Europe is heading for the smart factory while the USA are dedicating to the smart product: according to the Boston Consulting Group, over 40% of the US entrepreneurs foresees in fact a very positive effect deriving from the adoption of digitalization to face the productivity/cost issue. It is well known that the American approach is different from the European one since the Old Continent’s economy is heavily affected by the national governments’ power while large room is left in the USA to the initiative of large private companies.
Analytical studies recently carried out by the University of Brescia on this matter show that the European version of Industry 4.0 and the Back to Manufacturingmodel promoted by US president Obama are two converging phenomena resulting from the awareness that the industrial sector shapes the identity of complex societies and gives them stability.
Mass production – fast and low-cost – and the automation of the manufacturing process meet the customers’ needs and fill high-priority orders in a flexible way. With regard to these issues, Italy is a leader since it is one of the major global producers of advanced robotized and mechatronic systems and comes fourth in the world for number of robots used in its companies. When combined with digitalization, these skills might bring our Country to be one of the Industry 4.0 leaders. Most of the process- and metallurgical transformation-related issues will be focussed on during next Metef 2017.