Sarlux becomes a “4.0” refinery. The announcement was made by Dario Scaffardi, General Manager of Saras S.p.A. (the parent company of Sarlux), at the meeting “Impresa 4.0”, organised on 24 January in Cagliari by Confindustria Digitale. The Sarroch-based company has just set up the #DigitalSaras programme, whose main purpose is personnel training. “The best investment we can make is in our personnel and their know-how. Digitization is one of the keys to continuing to be a successful company”, said the top manager to the audience of entrepreneurs and to the other speakers, Maurizio De Pascale (President of the Industrialists’ Association of Southern Sardinia), Alberto Scanu (President of the Industrialists’ Association of Sardinia), Marco Santoru (Director of Confindustria), Raffaele Paci (Head of the Policy Planning Department of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia) and Elio Catania (President of Confindustria Digitale).
These projects cover the Sarlux industrial site which intends to exploit all the opportunities offered by cloud, big data and data analysis, industrial internet, cyber security and augmented reality. “Digitization offers a tremendous opportunity. We here at Saras are committed to exploiting it to the best to keep a fresh outlook and achieve a position as one of the best sector operators”, these were the words of the General Manager.
Of the possible applications identified and which will have an impact on the professional life of technicians, engineers and the whole industrial area of Southern Sardinia, 8 are already in the experimental phase. Amongst the main innovations brought about by Industry 4.0, Sarlux is focusing on ‘predictive maintenance’: thanks to algorithms that process large volumes of data, it will become possible to identify potential plant breakdowns or the fouling of key plant elements. “Foreseeing” these events with extremely low margins of error means avoiding unexpected maintenance and hence unplanned shutdowns, with clear cost savings.
As to HR applications, one has been designed in collaboration with global consulting firm BCG. This consists of a roIe-play game that Group staff can engage in on-line using tablets. The programme consists in a simulator that replicates the Saras value chain: from the purchase of crude to sale of finished products on world markets, with changing and complex variables. While plant operation and product handling are virtual, the dynamics are absolutely true to life. With one key difference – players are assigned a different role from their actual job position, and thus learn to cover the role of their colleagues, understand how they work, develop empathy towards them. #DigitalSaras means also and above all increasing workers’ know-how, as was highlighted by General Manager Dario Scaffardi, since thanks to the capacity of communication between the ‘players’, absolutely unexpected levels are reached and this testifies to the fact that close-knit teams obtain better results than predicted by the computer.