In recent years there has been much talk of Industry 4.0, Factory 4.0, Smart Factory, Intelligent production or Industrial Intern. All these terms mark the progressive implementation of new technologies within factories.
Industry 4.0 is the result of the fourth industrial revolution and will lead to an increasingly automated and interconnected production using digital technologies within the manufacturing industry.
It’s been a few years since technology has driven our lives, from the simplest actions of our everyday life, up to the professional environment, everything revolves around new technologies.
Technological innovations, men working with machines to achieve greater productivity and maximum savings, are the most sought after features of every company.
Today, mastering different technologies is a must as this represents great savings and earnings for companies.
This applies both to start-up factories, but also to companies that increasingly rely on electronics to manage, improve and increase their workflow.
Factory 4.0: what it is and the advantages of the Smart Factory
The term was first used at the Hanover trade fair, in Germany – a fair entirely dedicated to how men and technology interact – and today its meaning is still evolving.
Factory 4.0 sets the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution which corresponds to what we are experiencing today and what we have been living during these past years. It is marked by the integration of the so-called “cyber-physical systems” in industrial processes, as well as, of the digitization and computerization of the whole production chain, up to the final product.
Every industry has the opportunity to be part of this technological industrial revolution since the latter has and will have in the future, a certain impact on the main aspects that affect every business.
First of all, digital technologies improve the collection and the analysis of useful data for the company.
Thanks to computer systems, appropriately developed with specific software, the data required for each business are analyzed with greater speed and the data showing a greater economic value are taken into account.
Thanks to these new technologies, it is possible to improve the work performance, not only by using touch devices, but also thanks to augmented reality tools, such as Google Glass.
Finally the so-called fourth industrial revolution mainly concerns, and not only, the following industries: additive manufacturing, 3D printing, robotics, and communications.
Industry 4.0 and Smart 4.0: targets
Among Factory 4.0’s targets, there is to produce new technologies that will allow saving on electric energy.
For this reason, companies producing electricity, lighting and electrical cables are starting to get interested in this new type of factory.
To save you must invest, and this is what many businesses are doing. They have chosen to invest in Factory 4.0.
Benefits are remarkable and as mentioned above, they mainly concern companies working with electricity.
But there are many other positive aspects of the fourth industrial revolution and Italy has decided to take part in the project.
In November 2015, with a document presented by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development entitled “Industry 4.0. the Italian way to the competitiveness of manufacturing” the ministry has dictated the lines of action concerning Factory 4.0.
The main objectives of the document are:
- Relaunch investment in R&D,
- Favor the creation of new businesses and new entrepreneurship,
- Ensure businesses protection and privacy when using new technologies. These
new technologies must be equipped with appropriate infrastructures and skills for industry 4.0. and financial resources must be appropriately used for the Industry 4.0. project.
The Industrial Revolution 4.0: incentives for companies and a new framework for the world of work
In September 2016 the Italian Prime Minister and the Minister of Economic Development have launched the Industry 4.0 plan, which was already part of the Stability Law.
This plan foresees extra private investments for a sum of €10 billion, a further €11.3 billion of private expenditure on R&D and innovation and €2.6 billion for investment in businesses that have started using new technologies.
In addition to these investments, companies that are participating in the future of the industrial revolution, have a series of incentives and tax relief.
Tax incentives were set for all those businesses that decided to use these new technologies and to adapt to this technological revolution.
Having said so, it is very clear that all industries are more than happy to invest in factory 4.0.
As mentioned above, the objective of Revolution 4.0. isn’t only to make industries more technological but to change the world of work.
Many jobs will be lost and at the same time, many others will be open, mainly for workers who will show developed technological expertise.
All this was anticipated at the end of 2016, and today, in the early days of 2017, these conditions for implementing Factory 4.0. are becoming a reality.
With the 2017 Budget Law, a super depreciation equal to 250%, and a further 140% depreciation for industries that choose to invest in Factory 4.0, were approved.
Many industry owners were attracted by the news, as it enhances a series of advantages for those who choose to use new technologies within their company.
Incentives for a value of €13 billion until 2020 were set, for all the investments related to new technologies and especially for investments related to the use of new systems.
New systems were invented to make electricity more efficient and to obtain maximum savings for every industry.
In conclusion, this represents a great option for those wishing to buy highly technological tangible and intangible assets and for those who are willing to invest in research and development projects in the technological and digital industries.
With the new Budget Law and thanks to longer delivery times, investing in technology is simpler.
The deadline, for businesses that will complete their orders by the end of December 2017 with an advance payment of 20% of the total amount, has been extended until January 2018.
To better understand which goods will be covered by this super depreciation, we will need to wait for a while, as the measures proposed by the Plan 4.0. will enter into force in January 2017.
Thanks to this new framework, every company is ready for this new digital revolution.
Every company today is committed to proposing projects related to the industry 4.0 program. Everything bodes well that there will be significant innovations in the future of every industry sector. If you wish to know more about the developments of industry 4.0. in Italy you simply need to consult the Ministry of Economic Development website.