The Italian Industry 4.0 Plan is going on. After the 2016 tax incentive (the so called iper and super ammortamento) for buying goods, digital machinery and softwares that gave a great push to investments, 2018 in now focused in trainings. In order to introduce factories to the 4th Industrial Revolution, Government has provided specific incentives addressed to human capital, aimed to train, update and gain skills in three macro categories: sells and marketing, production techniques and technologies, Information & Technology.
Training will be managed by competence centers, universities and highly specialized companies that will support factories through innovation projects, technology transfer and industrial R&D. The plan is a strong answer to the growing demand for professionals – software analysts and designers, app developers, engineers, industrial designers – for whom demand exceeds supply and so salaries are increasing.
Technology is therefore increasingly considered among the business choices of companies, mainly in the three areas of business processes highlighted by the Plan:
- Smart Lifecycle: product development, lifecycle management and suppliers management
- Smart Supply Chain: physical and financial flows planning
- Smart Factory: production, logistics, maintenance, quality, safety and rules respect.
Where are the companies’ investments going specifically?
- Internet of Things (for 63% of the Italian Industry 4.0 market, equivalent to 1 billion euros*): machine learning and smart apps, advanced robotics for tools increasingly autonomous and able to collaborate with each other (drones, appliances, cars, etc.)
- Industrial Analytics (20%, 330 million euros): big data, advanced data collection, processing and analysis, cyber security
- Cloud Manufacturing (9%, 150 million euros): access on cloud computing platforms to a shared and configurable set of manufacturing resources
- Advanced Automation (8%, 120 million euros): autonomous and collaborative production and handling systems
- Advanced Human Machine Interface (1%): evolved man-machine conversation platforms, virtual and augmented reality for increasingly immersive experiences.
The Industry 4.0 is a challenge and a big investment for Italian companies, especially for SMEs, but above all is an occasion to create new synergies and make the Italian market more competitive.
* Data from the Industry 4.0 Observatory of the School of Management of the Milan Polytechnic (May-June 2017).