Press Releases

28 March 2017

Lombardy towards Industry 4.0: entrepreneurs satisfied with a clear vision of the future


Relationship between Lombardy mechanical and subcontracting companies and Industry 4.0. Approximately half (48.3%) 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, 47.5% of companies had an increase in turnover for the year-end 2016 and more than half (52.1%) estimate a further increase in 2017. A satisfactory situation for entrepreneurs, with more than six out of 10 (61%) greatly satisfied with the current performance of their company.

This is the picture of mechanical and subcontracting companies in Lombardy taken by the MECSPE Observatory, by Senaf during MECSPE, the benchmark for manufacturing 4.0, which, with 2,051 companies present from today 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.

«Lombardy 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 Lombardy 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 83.3% 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 5 companies out of 10 (46.6%) 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 improved slightly: 14.8% of entrepreneurs are totally convinced, whereas more than half (53.4% ) state that it will still take a long time, despite confirming a “step forward”.

IT security (29.2%), robotics (20.1%) and mechatronics (19.4%) are the new technologies orinnovative processes already implemented by companies. Followed by simulation (16%), cloud computing (14.6%), Internet of things (13.9%) and additive manufacturing (11.8%).

What are the main factors that slow down digitalisation? The first place is represented by an uncertain ratio between investments and benefits (for 42.9% of companies), followed by the lack of suitable internal competences (33.8%), by excessively high requested investments (29.9%), by the backwardness of collaborating businesses (26%), by the lack of a technological infrastructure (24.7%), by the lack of a clear vision of top management (20.8%) and by doubts concerning data security and the possibility of cyber attacks (19.5%).

With regard to the advantages that an enterprise anticipates from integration of technologies 4.0 in manufacturing processes, 74.7% is identified in the quality control of processes, 52% is characterised by real time optimisation of the supply chain, 42.7% focuses on remote monitoring, 37.3% on predictive maintenance and 34.7% on improvement in energy consumption.

With regard to training, a must is a work experience scheme: 15.8% of companies have implemented collaboration for internship and work experience schemes, 28.7% internship only, 5.9% work experience only, whereas 19.8% of companies think that this type of collaboration will be planned in the future.


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 Lombardy provided by the MECSPE Observatory.

As many as 6 out of 10 entrepreneurs (61%) claim to be greatly satisfied with the performance of their companies. After filing figures in 2016 growing by as much as 47.5% of the sample, looking at the forecast for 2017, 52.1% expect an increase in turnover and 42% stability. With regard to the employment level, by the end of the year, 94.5% will remain the same or increase.

The orders are suitable for the financial needs (72%) and liquidity is good for a full 56.1%.A positive situation that turns into faith in a positive market trend in the next three years: 49% expects growth and 38.7% stability.


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