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Wärtsilä, with Opificio Digitale, new Lighthouse Plant of the Intelligent Factory Cluster

Opificio Digitale is born from a Wärtsilä initiative, together with the partners CNR, Area Science Park, and Ey Teorema. Its objective is the one of developing, starting from factory 4.0, a supply chain 4.0, giving life to a very powerful technological demonstrator. It is the sixth Lighthouse Plant after Ansaldo Energia, Abb, Hitachi Rail, GSD Mechatronics, and Tenova-Ori Martin.

Wärtsilä Italy, with its Trieste site and the Opificio Digitale project, is the new Lighthouse Plant of the Intelligent Factory Cluster. Opificio Digitale’s objective is the one of creating a value ecosystem, through an opensource platform, establishing a cooperative space within the Wartsila Italy establishments where technologies can be shared with universities, centres of excellence and other companies in order to develop solutions that will accelerate the transition from industry 4.0 to a smart ecosystem that is at the foundations of supply chain 4.0. It is the sixth Lighthouse Plant after Ansaldo Energia, Abb, Hitachi Rail, GSD Mechatronics, and Tenova-Ori Martin.

Opificio Digitale, with its headquarters in Trieste, is born in January 2021 due to the efforts of its leader Wartisla Italy, a Finnish company specialised in the manufacture of propulsion and energy generating systems for marine and powerplant use, and of its partners Cnr, Area Science Park, and EY. The project is co-financed by MEF and the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia. Wärtsilä is a Finnish multinational with revenues of 4.46 billion, and 19 thousand employees, and is a global leader in the supply of intelligent technologies and of complete solutions for the entire life cycle, both in the naval market and in the energy market. In Italy it is born from the acquisition, more than 20 years ago, of the Grandi Motori Trieste, and is one of the most relevant within the manufacturing industry.

<<At a time like this – declares Luca Manuelli, president of the Intelligent Factory Cluster – everyone must make a contribution in directing the digital transformation. We did it with our document “Producing a resilient and sustainable country”. We are happy that Wärtsilä may become the new Lighthouse Plant because we believe in the complete digitalisation of the manufacturing processes. And we are happy that this project is launched in an environment such as Friuli Venezia Giulia, in which the CFI is widening its membership base thanks to the Cluster Comet.>>

<<Opificio Digitale is a revolution – explains Andrea Bochicchio, president of Wärtsilä Italy – based on data and interconnectivity. We are living in a time period in which there is desire for revival, and because of this we appeal to all those entrepreneurs that had to abandon many ideas due to lack of time, money, or competences. Ours is a Smart Manufacturing Ecosystem that imposes a cultural shift with a new awareness based on digital innovation. All the system will be cloud-based, but we want to involve companies and entrepreneurs.>>

Giuseppe Saragò, director of Manufacturing Excellence of Wärtsilä Italy, adds: <<The ambition that we have is not simply adding technologies to the bookshelf. This is a way of working that belongs to old enterprises who, generally speaking, are convinced that the supply chain is unidirectional and, in some way, of their own property. Instead, we want to share different tools with SMEs with the awareness that these may further be shared. If the chance is given to small enterprises of accessing tools of this kind, something concrete is offered and will make the whole supply chain grow. Our idea is of creating a library of technologies in common to make available to everyone. Here in our Opificio Digitale, the solutions for smart manufacturing will be found (for example a scalable system for the execution, based on microservices, with a modular setting similar to “Lego Bricks”) and there will be the possibility of accessing a network of competences and accessing a physical site, available to anyone who is willing to bring forth ideas of co-innovation.>>


The Intelligent Factory Cluster is born in 2012 with a grant from the Ministry of University and Research for the construction of technological clusters in Italy, and has become operational in 2014. In 2017, the Ministry of Economic Development entrusts to the Cluster the job of supporting the selection of the first Lighthouse Plants: excellent factories already functional and ready to develop an articulate and innovative project in order to become smart factory. They use technologies directed by the Industry 4.0 Plan such as: big data, IoT and artificial intelligence, new business models, and inclusion of the supply chain and the involvement in the Open Innovation world. Ansaldo Energia, Tenova-Ori Martin, Abb and Hitachi Rail are the first 4 operative Lighthouses. At the end of 2020 Hsd was added, specialised in the production of electro spindles and part of Biesse group. Hsd is the first Lighthouse to be an Italian medium enterprise. The Lighthouse Plants are a model of Factory 4.0 that have the function of “demonstrators” of the digital transformation of larger factories. Also for this purpose are already foreseen economic contributions from the Ministry of Economic Development and from the regions. With the objectives already in the “Avvio” Plan, and that will be strengthened from the development of the Tree-year Plan 2021-2023 presented to MUR (Ministry of Education, Universities and Research), the CFI wants to extend its own mission through the Flagship Lines, technological demonstrators capable of integrating search results in specific replicable solutions, implemented in sections of the production lines in the plants of Intelligent Factories. The president is Luca Manuelli, CDO of Ansaldo Energia and CEO of Ansaldo Nucleare, while the scientific committee is commandeered by Tullio Tolio, professor at the Milan Polytechnic.


Wärtsilä is a global leader in the supply of intelligent technologies and complete solutions for the whole life cycle both in the naval market and in the energy market. Sustainable innovation, total efficiency, and big data management are the elements with which Wärstilä optimizes the environmental and economic performances of its own factories. On the naval market and in the energy market, Wärtsilä recorded a net revenue, in 2018, of 5.2 billion Euros, and is listed in the Helsinki Nasdaq. With roughly 19,000 employees, the Company operates in more than 180 locations in over 80 countries in the word. Starting from January 2019, Wärtsilä is constituted by two divisions called “Marine Business” and “Energy Business”. The turnover in 2020 was of 4.64 billion. Wärtsilä Italy is part of the Finnish Company Wärtsilä Corporation. In 1997, the Wärtsilä Group bought a share of GMT (Grandi Motori Trieste S.p.A.), to then take over the whole property in 1999. In 2000 Wartsila Italy S.p.A. is constituted. In Trieste, Wärtsilä has invested in the construction of an establishment that reflects a modern concept of production, aimed at supplying high-quality solutions and to increase efficiency and capacity for assembling the motors. Today, the Trieste plant – which has a long history in the production of motors, both 2-stroke and 4-stroke (including the biggest 4-stroke motor ever produced, the W64) – is a modern multiproduct establishment that develops in an area of roughly 300,000 squared meters, of which 100,000 are roofed, and is one of the greatest production plants of motors of Wärtsilä. The current range of products assembled in Trieste includes the series of 4-stroke engines (Wärtsilä 26, Wärtsilä 34, Wärtsilä 46, 46F, 46 DF, Wärtsilä 50DF, and Wärtsilä 50SG) and components for propulsion that includes the Lips Modular Truster (LMT), Retractable Thrusters, and Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP). In Trieste there is also the Land & Sea Academy, centre of excellence for the training of experts in the field of motors, the Hybrid Centre, first full scale hydric centre in the world, and Contract Management Expertise Centre, operative remote support for clients with maintenance contracts O.&M. of the SEAF area (South Europe and Africa). In 2019 in Trieste was inaugurated the Manufacturing Acceleration Centre (MAC), which is part of the Smart Technology Hub (STH), an open platform where the development and the understanding represent the core of all activities, characterised by an approach of shared experience. Wärtsilä’s activities in Italy currently involve roughly 1,150 people, of which 970 in Trieste and the rest in the establishments in Genoa, Naples and Taranto.


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