Home Business Along the Via Emilia, “4.0” made its way into one SME out of two

Along the Via Emilia, “4.0” made its way into one SME out of two

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Along the Via Emilia, “4.0” made its way into one SME out of two

Emilia-Romagna and Marche is a manufacturing fabric further ahead in the adoption of 4.0 technologies, compared to the rest of the country, the one that emerges from the 4.0 Observatory created by the BI-REX Competence Center of Bologna and Intesa Sanpaolo to monitor and accompany the digital transformation of SMEs. And what is striking about the research conducted on over 300 companies from Piacenza to Ascoli Piceno is that the key players to push the adoption of 4.0 technologies are the direct suppliers of technologies (in 79% of cases) and those of plants and machinery ( 60%), not consultants.

Confirming the goodness of the Industry 4.0 Plan’s choice to start the birth of highly specialized centers where even small entrepreneurs can use and test digital machines and cutting-edge processes. Like BI-REX, the first of the eight Competence centers of the Industry 4.0 plan born in 2018 in Bologna, a public-private consortium of 57 actors between universities, research centers and companies, dedicated to Big Data Innovation & Research Excellence.

More than half of the companies in Emilia-Romagna and Marche – says the 4.0 Observatory curated by the Intesa Sanpaolo Studies and Research Department – adopt 4.0 technologies, with peaks over 70% for the largest and most active companies in the electronics and electrical engineering sectors . Even among the smallest companies, however, a good degree of diffusion emerges: in fact, almost half declare that they adopt at least one 4.0 technology.

And if the introduction of robotics stands out in industry (66% for metalworking, 53% for electronics and electrical engineering), automated warehouses (about 30%), 3D printing and cloud computing (about 20%), companies invest in services more on artificial intelligence (29%), big data (17%) and IoT (29%). On the other hand, the use of cybersecurity is transversal. And the adoption of technologies goes hand in hand with training courses for personnel in production or the inclusion of already experienced profiles from the outside.

Among the companies already launched in the digital age, one in two adopts more than one technology and one in ten employs at least 5. The objective of the investment in 4.0 is primarily to make processes and productivity more efficient, but also to reduce costs and connecting the factory and adoption always has a significant impact on both the organizational structure and the business models. The spark that kicks off the digital transformation process almost always comes from the owners / owners of businesses, especially in the PMs. And the push for change comes for smaller companies first of all from technology suppliers (in 79% of cases) and machinery (60%), in third place by consultants (23%) and customers (13%). However, there is still some way to go in order to bring universities and competence centers closer to SMEs, because the survey conducted between the Po Valley and the Adriatic shows that it is still the most advanced companies that are still establishing collaborations with the main drivers of experimental research and innovation in the area.

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