INDUSTRIAL DIGITALIZATION. THE BENEFITS FOR USERS OF PARTITALIA’S PRODUCTS/SOLUTIONS
Partitalia is an Italian company based in Lainate (Milan), that manufactures and markets smart cards, tags, RFID readers and IoT solutions. The company has been working with commitment and passion since 2001, responding quickly and effectively to our customers’ requests. Their clients are leading Italian B2B companies, system integrators and public administrations, with more than 4.000 customers in Europe and worldwide. Partitalia has made innovation and improvement their cornerstones.
Interview with Luca Del Col Balletto, CEO of Partitalia srl.
Easy Engineering: Which are the most digitalized products / solutions?
Luca Del Col Balletto: RFID tags are among our most innovative products: our tag’s portfolio consists of a wide range of products with more than 70 different chips to identify people and things.
In addition, we manufacture RFID readers which stem from Made in Italy technical expertise, and all parts are developed in-house: hardware, firmware, software and cloud components. This allows us to customise the performance of RFID readers according to customer requirements while maintaining high quality standards.
Finally, we have developed several IoT solutions for asset tracking, workers’ safety, outdoor localization and waste collection.
E.E: What are the characteristics of these products / solutions and in what type of projects are they used?
L.D.C.B: Partitalia’s RFID tags are divided into two broad categories. In the area of personal identification, our RFID wristbands and key fobs are used for access control at hotels, campsites, companies and gyms as electronic wallets to store credit that can be spent at vending and self-service machines, as well as for charging electric cars at charging posts. Hard tags and RFID labels, instead, are widely used in industry to identify objects throughout the production chain, in logistics for inventory management and picking, and in retail for point-of-sale management and optimisation. They are also used in waste management to collect deliveries in municipalities that apply door-to-door pay-as-you-throw waste collection, and in the medical sector to monitor surgical equipment and manage the hospital pharmacy and laundry.
Concerning Partitalia’s RFID readers, their main feature is the highly sensitive RFID antenna, which ensures excellent reading performance at considerable distances which can be configured. Our RFID readers can be adapted to meet various needs, which is why they are divided into four major groups: fixed, vehicular, wearable and desktop. Fixed RFID readers are designed for automatic identification both indoors and outdoors. Vehicular readers, with their IP67 protection rating, are ideal for extreme environments and are applicable on vehicles in motion. Wearable RFID readers are designed in partnership with universities for both indoor and outdoor picking operations, for deep integration with the human body. Desktop readers are designed for countertops or in indoor activities. RFID readers markets are different and specific in their verticality: industry, logistics, retail, waste collection, vehicular access control and safety at work.
Finally, our IoT solutions are thought for two different targets: system integrators and final customers. For system integrators we have a two-way middleware that communicates with hardware sensors and cloud applications, that the system integrator can configure freely. For final customers we have hardware, middleware and cloud applications. Among our IoT solutions we find: IoT DPI Solution, Efesto Track-IoT, Ermes OBD. IoT DPI Solution is the new IoT system dedicated to the identification of DPI (id est PPE – Personal Protective Equipment) in the workplace, born out of the need to improve worker safety. IoT DPI Solution consists of a system of RFID readers that read the RFID tags inside the ‘smart PPE’, embedded or sewn into protective equipment – jackets, trousers or work coats, protective helmets and safety shoes.
Efesto Track-IoT is Partitalia’s solution that allows industrial assets such as trolleys and large assets to be tracked in a timely, automatic and real-time way.
Ermes OBD locates vehicles, such as cars and trucks, and monitors their availability status, to optimise their management and ensure an efficient and effective service.
E.E: Do you plan to implement digitalization in other products / solutions?
L.D.C.B: In Partitalia we are constantly working to bring innovation to waste collection. Smart Discovery Waste is the wearable IoT solution created to identify precise disposal operations for door-to-door waste collection. It consists of: Discovery Mobile, the wearable RFID reader that works with the waste collector’s natural movements, automatically identifying users’ disposal operations and communicating bi-directionally with cloud systems and Discovery Cloud, the web-based platform for waste collection business intelligence, available to collection companies upon request. Discovery Mobile communicates the data via a bidirectional middleware. The data obtained are certifiable, including via the Blockchain for waste management, a scalable and secure distributed ledger which guarantees data integrity.
E.E: How important is digitalization in your field?
L.D.C.B: Digitalisation and innovation have always been part of Partitalia’s DNA. In fact, our vision is to innovate with technology — the Internet of Things, robots, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain — by simplifying them and providing solutions studied for their easy application. While our mission is to enhance processes and the quality of people’s work from a technological point of view, continuously innovating our products and the services we offer. Our motto is to simplify technology. Technology is often extremely complex to talk about and to apply. Simplifying technology means reducing the complexity behind its use, by providing solutions that make it easy to apply.
E.E: In which directions do you think digitalization is heading towards?
L.D.C.B: Among the most recent and pervasive developments in digitalisation is certainly Artificial Intelligence, which is increasingly becoming part of people’s daily lives. We see the application of some AI models on the Italian market and in some areas. In the industrial field one of the main applications is predictive maintenance, therefore trying to favour no longer preventive maintenance but an efficiency improvement of the capacity of use of a machine over a long period. In addition, the Italian Artificial Intelligence market is moving mainly towards Intelligent Data Processing, to extract information from data useful for business planning, and towards Language AI, which includes Natural Language Processing and Chatbots.
In fact, for enterprises, AI is increasingly at the centre of business development strategies. Only in Italy, the Artificial Intelligence Observatory of the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano found that, in 2022, 61% of large companies had started at least one AI project. Furthermore, 15% of SMEs have started at least one AI project and one in three companies plan to start new ones in the next two years.
Partitalia Wearable Reader “Discovery Mobile” for waste collection
E.E: What was the employee feedback regarding the digitalization process?
L.D.C.B: People are the real strength of a company. Passion, enthusiasm, ambition – which drives us to grow – are some of Partitalia’s main values. Our employees are 40 years old on average and have the opportunity to be included in a professional development path. We are a team of young, passionate people who share our values and we are ready to embrace new challenges.
E.E: What are your forecasts for the second half of 2023?
L.D.C.B: Our goal for the second half of 2023 is to increase sales of our IoT solutions, in line with global trends that see the IoT market growing strongly. According to Global Market Research, already in 2020, the global IoT market is worth around $1.4 trillion, and it is expected that in the period 2023-2028 this value will grow further, reaching almost $3.4 trillion in 2026.
In the industrial production and logistics sectors, many companies are using sensors and IoT devices to manage processes through the use of data collected in the Cloud. This makes it possible to make forecasts, predict delays, and consequently improve decision-making processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs. Therefore, at Partitalia we are increasing the development of products and solutions based on the Internet of Things, to boost the quality of work and make people’s lives easier.
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