Today supporting the spread of different technologies within companies is a priority. The new study presents an analysis of trends linked to the development of Industry 4.0 within Italian production companies
The term Industry 4.0 represents a framework of technological changes and opportunities that are heralding in significant change in the production processes along the entire value chain .
This study presents some evidence that displays the approach taken by Italian companies toward the change tied to Industry 4.0. The results presented are the result of a broad sample survey of 24 thousand companies in the industry and production services sectors interviewed over the span of several years.
The analysis reveals that switching over to Industry 4.0 involved a still limited component of companies in Italy. Nevertheless, there are still several enabling factors capable of speeding up the development of new technological paradigms and an increase in competitive edge. Amongst these, belonging to the smart specialization fields and participation in the Global Value Chains and company networks on a local scale prove to play a particularly important role and stimulate innovative and R&D activity.
It is not by chance that the "strongly dynamic" companies, which best reflect all those integrated Industry 4.0 characteristics and that represent 11.8% of companies and 31.2% of staff, record high amounts of turnover from innovative products and abroad, higher work productivity, a widespread presence in the GVCs and a significantly higher personnel expense trend than average. Beside the excellence segment, there are another two categories of companies that are putting forth efforts to various degrees to modernise and innovate their business and production models.
Some of these have started up a general upgrading of their machinery, and others have introduced process and/or organisational innovations by following a path that however proves to still be partial. Lastly, there is still a significant portion of the production system (59.4% of companies and 27.6% of staff) that are more stagnant with respect to innovation themes.