The automotive sector is experiencing strong changes related to the implementation of new technologies, which are revolutionising the concept of mobility and the approach to driving through the use of advanced driver assistance systems and innovative user services.
To test the real impact of these changes also in relation to the theme of safety, the Politecnico di Milano has installed a new driving simulator in its headquarters in Bovisa, built by the Italian-German company VI-grade.
The results are very satisfactory and the system appears to be extremely effective, so much so that the university is already using it to carry out tests on the assisted guidance systems and as a key tool for the European research project Ai@edge, which aims to create a digital twin of an ecosystem in which self-driving cars move along with those driven by real people. In addition to this, the simulator will also serve to conduct studies on electric cars and sports vehicles.
The Department of Information Engineering (DEI) of the University of Padua has collaborated with the company Vi-Grade to the development of the control systems of the simulator, realizing in particular the motion cueing algorithms.
Through them, the simulator performs movements that allow to replicate as faithfully as possible the driving sensations that the pilot would have on board the real vehicle during the maneuvers.
Algorithms use sophisticated control methodologies, based on optimization paradigms that meet strict real-time computability requirements.
The total investment of the project amounts to EUR 5 million, partly financed by the Lombardy Region and the Lombardy Cluster for mobility.
Among the initiatives promoted by the European Commission there is I4MS (ICT innovation for manufacturing Smes), which supports manufacturing Smes and mid-caps in the ICT technologies application for the development of their business.
According to data reported by I4MS, the European manufacturing sector includes about 2.1 million companies that generate 31 million jobs and represent about 15% of EU GDP. 59% of all enterprises in the sector are small and medium-sized enterprises (Smes), generating together about 45% of the total value added of production. To ensure the competitiveness of this important pillar of the European economy at an international level, companies must be able to benefit from digital opportunities to accelerate and optimise their products and processes.
Thanks to I4MS, this transfer of digital technologies is facilitated by putting companies and their needs in contact with European technology suppliers and consortia of excellence in key areas of the digital factory, through ad hoc projects.
On the I4MS site Open Calls are published periodically: quick and easy financing schemes for application experiments in order to allow pilot and testing with new ICT technologies.
There is also a training catalogue for the introduction of new technologies related to digital transformation.
Among the members of IMPROVENET we have two I4MS Contact Points with the task of helping companies and stakeholders to use the opportunities offered by this European network: t2i and Nerosubianco.
• t2i (Technology Transfer and Innovation), supports companies in defining and developing innovative pathways through the establishment of networks for technology transfer and the deployment of value-added services for industries and organisations also by means of co-funding programmes at local and european level. More information about the role of t2i in I4MS at this link. • Nerosubianco is a consulting and services company, which supports all those who are evaluating, planning or implementing innovative projects and technological partnerships, with a team of high qualified specialists and a network of experts at European level. More information about Nerosubianco’s role in I4MS at this link.
Statwolf Data Science is a company based in Padua, which works in the development of data-driven solutions and artificial intelligence for Industry 4.0. The company was founded with the aim of bridging the gap between state-of-the-art methodologies in the field of machine learning and productive solutions.
The search for an ecosystem to fill the digital gap
Joining the Improvenet Network is in line with the search for an ideal ecosystem to carry out this mission.
This is possible through collaborations with the world of research, allowing the company to be constantly in touch with scientific innovation and through contacts with major industrial companies as well as solution providers, allowing Statwolf to develop and validate mutual interest solutions.
Statwolf is a partner of VIR2EM Project to develop advanced monitoring and prediction solutions in the Internet of Things (Iot) and Industrial IoT scenarios.
The collaboration with the industrial world in the project involves three major manufacturers of automatic machines in different fields:
The solutions, developed alongside these industrial partners, have a double purpose:
Allowing manufacturers to provide a new interface usable by their customers to monitor the machines and their uses.
Ensuring that the machine manufacturers optimize thier own service operations, facilitating remote diagnostics, anticipating interventions and enabling analyses and comparisons between different machines.
The collaboration with the world of research involves instead the University of Padua for the development of anomaly detection and predictive maintenance approaches in the fog computing scenario.
An increased competitive advantage through RIR partnerships
From a technological point of view, Statwolf will develop new integrations with machines and tools and new Machine Learning features, expanding its technological offer.
In addition, thanks to the ongoing collaborations, Statwolf will have functionality and verticalizations in its platform for sectors such as textiles and the entertainment industry that are new to the company.
Gian Antonio Susto, co-founder of Statwolf and researcher at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padua.
Gian Antonio deals with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, developing innovative algorithms and methods and solutions for different industrial environments. Gian Antonio was one of the pioneers in developing predictive maintenance approaches through machine learning techniques. He is co-author of more than 100 scientific publications and patents, and has won four IEEE awards for contributions related to Artificial Intelligence applications in industry.
The Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Course for Industry 4.0, organized by the University of Padua and managed by Unismart – Fondazione Università di Padova, is starting.
The course is divided into three meetings, with the Scientific Direction of Prof. Emanuele Menegatti – Head of Intelligent Autonomous Systems Laboratory (IAS-Lab) of the Department of Information Engineering.
The aim is to train companies on the most advanced technologies in the field of “Artificial Intelligence and Robotics”, creating a dialogue between the University and local businesses.
As reported in the article of Sole 24 Ore «Artificial Intelligence and Robotics have the possibility to radically transform services and production processes – says Emanuele Menegatti, professor of Autonomous Robotics at the University of Padua and scientific director of the course -. Transferring the results of academic research to companies has already shown to be able to create new products and services. Furthermore, this is now also feasible in companies that until a few years ago were excluded for economic size or internal structure».
The University of Padua, a member of the IMPROVENET Regional Innovation Network, is also a partner of the National PhD in Artificial Intelligence for Industry 4.0.
HORIZON EUROPE is the new European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the period 2021-2027. With a budget of 95.5 billion Euros it is perhaps the most important initiative in favour of companies with research and development projects.
What are the objectives of Horizon Europe?
The objectives of Horizon Europe concern the development of the EU’s scientific and technological bases; the improvement of the innovative capacity and competitiveness of European industries; the creation of employment in Europe. The Programme is structured in three main pillars: “Scientific excellence”, “Global challenges and European industrial competitiveness”, “Innovative Europe”.
For companies that want to develop innovative projects with European partners, the second and third pillars are certainly very interesting. In particular, in the second pillar (which is divided into 6 Clusters), we find the Cluster 4 “Digital, industry and space” perfectly in line with the issues promoted by the IMPROVENET Network.
Why is Cluster 4 in line with IMPROVENET?
Cluster 4 aims to shape competitive and reliable technologies at European level to promote global leadership in key areas, respecting the limits of our planet and maximising the benefits for all social partners.
The ambition is to create a competitive, digital, low-carbon and circular industry, capable of ensuring a sustainable supply of raw materials, to develop advanced materials and provide the basis for global progress and innovation with impact in society.
The areas of intervention are:
• production technologies
• key digital technologies, including quantum technologies
• emerging enabling technologies
• advanced material
• artificial intelligence and robotics
• new generation internet
• advanced processing and big data
• circular industries
• clean industries
If you are a company based in the Veneto Region and you are carrying out innovative projects in line with the above CONTACT US!
Join the Regional Innovation Network IMPROVENET – ICT for Smart Manufacturing Processes.
We hear more and more about Open Innovation, but first of all we should understand what it really is and why it is relevant how much we talk about innovative projects.
What is Open Innovation?
As defined by Prof. Henry Chesbrough “Open innovation is a paradigm that states that companies can and must make use of external ideas, as well as internal ones, and access internal and external paths to markets if they want to progress in their technological skills”. To deepen the topic we resume the analysis made by the National Technology Cluster FABBRICA INTELLIGENTE, of which IMPROVENET is partner.
Why is Open Innovation important in the manufacturing sector?
Resilience and sustainability are fundamental and indispensable values for a company that wants to innovate continuously. Internal innovation is no longer sufficient to be competitive and therefore it is essential to promote the exchange of technologies and knowledge with partners outside the company itself.
In order to achieve these ambitious goals, it is necessary to fit into wider networks and enter into an intersectoral ecosystem, such as the one offered by the Improvenet Regional Innovation Network for example.
As reported by the president of Cluster Smart Factory, it is important “to create a condition that encourages the convergence between the world of start-ups and SMEs leading the supply chain: this is the scenario that would allow small businesses to access the universe of the large ones».
The future of innovation then passes from Open Innovation! Find the complete article of the Smart Factory Cluster at this link.
IMPROVENET is a member of the National Smart Factory Technology Cluster, an association recognized with the aim of implementing a strategy based on research and innovation for the competitiveness of Italian manufacturing.
SANTEX RIMAR GROUP is a leading multinational company in the textile mechanical engineering sector with headquarters in Trissino (Vicenza), and offices in Switzerland, China and India.
The company is at the forefront in the sector thanks to strong investments in research and development in the different production areas related to looms, machinery for technical textiles, finishing machinery, machinery for the drying of sludge. The Group includes the companies SMIT and SPEROTTO RIMAR, currently members of the IMPROVENET Consortium, in particular both partners of the PREMANI and VIR2EM projects respectively.
Interview with Giulio Mandruzzato, Group CTO and Technical Manager of the Projects related to IMPROVENET.
Why joining the IMPROVENET NETWORK?
Surely one of the first reasons that prompted the Group companies to join IMPROVENET lies in the advantage of access to European funding, which serve to boost new R&D projects where there are large investments to be made. In addition, there is an additional advantage related to the network for the possibility of creating relationships in the territory, partnerships with companies that can support technological innovations (in particular, we have developed a collaboration between SMIT and the M31 technology provider and partner of the PREMANI Project, between SPEROTTO RIMAR and the technology partners: Statwolf, University of Verona and Uqido, for the VIR2EM project).
The relations inside the Network are not simple actions of supply, but relationships between subjects who want to share their own know-how and the added values.
In addition, the network offers the opportunity to discover and form new partnerships with different subjects to have new ideas, to develop new projects based on use cases, to collaborate with research centers and universities for the technology transfer. This latest collaboration also allows to find new specialized resources, with a training of excellence in the sector.
What will the company accomplish during the VIR2EM Project?
Through this project, Sperotto Rimar aims to achieve a development consisting in the overall digitalization of some products. In particular, the ambition is to achieve total control and sharing of data, especially moving towards a strong automation of the machinery produced by the company. All this implies a greater process control, which will be increasingly reliant on algorithms and software, to ensure higher standards of quality, efficiency and productivity.
Another advantage will be to retain the process know-how of these products, as it is generally in the hands of the operator and is difficult to ensure its transferability over time. It will therefore be possible to continuously improve the processes ensuring that they are always in full control over time. The achievement of these innovative objectives would therefore ensure greater knowledge, stability and sharing of the process by operators, both for the manufacturer and for the customer.
With which other RIR partners will the project be carried out?
Sperotto Rimar is currently collaborating with Statwolf, Uqido and the University of Verona in the project VIR2EM. In particular, Statwolf will specifically develop the data collection, analysis and exchange platform, including the necessary infrastructure such as analysis algorithms, predictive analysis, virtual cokpits and all the technology needed to manage from data collection to storage and remote data use. Uqido instead focuses on the use of data to develop Digital Twin algorithms, which are the basis of what was said before to arrive at higher product standards. The University of Verona will develop that part of the algorithms needed to connect the process and the machinery Sperotto Rimar, in order to optimize the management and control systems in the customer’s plants.
During the PREMANI project, the company SMIT collaborated with its technology partner, M31, in order to develop a micrometric system of quality analysis of the fabric in real-time.
How do you see the company at the end of the project?
The company is transformed from the point of view of its digitization capacity, with an eye also to sustainability. In fact, thanks to the control of data and process we can improve performances in terms of energy savings and optimize the resources to be used. Thanks to these projects it is possible to have truly interconnected companies capable of improving the process thanks to the control and management of data and able to be more sustainable.
Giulio Mandruzzato is the CTO of Santex Rimar Group
Graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Padua, MBA at the CUOA in Vicenza, he began his career in Sperotto Rimar. Subsequently he gained other experiences in companies in different sectors covering not only technical roles, but also commercial ones, working mainly in multinational companies. Giulio is also a member of the Board of Directors of IMPROVENET.