4.0 the Italian way on show

Italian market automation suppliers agree: the seventh edition of SPS Italia – Parma, 23-25 May, organized by Messe Frankfurt – was a well-deserved success. All indicators show progressive growth: +16% more visitors than in 2016 (33,194), 738 exhibitors (+15% compared to 2016), with a 20% increase in occupied surface area.


Stressing the close interaction of automation, digital tech and robotics, Donald Wich (managing director of Messe Frankfurt Italia) described SPS Italia as an outstanding place for talking about «smart factories, the digital revolution and advanced automation for cutting-edge manufacturing processes. This event is not only a technological showcase but also a solutions workshop that has earned the appreciation of manufacturers, especially SMEs.
New at the 2017 edition was the presence of IT operators, many of which already long in dialog with concerns in the OT (Operational Technology) sector. Among others, the area “Know How 4.0” hosted digital technology players, who are indispensable for the development of manufacturing and have recognized in SPS Italia a uniquely advantageous platform for meeting with industry.
In the meantime until the next edition, scheduled to take place in Parma on 22-24 May 2018, below is a selection of solutions offered at the fair.

Aventics - B&R - Bosch Rexroth - Control Techniques (Nidec Corp) - Festo - Keyence - Lapp Italia - Mitsubishi Electric - OmronPhoenix Contact - Rittal - Rockwell Automation - Schneider Electric - SDProget Industrial SoftwareSew Eurodrive - Wenglor



Aventics. On show the company’s pneumatic solutions developed for the Food & Beverage market, complying with national and international regulations and designed according hygienic design principles to withstand and simplify frequent cleaning and disinfection cycles; fast and easy to install, maintenance is reduced to a minimum.
The new features include ISO cylinders (CCL Clean Line) for the food and pharmaceutical industry, and CCL-IS and CCL-IC in anodized aluminium and stainless steel. Also exposed are the ICL series cylinders for the food industry, and the ICS series for wash down applications and for handling areas with direct food contact. In stainless steel with interlocking gaskets, they prevent dust buildup from the outside, can resist acid and all the most aggressive liquids, thus guaranteeing optimal hygiene conditions in food processing.

B&R. Solutions for efficient and sustainable manufacturing, to the benefit of quality, safety and personalization; among these we recall SuperTrak, a smart manufacturing industrial conveyance system; the X90 mobile automation control system, which can manage and network machinery in motion; mapp Technology modules for executing sophisticated controls with just a few clicks, facilitating diagnostics and service; mappView widgets for the creation of modern web interfaces that are intuitive and personalized; Orange Box (for converting legacy machines into networked smart factory systems); as well as cloud solutions for factory & process data collection, management and analysis. Also on show is the new 3100 series of industrial PCs, available in an ultra-compact shape factor PC box version (Automation PC 3100), as well as one with a replaceable display (Panel PC 3100), which can be scaled with panels of any dimensions.
Both solutions combine the advantages of reduced bulk with the performance of the latest Core-i processors.


Bosch Rexroth.The company came to the fair with a complete and multi-technology portfolio of powerful and efficient solutions for each system and application in the production field, offering connectivity, high power density, robustness, decentralized design and horizontal and vertical integration.
On display, integrated technologies for the operation and control of mobile applications and industrial machinery applications and engineering as well as factory automation: From software to sensors to automation components, to power units, pumps and actuators with electrohydraulic technology, with their own intelligence and open interfaces.
Bosch’s solutions are able to offer both standard performance for the most common applications and solutions for the most complex and demanding  handling operations, ensuring flexibility, efficiency and durability of use.



Control Techniques (Nidec Corp). Launch of the Diagnostic Tool, a new mobile app that analyses and solves any drive malfunctions (currently available for Unidrive M series, Powerdrive F300, Elevator, Unidrive SP, Commander Sk, Digitax St and Mentor Mp). The app,  that can be downloaded by selecting the product variant,  provides easy-to-use diagrams for basic settings, a link to the manual for information and  data  about your product, as well as contacts for technical support around the world. By entering the error code, the user is guided towards the solution of the problem, which in 90% of cases does not depend on hardware problems  but is generated by external causes that trigger drive protection.


Festo. Maximize flexibility, productivity and power saving in today’s and tomorrow’s factory, with an Italian preview: The IoT Gateway module, which collects the work and diagnostics data of a standard OPC-UA machine to store them on the Festo Cloud and to be used on Festo Dashboard type interfaces. Completely new to the market the Festo Motion Terminal, the platform that digitizes pneumatics to make it highly flexible and competitive (the same hardware, configurable with different software applications, allows the replacement of over 50 individual components); Cobot, a collaborative ultralight robot developed by Festo’s Bionic Learning Network; lastly, the Motion Control Platform, presented in Area 4.0.


Keyence.  SR 2000 series code scanners are ultra-high performance for optimal layout flexibility. With 3.1 million pixels, these scanners guarantee a field of vision double that of conventional sensors. A 160% increase in sensitivity and ultra-high speed acquisition (100 μs) and processing (+30%) enable reading codes even on objects in motion, eliminating the need for setting object dimensions. Optimized interaction between hardware, algorithms, software and decoders translates into exceptionally high resolution and field depth, so that a scanner can even be installed outside the workflow area. Furthermore, adjustment of focus, diaphragm, exposure and any filters is completely automated.



Lapp Italia.  Integrated wiring and networking solutions for a variety of fields, from robotics to rail transport, including food & beverage. Used in many food industry sectors, Lapp wiring systems are resistant to chemical, thermal and physical stress, guaranteeing functioning even under harsh conditions, such as refrigerated or humid zones. Tested for resistance to industrial cleaning and chemical agents, in accordance with the strictest hygienic standards, these systems have been certified by numerous regulating bodies, including the FDA in the US and NSF51 for food contact and potable water.


Mitsubishi Electric. Control solutions, motion systems, servo systems, HMI, SCARA robots, inverters with Ethernet connectivity, SCADA software. Also: a new CC-Link field basic, e-F@ctory, the Poka Yoke system for simplifying and enhancing the productivity of assembly processes, as well as F&B. These were the solutions presented at the Mitsubishi at SPS, which also featured an interactive wall for testing out the advantages of Poka Yoke. Also of note: a range of smart filling machines for cosmetic flacons, presented jointly with IDM Srl.


Omron. In addition to solutions in the field of robotics, autonomous inspection vehicles (AIV) and vision, control, safety/security and inspection facilitates vertical and horizontal integration, the smart management of production data and human-machine collaboration, Omron provides the architecture needed to effectively implement them on the production sites. This is the case of the Sysmac automation platform, designed to ensure complete control and management of facilities in a single software environment. The programming, based on standard and open networks, enables the creation of a globally standardized system. The platform core, the NX and NJ series of machine controllers, ensures synchronous control of all machine devices and offers advanced features such as motion, robotics, vision, security/safety and database connectivity.
The mobile industrial LD robots offer a new level of efficiency and saving for the movement of goods in large facilities and in very dynamic environments. Omron’s proposals also include the new generation of industrial PCs, panel PCs and industrial monitors. Durable, reliable, scalable and high performance, they are suitable for display, data management, measurement, control, regulation and verification of process and machine data.

Phoenix Contact.  In addition to a complete range of marking, wiring, industrial cyber security, control and visualization solutions, the stand also presented PROFICLOUD and – in a preview for the Italian market – PLCnext, a system that enables programming control systems using any language and software on the market. Finally, the firm celebrated 20 years since the founding of its Italian subsidiary with the contest Inspiring 20.


 Rittal. Flagship solutions included cabinets, boxes, high efficiency conditioning systems, LED lamps, network cabinets, work centers, automation solutions for cutting, assembly and labeling of clamps, wire strippers and crimp tools. A video called “Factories of the future” illustrated the advantages of artificial intelligence for the new factory, flexible and networked. The concern also organized the contest “Automation passport” in partnership with Balluff, Camozzi and IMAGE S.

Rockwell Automation. An overview of integrated control and information solutions for the Connected Enterprise. New entries include the CompactLogixTM 5480 controller, which combines the functionalities of a classic PAC with the Windows environment and an Intel i7 processor and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise embedded operating system with 8 giga RAM and 32 memory.
As for drives, the PowerFlex 755T models optimize energy costs and machine availability in demanding applications thanks to new TotalFORCE technology and complete diagnostics and maintenance functionalities.
For motion control, the independent smart trolley systems MagneMotion and iTRAK®, with synchronous linear motor, offer enhanced speed and flexibility in handling of a wide variety of different products.
Featured security systems included Stratix 5950, which using the Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) and FirePOWER technology creates a firewall between cell zones in a single machine, a line or a process skid. Furthermore, it uses Deep-Packet-Inspection (DPI), a system developed in partnership with Cisco for inspecting CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) and other industrial protocols.


Schneider Electric. Everything with an eye to Smart Manufacturing at this stand. For industrial control there is the new ePAC m580 High End with Hot Standby; a range of SCADA connected solutions; for inverters, ATV340, a high performance addition to the Altivar Machine series; Vijeo 360 augmented reality software. Prominently displayed was Telemecanique sensor solutions, with new contactless RFID safety switches, RFID scanners with digital output and integrated badge management (XGS, E2-certified), as well as XMEP pressure transmitters for mobile equipment; in connectivity, a cloud-connected industrial switch. Eurotherm solutions on offer include EPack™ power regulators, which reduce energy costs using native communication for all major protocols.
Also: EPC2000, a regulator with IoT connectivity, Achilles® CRT-certified level 1, for production cycle quality control.
Finally, the Harmoney range offers imporoved interaction with operator panels, and EcoStruxure for Industry in its Italian market debut: an open and interoperable system architecture, the advantages of which were illustrated by examples in the “Know How 4.0” area with the “Smart Cookie Manufacturing” factory.

SDProget Industrial Software. In order to enhance efficiency in terms of time, cost and energy, SDProget offers CAD software solutions including SPAC Automazione, SPAC Start Impianti (for the electric sector) and SPAC EasySol, as well as the SPAC Data Web service, offering designers data libraries that are constantly updated.


 Sew Eurodrive. Has declined its offer in three main directions: the new modular platform for machine automation MOVI-C®; its Cyber Physical System proposal for intralogistics; and its MOVISUITE® software environment for real and virtual engineering systems.
At the base of the development of MOVI-C®, lies the goal of creating a consistent automation solution (from motion control to drives managed within a single platform using a single software), that is simple to use (machine application packages predefined for maximum speed of development), safe (STO present on all drives and more scalable safety features) and efficient (energy recovery via the DC bus, regenerative and stand-by mode).
Protagonists of the SEW-EURDRIVE “Know-how 4.0” area has been the CPS (Cyber Physical Systems) for factory intralogistics. Here the proposal is very broad: AGV and transfer pallets for the transport of materials between production and logistics; ASRS for managing products in automated warehouses; Skillet and EMS solutions for the transport and assembly in the automotive industry.



Wenglor. On show the entire range of Wenglor’s products, with a particular focus on weCat 2D/3D sensors, developed to scan surface and volumetric profiles. It includes over 70 laser technology models to meet all high precision surface inspection, object measurement and position control needs (e.g. onboard machine), regardless of gloss, color or consistency. They feature a high enough resolution to make them suitable for critical applications (PCB inspection after assembly and welding operations). Special algorithms and software filters enable maintaining top performance even in the presence of glossy or reflective surfaces, such as metal. Another strength of the Wenglor offer, on top of how easy to use the sensors are, is the possibility of a fully integrated solution. The proprietary add-on 3D software weCat3D is highly effective, but the sensors are also compatible with third-party software. According to application requirements, the values can be managed through direct scanning or processed using software for real time creation of a 3D model based on the profile of the detected points.

07/13/2017