The new skills of the “digital factory”


aicaThe diffusion of digital technologies in manufacturing is a reality that concerns more and more companies, both large companies and SMEs. 3D printing, the additive manufacturing, the development of the Internet of Things, the diffusion of cloud computing and e-commerce can transform traditional industries in “digital factories”, acting on production processes and organizational models and offering the opportunity to recover productivity and competitiveness. According to a research on the diffusion of the “digital factory” – conducted by AICA (Italian Association for Informatics and Automatic Calculation) in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo, Prometeia and Netconsulting – there are about 50 FabLab in Italy. In particular, referring to microenterprises, which are about 90% of the total in Italy, the research has shown that the technology of additive manufacturing (3D printing) represents a crucial opportunity to strengthen the competitiveness. However, it is very important to invest in the creation of appropriate skills. According to AICA, the share of unproductive time, due to the lack of knowledge of digital tools, causes an annual cost of almost 2 billion euro for the Italian industry. Digital training could allow an increase in efficiency estimated at 3.3 billion euro per year. Acting as a bridge between companies and the world of education, AICA announced (in a conference held last November) the intention to create an Observatory on the skills for the Digital Production System.