IMA Group takes part in 7 projects under the Next Generation EU programme

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IMA Group is accelerating its commitment to research and innovation with the participation in 7 projects funded through the EU’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan within the context of the Next Generation EU programme, and the European Union’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. These projects aim to promote sustainability, digitalization, and the automation of industrial processes. In particular, three projects are co-funded through BI-REX: this is one of the eight national Competence Centers established by the Ministry of Economic Development and Made in Italy as part of the Industry 4.0 plan. It represents a consortium that includes universities, research centres, and companies focused on digital transformation and technological innovation. In these projects, IMA will utilize its expertise and knowledge by working alongside various strategic partners.

The 7 projects
·       QUEST – Quantification and reduction of the environmental impact of automated packaging processes through LCA and Ecodesign
The project focuses on creating an integrated approach to optimise practices involved in the management of automatic machines for packaging and wrapping, with particular attention to environmental sustainability. The activities concern the entire lifecycle of the machines, from conception to disposal, integrating existing laws and regulations. Throughout the project, a methodology for assessing environmental impact based on life cycle analysis (LCA) will be developed, applied to various selected industrial scenarios.
 
·       BIO-LUSH – Biomass valorisation for sustainable and high-quality fibre materials
The project addresses a growing need and demand for the use of underexploited biomass raw materials for the extraction of sustainable, high-quality fibres. Within the project, innovative processes for the optimal refining of biomass and nanometric fibrillation will be established to convert the sustainable fibres obtained into functional bio-based materials. The project will demonstrate the processing of biomass and the production (both at TRL5) of bio-based products such as edible packaging, antibacterial textiles, and bio(nano)composite filaments printable in 3D for impact-resistant interior automotive products.
 
·       PLaaS+ – IT and OT to transform traditional automation
The PLaaS+ (PLc as a Service) project aims to revolutionize the industrial automation sector through a virtualization solution dedicated to industrial control systems. The goal is to integrate information technologies (IT) and automation technologies (OT) to develop smarter, more flexible, and robust production systems.
 
·       AI4Work – Human-centric digital twin approaches to trustworthy AI and robotics for improved working conditions
AI4Work aims to investigate practical methods and tools for optimal job sharing between humans and Artificial Intelligence/robots. The vision of the AI4Work project is to enhance communication and collaboration between humans, Artificial Intelligence, and robots, enabling improved working conditions within various processes in organisations across different sectors in terms of increased work efficiency, reduced employee stress, and greater trust in decision-making processes.
 
·       MATRIX – Robotic manipulation and transport of liquids for high-performance industrial applications
The project aims to develop and test innovative techniques for handling liquid containers using high-dynamic robots. The fluid nature of liquids makes their manipulation complex, and minimizing oscillations (sloshing) is crucial for automated packaging. The proposed technology seeks to control the movement of robots to effectively manage liquid content, thus enhancing business competitiveness through the innovation of manufacturing processes.
 
·       FLASH – Flexible laser-based manufacturing through precision photon distribution
The purpose of the FLASH project is to enhance the technology of laser-based manufacturing, making it more flexible, more suitable for digital control, and capable of generating less waste compared to traditional mechanical, chemical, and thermal processes. FLASH will develop a flexible platform equipped with three integrated laser sources, allowing multi-wavelength emission, across a broad range of pulse durations with dynamic beam shaping, in a flexible robotic/CNC cell with three different beam delivery heads.
 
·       BIOTOOL-CHF (BIOmarker-based diagnostic TOOLkit to personalise pharmacological approaches in Congestive Heart Failure)
Co-financed by the European Commission, the project aims to develop a medical-diagnostic device to improve the effectiveness, through personalisation, of diuretic therapy for patients with heart failure, integrating diagnostic and prognostic information with the clinical and demographic characteristics of each patient.