FARE Magazine of Confindustria Emilia gives voice to ICElab project

FARE Magazine of Confindustria Emilia gives voice to ICElab project


A flexible industrial networking infrastructure, enabled for production line monitoring, that allows you to collect and process data in a high-performance computing architecture, ensuring system management through remote access so you can work and manage tasks from anywhere and at any time. It is the one made by F.T.P., a Modena company specialised in IT consulting, for ICE Lab (Industrial Computer Engineering Laboratory); a space born from the collaboration between the University of Verona and Siemens Digital Enterprise with the partners F.T.P. and SpeedHub-Confindustria Verona, within the faculty of computer engineering of the Venetian university. The environment is available for small and medium-sized enterprises to make the most of Industry 4.0 opportunities, to increase competitiveness, to reduce time-to-market and to improve flexibility, efficiency and safety.

“The laboratory aims to reproduce the key aspects of a Smart factory in order to study and solve the concrete problems of companies in the adoption of the 4.0 paradigm: digital twins, augmented reality, robotics, big data analytics will be truly shown to companies in form of simulations in a space where machines are and will be placed, the same machines which are already in production today. And this is the point that makes it unique in Italy: it is not an area with prototype plants, with experimental purposes, but a concrete link between research and industry”, they explain from the Modena company.

The laboratory is an example of a connected plant, thanks to a secure network infrastructure, its virtual simulation twin, to analyse and prevent the design and operational problems of a production line. It presents itself as a production line whose flagships, in addition to the digital twin via Plant Simulation, are the secure and flexible network and analytics derived from data collection. The digital twin allows the simulation of the operation of a product (as part of hardware and software design) before being put on the market. In addition to working on a production line that will allow to perform innovative software capable of carrying out predictive maintenance tasks, thus being able to anticipate any failures, it will also be possible to analyse the quality of what is produced and to improve performance through the simulation of a plant model.

The project is peculiar by the computer and non-mechanical approach to production. “How can you make this project functional and reliable? How do you connect all these technologies? The digital twin is connected to its real twin: how does it collect and update data? Through what solutions? The role of computing is really fundamental, it serves to communicate all the elements and all the hardware and software technologies of the entire system. A connected facility that, thanks to a secure network infrastructure, allows its virtual twin to correctly collect real-world inputs from all levels and then rework them, do analysis and provide feedback to the plant in real time“, continue by F.T.P.

And it is according to a holistic approach that F.T.P. has ensured ‘security’ to the project in compliance with the appropriate policies and procedures for the plant, being able to count on the skills of qualified personnel and its experience of over 15 years in the enterprise. The F.T.P. team also carried out training activities alongside technical staff to allow their autonomy in future infrastructure management for new experimental projects.