People and Training: the Challenges to Complete the Transition to 4.0

by Massimo Daniele, ANIE Automazione Managing Board

The IIoT approach is often identified as a revolutionary technology that is changing the industry and the concept of “enablers” is often associated with these technologies. It is an evolution that has its origins in technologies and functionality whose idea and development emerge at the end of the last millennium, from the first suppliers of components and automation services, of which we see today the most important use thanks to the global standards, to increasingly capable infrastructures, skills and best practices that are finally real, and precisely the concept of IoT and Big Data that make data today really usable by anyone and everywhere, even if before the IIoT expresses all its potential it will take some more time. The majority of Italian companies, in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors, have begun this process: a process of transformation to be more competitive, independently of external political / economic factors that can more or less influence the times, but not the path. And there are two areas that dominate the scene and represent the main challenges to complete the transition to Industry 4.0. The first one is strictly related to the data: the management of Big Data, their use through the various levels of Analytics, and the security intended above all Cyber Security, are the Items to which we must pay attention to exploit the better the information. The second is the management of the internal processes of the factory and the company; maintenance processes, production adaptations must be reviewed to be truly effective and have a real ROI and level of competitiveness on the market. One element is common to all this: people and their formation. In the current phase to move from Evolution to a real Industry 4.0 Revolution it is necessary to put the training of people at the center, bringing those with skills within the companies to know and exploit the new technologies, and to insert new people, digital young, who can acquire those skills that only the real work experience and the sharing of knowledge with the expert resources can give, and in this sense, the provision of the latest law which provides incentives for those who invest in training launches a signal that companies are ready to seize. ANIE Automazione and its member companies are aware of the importance of training and how this represents a key asset for the enterprises. It is not just about the opportunity to insert and train new staff in the structures or to learn new jobs, but to allow the precious resources already present in the company to take advantage of modern technologies without losing the know-how built up over the years, which has always distinguished the Italian manufacturing sector, integrating it with new processes for a holistic and revolutionary approach; a fourth industrial revolution, not only technological, but also social.