“There are no suitable profiles to support 4.0 exports and investments all over the Northern area. Companies are competing for the new graduates”.
This is just one of the headlines that have been discussed in recent weeks. While there are those who point the finger at the fourth industrial revolution, on the other hand there are also new figures included in the world field thanks to the National Plan. Industry 4.0, which led GP Progetti to develop new software to improve industrial production, is the new frontier of the world industry, a scenario no longer so far that is taking shape day by day. Some experts have elaborated an interesting research that identifies the new professions brought forward by this industrial revolution.
What is Industry 4.0?
Born from a German government project and presented for the first time in 2011 during a fair in Hanover, the term refers to the progressive process of automation of industrial machines, with consequent significant advantages regarding production optimization and improvement of the human labor conditions. After the fulfillment of the project in Germany in 2013, today the 4.0 industry is no longer an impossible innovation. Today, in fact, the Italian government has made available an incentive plan for the companies willing to invest in this project.
New job opportunities
Industry 4.0 has been seen by many as a threat to labor. The cutting-edge machines and software for improving the industrial production would gradually replace the people currently working at the factory counters. A distant possibility, but on the other hand a growing demand for highly specialized and qualified figures is progressing.
This was demonstrated by “The Lombardy industries towards Industry 4.0: evidences of the evolution of occupations and skills” study, which highlighted with a statistical model not only the emerge of these new professions, but how in fact the companies are searching for them.
The choice of the Government, the Industry 4.0 Plan to intervene on the enabling factors at horizontal level without focusing on specific sectors, with stakeholder coordination but without a managerial method, gains a positive opinion from the companies. The knowledge of the Plan has been diffused by the trade associations and, above all, by the supply system that has had the ability to seize the favorable disposition for investments by the companies. These indications emerge from the KPMG research, presented at the recent Leonardo Committee Annual Forum, regarding the effects on the Italian industrial system of the digital technologies implementation, the implementation methods of the Plan and its results.
The impacts of the Industry 4.0 Plan in Italy and, in general, of the fourth industrial revolution and digital technologies on the Italian production system were the main topic of the XVI Annual Forum of the Leonardo Committee, recently held in Milan, which analyzed, thanks to a KPMG research, how the Industry 4.0 Plan launched a year ago by the Italian Government has been received by entrepreneurs.
Organized in collaboration with Agenzia ICE, Confindustria and UniCredit, it is the annual event that involves institutions, entrepreneurs and representatives of the financial world in order to take stock of the Made in Italy situation and development prospects for Italian companies; KPMG Research was carried out on behalf of the Leonardo Committee on a panel of 330 companies in the manufacturing, construction and services fields and is the indicative of the companies’ sentiment but has no statistical significance.
The heart of Industry 4.0 can be identified there smart manufacturing as the connection of production, robotics and data in the perspective of overcoming the current industrial model, revolutionizing the very idea of the factory as we have created it up to now. With this premise Alessandro Carpinella, Partner, Corporate Finance of KPMG, starts the presentation of the Research results, highlighting that in order to evaluate the impacts of the Industry 4.0 Plan we must consider the characteristics of the Italian industrial structure, characterized by: a high number of SMEs; a small number of large private participants able to direct the transformation towards the manufacturing sector; few chain leaders able to coordinate the evolutionary process of value chains.
“This situation happily condemns us to a transformation from below”, is the comment by Carpinella, recalling that the Government has chosen to intervene on a horizontal level without focusing on specific sectors, opting for stakeholder coordination but without a managerial approach. This is a choice shared by the companies, the object of the KPMG research: “The main indication found in the feedback of entrepreneurs about the Industry 4.0 Plan in Italy is that the widespread and simple tools work”, underlines Carpinella, who specifies: “It is still too early to draw the conclusions that this choice is the basis for the recovery, in recent months, of investments, which had instead collapsed in the previous decade”. The facts show that the Government’s incentive plan met the favorable recovery moment regarding the investments in basic production factors, especially in the industrial sectors. In fact, the 4% growth in equipment production was registered (between January 2016 and July 2017) with an increase of 15% of the related turnover.
In more recent periods there have been positive dynamics in terms of gross fixed investments with a growth of 9% in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period of the previous year, with an increase of 11,6% for machinery and 10,7% % for electrical and electronic equipment. The distribution of investments assigns a 35% importance to machinery and other equipment, 10% to electrical and electronic equipment, 18% to repair, maintenance and installation of machines, while the remaining 37% goes to other categories of investments. All in a framework of order growth expectation.
“We will have to wait for the second half of 2018 to confirm the impacts of the Industry 4.0 Plan in Italy for supporting these results, but it is time to set aside the rhetoric of our country,” reaffirms Carpinella, also referring to the good performance of the domestic market compared to Germany. In Italy the machinery and equipment sector grew by 8% in the last 18 months, compared to -2% for the German one, while the electrical and electronic equipment sector met an increase of 3,5% against 3% in Germany.
From now on, however, it is possible to compare the perspectives of the various countries to support the 4.0 phenomenon, among those who focused mainly on incentives regarding institutes and research centers, supporting a limited number of projects (as Germany did, followed by Japan and the USA), those who focused mainly on tax relief for companies (such as Italy) and those who followed a mixed perspective (such as France and Great Britain). It is understandable how the different methods are able to take into account the differentiated economy progresses of different countries and how to encourage growth
73% of the companies interviewed expect the deep impacts of Industry 4.0 on their business, with a greater awareness for companies with over 250 employees, where it reaches almost 85%. The main impacts of the Industry 4.0 Plan are focused on production efficiency (62.4%), which is a classic for industrial automation and is essential for medium-sized enterprises (almost 80%) and large companies (over 73%), but is also significant for the increase in the added value of products and services (48,4%), the improvement of customer relations (38%) and with suppliers (16,4%). The last three items indicate a growing awareness of deep change in business models, as we will discuss in a future article.
Divided into ten points, it is focused on companies that change in order to make the Country more sustainable. Among the main chapters of the document: greater governance for competitiveness; attention to social and environmental problems; support for the innovation of business models and business strategies aimed at achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) of the 2030 Agenda; training and research promotion; support for policies and management systems to ensure behavioral integrity and fight corruption; identification of suitable economic policy instruments; development of public-private partnerships and with the third sector.
The new world scenarios already impose a more systematic attention regarding the economic participants: sustainability and social responsibility, therefore, are not exclusively corollaries of industrial activities, but rather necessary management and strategic incentives. And they represent the main drivers to reduce costs, increase productivity, attract consumers and investors, and seize market opportunities.
“This is a call to action of Italian entrepreneurship, because sustainability and innovation are the two main pillars of the country’s economic development – explains the president of Confindustria Vincenzo Boccia – It is not just awareness as citizens, but also the need of changing the point of view. It is necessary to reflect and continue to work on a different model of development, which combines sustainability with innovation”, concludes the industrial leader.
In Confindustria, the Rsi was included in the delegation for industrial policy entrusted to the vice-president Giulio Pedrollo and a special Technical Group was set up, in charge of disseminating the subject matter through a series of initiatives and activities.
Industry 4.0, the boom of orders. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the “Ucimu – Sistemi per produrre” index, with regard to the association of the Machine tools, robot and automation Italian manufacturers, registered an increase of 21,5% on an annual basis. The foreign orders grew by 6,2% compared to the October-December 2016 period, while on the domestic field Italian machine tool manufacturers registered an increase in order collection of 86,2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.
During 2017, the total index registered an increase of 13,7% compared to 2016. The foreign orders grew by 4,7% to the total recovery of the setback registered last year, while domestic orders were increased by 45,9%.
The evolution in order collection in 2017 proves two phenomena that are decisively positive for manufacturing: on one hand, the index shows the recovery of contracts across the border, with a disappointing result in 2016; on the other hand, it registers the excellent investment performance in systems and software to improve production in manufacturing companies that operate in Italy where users, with an increasing pace in 2017, have acquired the latest technology for their companies.
“On the domestic market, –says Massimo Carboniero, president of Ucimu, the impact that the measures contained by the Industry 4.0 plan, and in particular Super and Hyper depreciation, have had on sales and the order collection is obvious”.
Satisfaction was expressed by the Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda. “The increase of over 45% of the domestic orders of Italian machine tools in 2017 compared to last year, registered today by Ucimu is an excellent result because it represents not only an increase in business investment and domestic demand, but also the new path taken by Italian industry increasingly directed towards new products, the streamlining processes and more advanced technologies – says the Minister – Ucimu’s leap in equipment, robot and automation orders is certainly the result of a favorable economic situation and the increased propensity of our entrepreneurs to compete at an international level, but it is also the outcome of the new incentive system – no longer banned but automatic, simple and focused on innovation – launched with the Business Plan 4.0, in particular with the measures of super and hyper depreciation”.
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution, an epochal change based on technological innovation that involves the production systems and the dialog between companies, supply chains and the market with the support of software for Industry 4.0
What is the purpose of the software designed for Industry 4.0?
All production processes are interconnected and controlled thanks to the use of new digital technologies, sensors and low-cost wireless connections that also interface them with company management software, focusing on monitoring and optimizing production.
All management processes are integrated in real time through software designed specifically for the customer.
Industry 4.0 renamed in Italy Industria 4.0 is a term coined by the German government in November 2011 in order to define an industrial strategy that promotes the development of the computerization of industries, in particular manufacturing, with the aim of creating the “intelligent factory” (or Smart Factory), efficient and ergonomic.
This development is based on the latest technological innovations, such as cyber-physics systems, wireless communication, the Internet of Things (IoT or IIoT), digitisation, 3D printing, cloud computing, robotics and advanced sensors.
The Iot or better defined in this case IIot (Industrial Internet of Things) provides that sensors connect together intelligent machines, storage systems and production facilities so that they can independently exchange information and data, and activate action-reaction mechanisms and automatic control of processes.
From instrumental goods whose operation is controlled by computerized systems or is managed by sensors able to ensure quality and sustainability, from devices for human-machine interaction and for the improvement of workplace safety to software platforms and to system integration solutions. The list of technologies and instruments that can benefit from the tax incentives provided by the Industry 4.0 Plan included in the Budget Law is long and detailed.
For more information and clarifications on the software for Industry 4.0 designed by GP Progetti, fill out the form or contact the sales department, without any obligation.