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Supply chain review: new developments for an Industry 4.0

Marcegaglia aims to improve the internal process, customer service - in terms of capacity and speed of response - and the process of communicating with suppliers to create an ever-closer relationship. For this reason, the company is carrying out a complete overhaul of the supply chain, in order to further improve its response to the market: this is a significant investment for Industry 4.0.

The most important project in this sense is the review of the supply chain process from the point of view of production planning and scheduling, starting from the high stage of planning, through to production scheduling and process optimization. This is a complex transformation, that Marcegaglia started from the company's largest business, both in terms of volume and turnover, namely that of carbon steel products. The project involves a large part of the company's characteristic management: company functions such as sales, production, planning and programming.

The fully computerized supply chain and the factory connected by a unified network for the company and the plants is the prerequisite for a reengineering of the processes in terms of IoT and Industry 4.0. Adherence to the Industry 4.0 model can lead to a better product, more product information to be shared with customers, more and better information on production cycles, increased market penetration and business development, and greater focus on results. The improvement of the supply chain must therefore be accompanied by greater efficiency of production cycles and an increase in knowledge of what is happening in the factory, on the market and in the ecosystem of Marcegaglia: the 4.0 model provides the whole company and partners with activities and information with models and services of collaboration as much as possible in real time.

Specifically, the company is working to identify a technology that can support the equipment, sensors and PLCs (programmable logic controllers) in the factory, so as to build a database to work on, to collect information properly standardized and with the right level of detail.

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