INDUSTRY 4.0

The National Industry 4.0 Plan, whose tax benefits were approved with the 2017 Budget Law, offers a series of incentives for enterprises that invest in technology and digitalization. With the 2018 Budget Law, the period of tax benefit eligibility for investments in new capital assets, devices and technologies made by December 31, 2018 is extended through December 31, 2019, provided that an advance payment of 20% of the total order amount has been made by December 31, 2018. Circular no. 4/E of the Revenue Agency and other explanatory circulars emitted by the Ministry of Economic Development (e.g. 23 May 2018 Circular, no. 177355) are an important step towards the implementation of the Plan, as they provide operational instructions regarding the use of super-depreciation and hyper-depreciation.

HOW TO GET THE INCENTIVES

In order to take advantage of the benefits of hyper-depreciation and the increase in the value of investments in intangible assets (Circular no. 4/E), companies must certify that they have fulfilled the legal requirements:

  • “For investments with a value of more than €500,000 per asset”
  • a sworn technical report issued by a registered professional or
  • a certificate of conformity issued by an accredited third party Certification Body.
  • “For investments with a value of less than €500,000 per asset”
  • a statement made by the Legal Representative (this declaration can also be replaced by the sworn technical report or the certificate of conformity referred to in the previous point).

As a Certification Body, ECO Certificazioni can draw up the following:

  • The Technical Report contains, among the most significant elements, an analysis of the interconnected system and compliance with the security requirements of the asset, which is necessary for assets with a value exceeding € 500,000 and useful to prepare for assets with a value of less than € 500,000.
  • The Certificate of Conformity, which is an official document that confirms the asset’s compliance with the requirements of the law, protects the intellectual property and confidentiality of the asset’s user, as well as of third parties involved, and may be exhibited at the request of control bodies.

Attention: the Certificate of Conformity need not be sworn because the guarantee of independence, competence and confidentiality is implicit in the activities of the third party Certification Body.

DOCUMENTS FOR THE TECHNICAL REPORT

In order to prepare an adequate technical report, which will pass any technicians’ checks, the purchased asset must be accompanied by adequate documentation:

  1. use and maintenance manual and the CE declaration of conformity to the Machine Directive and the EMC Directive – mandatory documents;
  2. electrical framework and report summarizing the assessment and validation of the security systems used, including the software – documents that are not currently mandatory but are necessary for the technical report;
  3. basic diagram and description of the type of data exchanged between the machinery and the business management system, communication and data storage protocols, connection interfaces suitable for continuous communication – documents that are not mandatory but necessary for the technical report.

INTERCONNECTION AND INTEGRATION

In particular, in point c) we talk about the innovations introduced by the Industry 4.0 concept, i.e. the possibility to improve production efficiency, thereby reducing lead times, machine downtimes for format changes, waits for untimely maintenance, etc. All of this is achieved by continuously monitoring the machinery activity and processing the data collected accordingly: the INTERCONNECTION of the machinery and the INTEGRATION of the information gathered into the management system.

OBLIGATORY REQUIREMENTS AND OTHER TERMS

In order to take advantage of the incentives, the asset must satisfy the following mandatory requirements:

  1. control via CNC (Computer Numerical Control) and/or PLC (Programmable Logic Controller);
  2. interconnection to the factory computer systems with remote loading of instructions and/or part programs;
  3. automated integration with the factory’s logistic system or with the supply network with other machines in the production cycle;
  4. simple and intuitive interface between human and machine;
  5. compliance with the most recent workplace safety, health and hygiene standards.

Other terms:

  1. remote maintenance and/or telediagnosis and/or remote control systems;
  2. continuous monitoring of working conditions and process parameters through appropriate sensor sets and adaptivity to process deviations;
  3. characteristics of integration between the physical machine and/or plant with the modeling and/or the simulation of its behavior as it carries out processes (cyber physical system).
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