Press Releases

28 March 2017

Emilia Romagna for Industry 4.0: entrepreneurs satisfied with a clear vision of the future


Relationship between Emilia Romagna mechanical and subcontracting companies and Industry 4.0. More than half (58.5%) of entrepreneurs in the territory have a clear strategy and vision of their future as smart factory and how to integrate 4.0 technologies in their processes in order to optimise production.

It is a vital sector that has left the negative economic situation behind and looks ahead with confidence at the prospects for development  offered by the fourth industrial revolution. In fact, 58.5% of companies had an increase in turnover for the year-end 2016 and estimate a further increase for 2017. A satisfactory situation for entrepreneurs, six out of 10 (55.6%) of which are very satisfied with the current performance of their company.

This is the picture of mechanical and subcontracting companies in Emilia Romagna taken by the MECSPE Observatory, by Senaf during MECSPE, the benchmark for manufacturing 4.0, which, with 2,051 companies present until Saturday 25 March, will bring Fiere di Parma innovative machines and processes that are able to impart a concrete transformation to Italian manufacturing, dedicating an entire pavilion at 4.0 technologies.

«With its mechanical tradition, Emilia Romagna can be considered a symbolic territory of our Country regarding the transformation of enterprises in the digital factory – explains Emilio Bianchi, Director of Senaf, the company that organises MECSPE– The venture regarding industrial model 4.0 as an essential part of the Calenda Plan must not only be an opportunity to be exploited by companies, but essentially be a challenge to seize. And data records from MECSPE Observatory agree with us.»

The companies in Emilia Romagna have already embarked on the transformation process towards Industry 4.0, with investments that will also continue in the future: on the one hand, as many as 92.5% are prepared to invest a part of their turnover in the coming years to make their company “smart”, with a variable share; on the other hand, almost 7 companies out of 10 (69.1%) have declared that in 2017 they will take advantage of the concessions envisaged by the Government.

From results in the MECSPE Observatory, it also shows how the perception of an Italian manufacturing industry based on manufacturing 4.0 and increasingly more digitalised has essentially improved: 23.8% of entrepreneurs are totally convinced, whereas more than half (52.4% ) state that it will still take a long time, despite confirming a “step forward”.

IT security (36.1%) and mechatronics (26.2%) are new technologies or innovative processesalready implemented by companies. By the end of 2017, 23% of entrepreneurs say they want to introduce the Internet of things, 14.8% collaborative robotics, 13.1% smart materials, 11.5% Big data or nanotechnologies, 9.8% additive manufacturing, and 8.2% mechatronics or cloud computing.

What are the main factors that slow down digitalisation? The first place is represented by an uncertain ratio between investments and benefits (for 54.1% of companies), followed by the lack of suitable internal competences (37.8%), by excessively high requested investments (32.4%), by the backwardness of collaborating businesses (24.3%), by the lack of a clear vision of top management (24.3%), by the lack of a technological infrastructure (13.5%) and by doubts concerning data security and the possibility of cyber attacks (10.8%).

With regard to the advantages that an enterprise anticipates from integration of technologies 4.0 in manufacturing processes, 83.3% is identified in the quality control of processes, 44.4% is characterised by an improvement in energy consumption, 38.9% with real time optimisation of the supply chain, 36.1% focuses on remote monitoring and 33.3% predictive maintenance.

With regard to training, a must is a work experience scheme: 18.2% of companies have implemented collaboration for internship and work experience schemes, 31.8% internship only, 11.4% work experience only, whereas 25% of companies think that this type of collaboration will be planned in the future. Only 13.6% are not interested in implementing it.


Satisfaction for the business trend, growing turnover, stable employment level, good liquidity and adequate order portfolio, and extreme faith in market growth over coming years. This is the picture of the small-medium enterprises of Emilia Romagna provided by the MECSPE Observatory.

Almost 6 out of 10 entrepreneurs (55.6%) claim to be greatly satisfied with the performance of their companies. After filing figures in 2016 growing by as much as 58.5% of the sample, looking at the forecast for 2017, 48.1% expect an increase in turnover and the same percentage stability. With regard to the employment level, by the end of the year, 85.8% will remain the same or increase.

The orders are suitable for the financial needs (68.8%) and liquidity is good for a full 50%.A positive situation that turns into faith in a positive market trend: 43.8% expects growth and 52.1% stability.


This survey was conducted on a sample of xxx  companies in the mechanics industry in Emilia Romagna, using CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing) and CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) methods.