MECSPE LAB – Innovation Area

MECSPE LAB – Innovation Area

For over 20 years, MECSPE has been a meeting point for thousands of technicians, entrepreneurs, and researchers attracted by the presented demonstrators, technological innovations applied from which to draw inspiration, ideas, and tips for their own activities.

MECSPE LAB – Spazio Innovazione 2024 from March 6th to 8th will be the meeting point for all visitors interested in demonstrative initiatives that integrate Industry 4.0 with Industry 5.0. Therefore, an unmissable opportunity for young people to confront and assess not only new challenges on pressing issues with a view to the future, but also the potential of the new jobs that attract them, which involve the use of advanced tools for production process management. Among the initiatives, two sectors of national excellence are involved: plastics and metals.

Plastics molding in the Transition 5.0 framework

Without ideas, nothing improves, nothing changes

With a strong spirit of curiosity for innovation came the desire to join the “case study” of two technologies compared: additive mold and traditional mold.
The real enrichment was the sharing of specific knowledge by the different partners involved in the supply chain to achieve a common goal.

Today there can be no innovation without sustainability and in this “case study” sustainability is the Focus around which each Partner contributes its own resources.

The project

The demonstration unit touches on multiple aspects, including:

  • Additive printing to make the mold in less time with thermo-mechanical characteristics equal to the traditional mold with optimization of materials used and limitation of production waste;
  • Simulation software and solutions to support design and development in smart manufacturing;
  • User- friendly, energy- and resource-efficient injection molding machines equipped with new technical features and digital functions for zero-defect quality production and high performance;
  • Next-generation and sustainable thermoplastic materials.

The object

The supply chain makes a power battery cover for a GPS device to save lives in avalanches.
The collaboration of the various Supply Chain Partners, from material supply and design to mold making and use in the injection molding machine, resulted in an object that is an expression of each one’s experience and know-how.


ARBURG: ALLROUNDER 470 H 1000 290, sustainable performance

The choice is the new machine from the hybrid ALLROUNDER 470 H 1000 290 Comfort series. This new addition to the ARBURG world is well suited to the context of sustainability and innovation for energy savings, resource conservation and technological efficiency. The new machine is equipped with new technical features, digital functions and operator aid packages, which, combined with the practicality of the GESTICA control unit, make it user-friendly and capable of adaptively interfacing with the machine operator, monitoring, adjusting the production process and maintaining stable processes, resulting in zero-defect quality production.

Read more

The Allrounder 470H 1000 290 in Comfort version on display at the MECSPE LAB – Innovation Area will be equipped with a mould from the company Ghepi and will produce by injection moulding the battery cover for the GPS device power supply, which is essential for saving lives in the event of avalanches.

The new machine technology includes a perfect combination of electric clamping unit and hydraulic injection unit, which helps to significantly reduce purchase and operating costs, as well as the carbon footprint. Factors that have contributed to optimising energy consumption and reducing cycle times include the new oil management concept, the split flow rate for simultaneous movements of the hydraulic secondary axes, and the extensive use of the Arburg servo-hydraulic system.

When compared to a hydraulic machine of similar characteristics, the energy footprint of the Allrounder 470 H is improved by up to 50% and, depending on the application, up to 12,000 kg of CO2 can be saved each year. A reduction of up to 33% in the empty cycle time finally translates into significantly higher production efficiency.

The Arburg servo-hydraulic system (ASH), already proven in the hydraulic and electric Allrounders, has also been integrated in the Allrounder 470 H Comfort and Premium models. Thanks to ASH, the speed-controlled, water-cooled servo motor continuously adapts the drive to the actual power requirement. This saves up to 50 per cent energy, especially in processes with long cooling times. In addition, the noise level of the machine is also significantly reduced.

The Gestica control system also has several useful functions for the printer. The ‘aXw Control FillAssist’ function enables filling simulation and, if supported by Cadmould’s artificial intelligence, can ‘learn’ what effects changes in process parameters have. The ‘aXw Control PressurePilot’ function dynamically optimises pressure regulation to avoid underfilling, or the formation of burrs. The ‘aXw Control MeltAssist’ function automatically calculates plasticising capacity utilisation and dwell times. All these ‘digital features’ together guarantee a highly reliable process and a comfortable and fast way of working.


Prima Additive contributed to the case study by providing the machinery to print the mould insert with the geometry provided by Ghepi.

The part was topologically optimised by partner Hexagon and then stamped by Prima Additive in Maraging M300 steel, a hard steel widely used in additive mould making, using Powder Bed Fusion technology, which has recently become increasingly popular in the industry due to its ability to produce conformal channels that improve component cooling and consequently increase process productivity.

GHEPI: GPS device battery cover mould

Functionality of the cover: covering the battery compartment located on the rear case of the device, it is hinged and screwed to the case as it must compress a SEBS gasket that provides IP68 protection to the batteries and the compartment containing the contacts and access to the device’s electronics.

HEXAGON: through the process

Hexagon participates in the ‘case study’ production of a mould using additive manufacturing technologies with multiple contributions through the entire process.

During the design phase, the HxGN Additive Manufacturing software suite offered applications dedicated to the simulation on digital twin and the optimisation of the mould geometries and cooling channels, in order to achieve an optimal condition while minimising prototype changes during the process. Simulation of the material deposition process also made it possible to virtually determine the best orientation and printing parameters to obtain a mould that conformed to expectations without time-consuming and time-consuming interactions and modifications on the physical mould.

Following design optimisation further applications of the HxGN Additive Manufacturing suite in the generation of the tool paths (CAM) required to finish the mould by milling.

The dimensional control of the finished mould and subsequently of the moulded parts is carried out by high-resolution, high-precision coordinate measuring machines and scanners, also part of the range of products and solutions offered by Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division.

How the mechanical factory is changing: real advantages in production

TopSolid’ShopFloor represents a new innovation in the world of metalworking. An integrated solution for connecting and managing all workshop equipment in a transparent and secure manner, it combines the concept from the first 3D import to the finished part.
Supply chain activities include: tool management and localisation, tool stock, tool assembly preparation; management and connection with presetting benches; tool management; digital store management; management and connection of correctors and programs with machine tools.

Economically significant advantages:

  • Increased productivity by up to 40% due to reduction of machine set-up time;
  • Optimisation of tool room costs by 20 to 30%;
  • Energy cost savings by 15 to 20% through optimised tooling preparation and handling;
  • Zero paper on the shop floor through digitisation of tooling;
TOPSOLID’SHOPFLOOR: revolutionise the parts production process

In a demanding industrial world, efficient shop floor management is essential to remain competitive. This is where TopSolid’ShopFloor stands out. From the first 3D import to the machined part, this integrated software offers a complete solution for optimising production processes. Automated import, tool creation and management, management and loading of ISO programs, tool stock management: TopSolid’ShopFloor proves to be a valuable ally throughout the entire supply chain.

Discover the advantages of this solution

Centralised data: no more scattered data on local machines or equipment. All essential information is securely stored in a single database. This ensures consistency and security of information, simplifying the overall management of the company. Clear communication to promote collaboration: communication is transparent and makes relevant information available to all stakeholders. With the right information in the right place at the right time, every employee knows exactly what they have to do and how to do it. The result is a significant increase in productivity, between 20% and 50%.

Increasingly automated tasks: automation is one of the keys to success in workshop management, simplifying workflows and reducing the risk of errors.

Perfect synchronisation with all systems: CNC machines, presetting benches, automated warehouses, ERP. Integration thus guarantees perfect synchronisation between all elements of your production process.

A modular and scalable system: not being a static solution, TopSolid’ShopFloor is a modular and extensible system that can adapt to the evolution of the company.

ABMACH/TAKUMI: 3-axis workstation

Takumi – GREEN strategy: Machine tool development goal

In order to achieve a 22% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, Takumi is committed to designing machines that are more efficient and faster in the machining of workpieces, the reduction in cycle time is also optimised through the use of new numerical controls thus reducing energy consumption.

All signalling and lighting lamps are LED, during the unmanned work cycle the lighting of the work area can be switched off by numerical control.

The use of hydraulic units is reduced to a minimum thanks to the use of accumulator systems that allow the hydraulic unit to be kept switched off for most of the working cycle.

Possibility of total shutdown of the machine automatically at the end of the work cycle.

The coolant pumps and motor cooling fans are controlled by inverters that can modulate the speed of the motors according to the use of coolant for the work and the temperature of the motors.

The machines are designed to minimise floor space requirements depending on the working area, thus impacting the space used in the workshop and also in transport when the machine is transported.

SPERONI: efficiency and increased productivity

The measuring, presetting and management systems integrate seamlessly with the production process, making it possible to optimise resources in order to have the right tool, at the right place and at the right time, according to the precision and production requirements.

SPERONI tool setting saves time and money at each tool change by reducing machine downtime and ensuring tools are measured and prepared for loading, allowing the CNC to continue machining and consequently production.

The system allows:

  • reduce set-up and downtime;
  • increase machine uptime, thereby increasing production capacity;
  • eliminate human error;
  • have immediate availability of tool parameters;
  • simplify the transfer of measurement data to the NC machine;
  • presetting and measuring tools in conditions similar to those of the NC machine:
    – presetting installed in the workshop
    – mechanical locking of the tool in the spindle
UMAC group: one supplier for the mechanical workshop

The UMAC Group specialises in the supply and resale of products for machine shops and has had a consolidated presence since 1975, establishing itself as a market leader thanks to its dynamism and professionalism. UMAC Group stands out in the market for its integration service, offering customers a single interface through which they can manage their needs in production. Thanks to this feature, customers can turn exclusively to a single supplier to meet their needs, thus simplifying the procurement process and optimising operations.

The UMAC Group is also actively committed to promoting sustainable and responsible practices, focusing its efforts on reducing waste during the production process and optimising business operations thanks to an automated warehouse that manages the reordering of items to the supplier and compiles consumption statistics.

Formula SAE Italy is the educational event organised annually by ANFIA that involves engineering students from universities around the world in the design and construction of small single-seater racing cars.

There are four classes of participation: internal combustion cars, electric cars and self-driving cars, while Class 3 comprises teams submitting a project only, without a prototype.

Participating students are called upon to develop prototypes of combustion, electric and driverless cars, intended for eventual commercialisation, following special technical regulations, as if commissioned by an automotive company for a non-professional user.

During the event, teams of students face static tests, such as Design (design of the car), Business (presentation of the project in front of potential investors) and Cost (analysis of costs, quantities of materials and components used) and dynamic tests on the track, such as Acceleration, Skid Pad, Autocross and Endurance (Trackdrive for driverless cars).

ANFIA, a partner in the area, will organise a training seminar for future technical scrutineers of the upcoming Formula SAE Italy 2024, with a practical and demonstration session on the cars.

Three different cars from the following teams will be present in the area:

  • MoreModena Racing: self-driving car
  • UniBo Motorsport: electric car
  • RaceUp Padova: internal combustion car
MoreModena Racing: self-driving cars

The MoRe Modena Racing Driverless team was founded in 2017, with the aim of competing in the new formula student competition category reserved for driverless cars.

The project presents itself as the most complex ever proposed: building a self-driving car is an unprecedented challenge for the many students who enthusiastically participate. It testifies how the Motor Valley’s motoring tradition can effectively merge with the most advanced technologies in the fields of automation and information technology, to look towards a future that appears closer every day.

Read more

After years of development and a track debut in the 2022 season, the team achieved two third places in the overall standings in the Varano and Barcelona races in the 2023 season. The team presents its latest prototype: the M24-DL will compete in the 2024 Formula Student championship, taking part in the FSAE Italy (Varano dè Melegari) and FS Spain (circuit de Catalunya) competitions.


  • FRAME: Carbon fibre monocoque with cut and fold technology
  • ENGINE: Four-cylinder in-line 600cc, power 83hp@10500rpm
  • SENSOR EQUIPMENT: 32-beam gradient LIDAR combined with pair of colour single cameras with software trigger, IMU, GPS RTK
  • ACTIONS: Brushless 24V with embedded CANOpen control for brake and steering. 24V DC motor with internally developed power electronics for clutch control. 24V linear actuator for gearbox control
  • ELECTRONICS: Board developed in-house with STM microcontrollers
UniBo Motorsport: E-RBT

The E-RBT electric vehicle of the University of Bologna racing team is a Formula Student project born in 2019. Equipped with four-wheel drive, it can unleash a maximum power output of 80kW (approx. 110 hp) and a top speed of 140 km/h.

Read more

Lamborghi Squadra Corse’s carbon fibre monocoque chassis and aluminium honeycomb structure provides the strength of steel with a weight of only 26.7kg. Carbon fibre is also combined with Kevlar in sensitive areas of the car, such as the battery pack.

The suspension unit allows the kinematics and dynamics of the vehicle to be known and predicted, providing the driver with solidity when driving.

The aerodynamic components increase grip on the ground by around 400N and the resulting cornering grip, without significantly affecting the mass of the system.


The drive system is powered by an in-house designed 500V battery pack. Safety systems, cell health monitoring, power supply, and last but not least the innovative inert oil cooling system ensure consistent and optimal performance throughout the entire race.

Fischer’s low-inductance motors reach maximum speeds of 20,000 rpm for 30Nm of torque, driven to the wheel through a planetary gearbox, reaching 1400Nm of total torque. The engine torque is managed by means of control algorithms in the control unit to compensate for the lack of a mechanical differential. The calculation makes use of signals acquired via high-performance sensors. The signals and their processing are transmitted online to the telemetry office during the race.

RaceUp Padua: The MG18.23 car

The series of prototypes born with the MG15.20 car, based on Honda engines and a monocoque-tubular hybrid chassis, reached the peak of its technical maturity with the MG – 18.23 car. Subsequent optimisation of the design solutions adopted led to the creation of a prototype capable of sustaining lateral acceleration peaks of 2.7 g, developing an aerodynamic load of 540 N (reference speed 15m/s) and generating 61 Nm of torque at 9000 rpm, for a total weight of 208 kg.

An era came to an end with the MG18.23, and we are proud to say that it ended in the best possible way: First place overall at the FSAE Italy and FS EAST competitions!

  • Hybrid chassis, CFRP monocoque + tubular
  • Pirelli low-profile tyres
  • OZ Racing 13″ CFRP wheels
  • Aerodynamics up to 540N
  • Honda CBR600RR engine
  • Real-time telemetry with up to 50 sensors
  • Pull-rod suspension layout

ANTALIS. Comparative analysis of the environmental impact of three mono-material industrial packaging

At MECSPE LAB – Innovation Area, Antalis is exhibiting a multi-material support for nautical fin, a packaging concept that invites us to reflect on the ethical and environmental implications of each material choice, posing the question of which of plastic, wood and paper can truly embody the values of sustainability within the context of industrial packaging.

This is a highly discussed issue today, and there is no single answer: the most suitable choice in each case depends in fact on punctual evaluations of specific needs, such as the need for protection, remoteness of the place of destination, reusability or otherwise of the packaging, as well as many other particular aspects that differ from one situation to another.
Consequently, in any choice of packaging there emerges the need to combine ethical and environmental considerations with purely functional and economic considerations, which today no longer prove sufficient.

Within this scenario, Antalis, in collaboration with Deloitte, has conducted research to measure the environmental impact of some packaging projects for the industrial world, the results of which will be presented during MECSPE 2024.


BI-REX (Big Data Innovation and Research Excellence) is one of the 8 national Competence Centres established by the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy as part of the government’s Industry 4.0 plan.

The public-private Consortium, established in 2018 and based in Bologna, brings together in partnership 60 players including Universities, Research Centres and Companies of Excellence and has a specialised focus on Big Data.

BI-REX is the only industry-driven Competence Centre.

Inside the Innovation Space it is possible to update through the following areas:

  • Area I: use of visors for both full experience and augmented reality (2 virtual and 1 for augmented reality). Use of glove for haptic experience;
  • Area II: related to Industry 5.0. Use of 3D printer applied to sustainability.
  • Area III: application of Artificial Intelligence. Demonstration of manufacturing process quality control and generative AI.


Quality is a crucial issue for the optimisation of industrial production. MAINDO is a state-of-the-art software solution designed to provide real-time information on production quality through simple integration with existing control systems, including remote management that reduces downtime and optimises performance without the need for human presence.

MAINDO’s seamless integration with existing systems, such as ERP and MES, optimises processes and maximises productivity. The possibility of real-time insights and timely decision-making build the basis for maximum production efficiency.

Design the Sustainability

Embarking on a path of sustainability is an essential choice in order to meet the many global challenges and respond to market and stakeholder demands. Project Hub-360 has been working with companies for almost 20 years to integrate sustainable development into their production processes, with innovative, customised and science-based solutions. At the Sustainability Desk located in the MECSPE LAB – Innovation Area it will be possible to carry out a free preliminary assessment of the sustainability status of your company, with the ESG+C tool. Project Hub-360’s offer extends to eco-design software, consultancy services, sustainability reports and LCA, LCC and S-LCA analyses.

The UniBoAT project

  • Innovation
  • Ingeniousness
  • Together

If you notice, removing one of the three words removes the meaning from the others, consequently from the project itself. For example: without ingenuity there is no innovation, without togetherness there is no ingenuity, and so on.

Precisely, thanks to the ingenuity of the UniBo students as a whole, mainly from the Faculty of Engineering, an innovative catamaran was created, ready to compete in an event on an international scale such as the Monaco Yacht Club’s Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, previously won three times in a row by the UniBoAT team.

Leggi di più

La transizione 5.0 sta movimentando importanti risorse umane e finanziarie finalizzate alla ricerca di soluzioni sostenibili. Nato all’interno dell’’Università degli Studi di Bologna, il Team UniBoAT (University of Bologna Argonauts Team) si è dedicato alla progettazione, sviluppo e produzione di una barca completamente elettrica incentrata su soluzioni ecosostenibili, legate all’energia pulita e ai materiali riciclati, riutilizzabili e a basso impatto di CO2. Tanti importanti premi presi per le innovazioni sostenibili introdotte nella barca, alcuni dopo alla partecipazione a cui s’ispira in parte la nascita del progetto, la Monaco Energy Boat Challenge.

Le innovazioni introdotte sono:

  • utilizzo di compositi ecologici;
  • pacco batterie auto costruito;
  • cella a combustibile a idrogeno;
  • motore fuoribordo elettrico personalizzato;
  • pannelli solari fotovoltaici;
  • Sterzo coperto in pelle d’arancia;

C’è una convinzione comune a tutti nel progetto: la passione che porta avanti questi ragazzi a progettare e costruire una barca da zero, fra modifiche innovative apportate al motore ed instaurare rapporti con aziende sostenibili, è la vera e propria traslazione di “i giovani sono la speranza di un futuro migliore”.

Managing waste in the industrial and artisanal system

Herambiente Servizi Industriali (HASI) and its subsidiary Recycla deal with total waste management in the industrial and artisanal sector by guaranteeing a certified environmental supply chain. They offer a complete range of environmental services for the valorisation of industrial waste into matter and energy. In particular, Recycla transforms waste into alternative fuel that is subsequently used to produce new energy in a new life cycle.

Exhibitors’ opinions

first-hand accounts from the heart of the event

Veronica Calcinai – RECYCLA

Omaima Houbad – UNIBOAT

Andrea Martire – HERA AMBIENTE