Acerinox holds the Connected Industry 4.0 Conference at its Campo de Gibraltar plant with Andalusian engineers and major leaders in digital transformation

Companies including Tecnalia, IBM, Minsait, Grupo Álava, OSIsoft and ABB as well as universities such as ICAI-ICADE, shared their experiences and ideas Antonio Moreno, Director of Acerinox Europa, launched this new forum for exchanging ideas designed to promote innovation and the development of efficiency

Data analytics and the potential provided by Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation are tools which are essential to compete in the industrial sector, which is moving from experimentation to implementation. These are some of the conclusions from the Connected Industry 4.0 Conference held today at the Acerinox Europa factory in Campo de Gibraltar, in partnership with the AIIAOC (Association of Industrial Engineers of Western Andalusia) as part of its centenary celebrations.

Antonio Moreno, Director of Acerinox Europa, opened proceedings at this new forum for exchanging ideas geared towards innovation and the development of efficiency. Moreno thanked the speakers from Tecnalia, Minsait-Indra, IBM, Grupo Álava, OSISoft and ABB for coming, joining representatives of other large multinationals and authorities from the area.

Carlos Durán, Vice-President of AIIAOC, praised Acerinox’s drive and transforming power in Campo de Gibraltar and throughout Andalusia. “We need many more companies like this in Andalusia,” he concluded.

The opening speech was delivered by Álvaro J. López, Coordinator of the Chair of Connected Industry 4.0 at ICAI-ICADE, who introduced the subject, stating that “Spanish industrial companies have begun the digitisation process in earnest, and are seeing the first benefits. However, this trend is clearer in large companies than in SMEs.”

Acerinox’s strategic commitment to Digital Transformation and the benefits of Connected Industry was explained by Antonio Gayo, Head of Digital Transformation at Acerinox, who highlighted the implementation of systems to optimise production processes, improve efficiency and bring about innovation.

Next, Zigor Lizuain, Tecnalia’s Project Manager, explained in his speech that “the application of data analytics in industry is not a vision, it’s a reality” and declared that “correctly identifying where and what for and the commitment of senior management are key to the success of Transformation 4.0 projects".

Mónica Villas, IBM’s Technical Executive for Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel, stated that “with artificial intelligence, within the next two years companies will move from experimentation to implementation in many of their processes, and they’ll have to have the right skills and tools.”

All the speakers underlined the increasing volatility and competitiveness of the market. Sergio Almar, the head of Minsait’s supply chain practice, declared that, in order to compete in such an environment, 360º Planning uses Industry 4.0 tools to align the company’s value chain from end-to-end and from long to short-term.

Javier Arias, the Key Account & Training Manager at Grupo Álava, stated that “Industry 4.0 is here to stay and, therefore, predictive maintenance is becoming more important than ever, but we’ll have to see how far the technology has advanced in this field.”

Increasing automation and data access were two of the key topics introduced by José Miguel Casas, Account Manager for Spain and Portugal at OSIsoft, who explained that they have caused rapid change which is forcing businesses to reassess how they manage their operations in order to find new ways to boost efficiency and innovate.

The event was brought to a close by Julio Castellano, Robotics Area Sales Manager for the ABB Group, who predicted in his speech that “the factory of the future will be characterised by flexibility, cooperation and digitisation, where robots, systems and human teams will work together without barriers, bringing greater competitiveness to companies and increasing their productivity.”