How to support Southern Italy and create new jobs? Here are the results of the just completed 3 year-long R&D project “PON Research and Competitiveness”, followed through by SAPA together with FCA.
Technological innovation, development of new-patented pending applications for cars, advanced training of staff and newly hired young engineers, all of whom today work at SAPA R&D department.
Starting a 3 year-long project can be a touch intimidating.
Three years is a long time, don’t you think?
It is true, within the industrial world many projects have medium to long-term maturity: 18 months, two years, three years.
Moreover, when it comes to research projects, you are well aware of the starting point, but not yet of the culmination.
You hope it will be a success, indeed. But it can never be guaranteed.
Just over three years ago we decided to participate in a challenging research project, aiming to revive the industrial and employment development of some Italian least-favoured regions.
You may have heard of it – the PON Project, namely the National Operational Programme “ Research and Competitiveness” – the means by which Italy contributes to the development of the European Union’s cohesion policy, for its territorial areas in difficulty.
A significant amount of European Union funding has been allocated to support research and innovation activity in the 4 Regions of the “Convergence Objective” (Apulia, Calabria, Sicily, Campania), for the purpose of becoming drivers of economic and social development.
I want to show you what has been concretely done.
Three years ago we decided, a little worried, to face this challenge, together with FCA and the Regional Center of Expertise – New Technologies for Industrial Production, at the University of Naples Federico II and University of Salerno, as special research sites.
Come up with novel industrial solutions for creating innovative products and – above all – new employment. But not in the short run. Growth is real when developed in the medium to long term.
This was the main objective and it has been achieved.
In the last three years SAPA hired new specialized engineers, dedicated to Research and Development, whose number is bound to growth in the near future.
Together with FCA and the Regional Center we have chosen to work on what we do best: industrial processes for car components.
In particular, we successfully launched a set of tests on new materials (recycling ones as well, with particular focus on environment) within 4 interesting areas for development:
- Soft touch: Softer-to-the-touch car components, providing a nicer contact inside the vehicle.
- Scratch resistance: One of the most common issues in plastic components is wear. We have developed materials more resistant to scratch and therefore provided a more attractive and pleasant visual comfort for drivers.
- Zero gap: When two plastic parts touch each other the interior vehicle noises are very annoying. Creating zero friction and increasing the comfort feeling inside the cabin has been the aim of the research.
- Tiger strips: Limit or remove the optical deficiencies due to the so called tiger strips.
I must say that “working in conjunction” was key.
Close cooperation with FCA and the Universities of Naples and Salerno has enabled us to successfully meet all goals set at the start.
But I am happy and proud not just for this.
Part of the resources has been committed to advanced professional training. The involved and hired engineers have been purposely trained to achieve the results as well.
And this is the thing I love most, since further training leads to further improvement.
A virtuous flow that never dries up. Today’s results provide the platform for tomorrow achievements, thanks to new training and new professionals, which will be added to the existing human resources.
For this reason SAPA has created a brand new department, as a result of this experience as well.
We named it “Innovation in Engineering” and will be entirely dedicated to improve our patented pending production processes, more and more each day.
In recent years, in fact, SAPA has increasingly become a company specialized in industrial processes for car components.
Patented Pending processes, the number of which doubles year by year. The most recent and the most important is the process One-Shot, which allows us the production of complex components within a production area only, with just a machinery.
Significant savings in terms of costs, time and environmental impact for our clients.
If you want to further explore the topic, write to email@example.com, one of SAPA Genius will contact you within 24 hours.
Moreover, the synergy with FCA and the other research centers has already brought great results, starting from the creation of new jobs.
For Southern Italy this is an important achievement and we do like to be part of the industrial groups driving growth.
As I often like to say… ad maiora!