The MADE Competence Center is an Italian public-private partnership formed by 39 partners from the business and academic world with the goal of providing Italian businesses (particularly SMEs) with Industry 4.0 orientation, training and support.
We chatted with Ennio Chiatante, head of digital-transformation projects with MADE-participating company Comau, to learn more. Take a look…
Smart Industry: Describe the goal of the Competence Center.
Ennio: The Competence Center MADE is dedicated to the development of innovative projects in the field of Industry 4.0. In particular, as a highly specialized innovation hub set up under the National Industry Plan Impresa 4.0, Comau and the other partners of MADE aim to provide companies with services including:
- Supporting companies with information activities on Industry 4.0 and management of digital-assessment tools, both of which are useful to help SMEs in assessing their level of digital and technological maturity.
- Participating in the implementation of classroom and shop-floor training activities based on the analysis of use cases, in order to promote and disseminate skills on Industry 4.0 within the enterprises.
- Implementation of innovation projects, industrial research and experimental development. Collaborating with SMEs for the realization of industrial projects, including: activities for increasing the TRL (Technology Readiness Level); proof-of-concept activities; technological scouting and support for the choice of technologies.
Smart Industry: Are all partners Italian enterprises?
Ennio: It is an Italian project, but of international relevance, founded by Italian companies and Italian branches of international companies, together with the Polytechnic of Milan and the Universities of Bergamo, Brescia and Pavia.
Smart Industry: Describe the National Industry 4.0 Plan.
Ennio: The National Plan (Impresa 4.0) supports investments for innovation and competitiveness, exploiting opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Smart Industry: Who will benefit from the three services offered through this program?
Ennio: MADE aspires to become a national and international reference point for companies that have to face Industry 4.0's challenges and opportunities. In particular, MADE's activities are aimed at companies that work in the manufacturing sector, especially, small and medium-sized enterprises that today characterize the Italian industry field and have more need for support to successfully deal with the process of digital transformation. To help reach this goal, Comau makes the know-how and expertise of a leading company in the sector of industrial automation on a global level available to the Milan Competence Center.
Smart Industry: How will, say, industrial robots be used with this initiative?
Ennio: Comau provides the Competence Center with traditional and collaborative industrial robots with high payloads, such as AURA (Advanced Use Robotic Arm). We also provide for use the exoskeleton MATE, which supports operators by relieving their effort and improving the quality of production activities, the AGV platform (Automated Guided Vehicle) Agile1500 realized for logistics 4.0, and e.DO, the modular and open-source robot designed for educational purposes.
Smart Industry: What most excites you about the Competence Center?
Ennio: Participating in the Competence Center underlines our commitment in the field of innovation, contributing to the realization of projects capable of facilitating the development of the Italian industrial system. The center gives Comau the chance to continue to expand its network of strategic partnerships, creating new important opportunities for the development of increasingly innovative and challenging industrial projects.
Smart Industry: What is the state of smart manufacturing in Italy?
Ennio: Industry 4.0 has led Italian companies to invest more in advanced technologies, renewing systems and production processes. Although there are still differences between different companies and, especially, between SMEs and large companies, the approach to 4.0 has allowed all of them to increase their innovative potential and, consequently, their competitiveness on the national and international market.
In this scenario, the development of smart manufacturing in Italy will be increasingly characterized by significant growth in the demand for digital technologies applied to manufacturing, new solutions for the e-mobility sector, wearable technologies, collaborative robotics and smart-factory logistics tools. Not only in Italy, but in all regions, with different levels of speed.