchers, producers and technology users offer and debate their relative viewpoints. “Industry 4.0”, explained Cesare Fantuzzi, coordinator of ArsControlLab of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, “includes a whole series of technologies for the far-reaching acquisition, processing and communication of information in a production system”. This spans from on-machine sensors to network-connected systems capable of managing, processing and returning feedback to the entire line; it also involves the new frontier of total traceability, intelligent chips on finished products that can provide key information on quality, usage and life cycle.

At Sacmi-Gaiotto, such concepts are, to a large extent already reality: during the tour of the company the participants had a great opportunity to see the all-new robots in action: these are systems that go beyond the concept of traditional robotics to involve the entire production process set-up, covering everything from higher efficiency to new approaches to stock and warehouse management. This is especially pertinent to the situation at Parmalat Italia, represented at the convention by industrial manager Franco Mutti: Parmalat deals with new packaging personalisation needs on a daily basis, and aims to square the requirements of large scale retail operations with consumers’ ever-higher demand for quality. Then there is Siemens, an IT supplier par excellence that, explained Roberto Zuffada, vice-president of Siemens Italia, has applied this concept to internal production for years by making a “digital image of production” where every aspect of the product is already defined on the basis of simulations and tests. FCA, instead, is a pivotal player in the revolution taking place in the automotive industry where “advanced vehicle sensor systems”, observed Paolo Griffa, the Ital-American Group’s Manufacturing, Engineering and Plastic Manager, “go hand in hand with the theme of interconnection with other road users and the internet”.

In Sacmi such challenges are also, and above all, being dealt with via the new Academy 4.0, a hub dedicated to the ongoing training of internal personnel, suppliers and customers, “thus providing a physical space”, points out Pietro Cassani, general manager of Sacmi “and proper training, dialogue and discussion standards regarding the 4.0 principles that will involve every aspect of the corporate eco-system”. For a near future that, together with a technological revolution, will also be characterised by a cultural one and renewed man-machine interaction capabilities.



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