MARCHESINI GROUP PRESENTS ITS AI PROJECT
From 9th to 12th April, the Marchesini Group is holding an Open Factory at its Headquarters in Pianoro focusing on the latest developments for Industry 4.0. The event - renamed AI All-Around Innovation - will offer customers and stakeholders the opportunity to get close to the new developments that the fourth industrial revolution is imprinting on the production processes of the Marchesini Group. During the Open Factory event these developments will mark an important achievement; on show there will be a blister production line designed and built entirely to combine the expertise of industrial manufacturing with the techniques of digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence algorithms. The outcome is a machine that, for the first time in Marchesini’s history, transforms from a semi-closed system to an open ecosystem, which provides users with a huge amount of data that were previously hidden within the production environment. This data will be selected, interpreted and converted into information and this information will then be exploited in various contexts, for example to improve the quality of the production process, making it possible anticipate errors or to pinpoint the causes for drops in production and to cancel unscheduled idle times by anticipating routine maintenance operations.
Marchesini Group has developed these technologies together with its partner SEA Vision to create Smart Factories: a totally interlinked work environment with self-learning machines where people and computerised systems interact to make products and services and to create innovative and highly efficient workplaces.
Pietro Cassani, the Group CEO, said:
“AI is a cutting-edge digital project that will enable us to interface with the last frontiers of Industry 4.0, also thanks to our new partners Proteo Engineering and CMP Phar.ma. These topics are a 'Must' and despite their apparent abstractness, they have a strong tangible impact on the business”.
The Open Factory will take place not only in the production areas and around 12 discussion tables focusing on 4.0 and digitalisation topics, but also within the departments that are becoming increasingly important to managing new processes. One of these is the logistics department where new investments have been made to increase storage volume by 1,500 cubic meters. In this way, the Group will be able to manage an increase in production capacity of 20% compared to today, consequently cutting material preparation times and also machine delivery.
At the centre of the Open Factory tour will be also the recently-inaugurated prototyping department: 1,000 square meters of digital production, where the 3D printers are located, operational 24 hours a day, alongside laser cutting systems. These technologies make it possible to develop machine parts in-house, which were formerly outsourced and to prototype samples rapidly. The final goal is to monitor machine wear-and-tear and manage errors and final production costs.
The overall growth of the Group reached a consolidated turnover of almost 400 million Euro for 2018 (pending approval of the consolidated balance statement), 20% higher than 2017. This growth can be attributed not only to the core business of the machines in the pharma industry but also to the systems for packaging cosmetics. In 2018, the cosmetics industry in Italy grew by 2%, registering a global turnover of 11.2 billion, of which 4.8 billion from exports (data from Cosmetica Italia). Marchesini is expanding in this market too, thanks to its new dedicated business unit. This Division is already operational and the offices will indeed start to take shape during the Open Factory. The new resources employed in the Beauty Division are contributing to boosting the Group’s staff. During 2018, the workforce grew by 16% compared with 2017, from 1,408 to 1,635 people, plus the staff members from foreign branches.
Growth and Sustainability
The Open Factory will also offer an opportunity to present the Group’s Sustainability Report for 2018, which is the fourth edition to be published voluntarily. This year, the preface has been written by the esteemed Rector of the University of Bologna Francesco Ubertini. Following the initial greetings of the President, Maurizio Marchesini, Professor Stefano Zamagni will intervene on the correlation between Corporate Social Responsibility and intangible assets - namely the elements bound to knowledge, technology and marketing, which are hidden factors but essential in order to create value.
The Sustainability Report will be presented to the stakeholders also to illustrate the concrete results of Marchesini in 2018 concerning environmental and social sustainability. Marchesini invested 358,500 Euro towards the economic and cultural development of the areas where it works, 22% more than 2017, and distributed funds among social, cultural, sports, health and educational associations. Welfare initiatives too have grown by 16%, involving for examples employee training, prevention programs and projects to improve their professional and personal lives.