Italian steelmaker ORI Martin plans to transform its steel plant in Brescia, Italy, into a smart factory in collaboration with Italian plant builder Tenova, part of the Techint Group. The plan is to implement Acciaio 4.0, one of four Lighthouse Plant projects, which will entail an investment of EUR12 million, EUR8 million of which will be funded by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the Lombardy Region within the Fund for Sustainable Growth.

Both ORI Martin and Tenova believe that to face head on the COVID-19 pandemic – which has badly affected the Lombardy region of Italy where both companies are headquartered – they need to invest in digital technologies that will enable them to adapt to changing manufacturing conditions.

Acciaio_4.0 is one of four Lighthouse Plant projects selected by the Italian Smart Factory Cluster (Cluster Fabbrica Intelligente) and it entails an overall investment of EUR12 million, of which EUR8 million is funded by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the Lombardy region (where both companies are headquartered).

Tenova's CEO, Roberto Pancaldi, commented: "Over the past months, our main priority – together with safeguarding our employees’ health and safety – has been to guarantee business continuity to our customers, trying to react promptly. This experience is showing us that the path undertaken with ORI Martin is the right one to face the challenges ahead: the implementation of a platform for advanced digital services based on big data analysis and machine learning technologies, integrating the entire value chain, is the key to manage steel plant operations in the safest and most efficient way. This crisis will widen the gap between those who invested in innovation and those who did not, favouring the first ones in a market outlook that promises to be very competitive."

Uggero de Miranda, president of ORI Martin, said: “Despite the difficult moment – both from a health and an economic point of view – ORI Martin has not stopped investing, especially in strategic models like Digital Transformation and Circular Economy, fundamental pillars for green steel production and the basis of the Lighthouse Plant Acciaio_4.0. We are aware that this is not just a simple investment: it is almost a revolution. We are asking our employees great efforts in terms of time, energy, and also creativity. There is enthusiasm, but it cannot be denied that, as in all endeavors, there are critical issues and doubts. We are proud and happy to have Tenova at our side in this – I would say historic – transition for the ORI Martin Group”.