Sustainability Report 2022

Research, development and technological innovation

PSC’s five research and development (R&D) centres are located in Oderzo, Scanzorosciate, Turin and Ferentino and employ a total of 67 employees and 14 program manager. This sector is strategic for the Group and for this reason it is reserved for significant investments, sometimes in synergy with customers.

There is a Director in charge of this area who, in collaboration with the Program management coordinates three divisions:

  • Foreign customers
  • Italian customers
  • Appliances

Per individuare e condividere con tutto il Gruppo le buone pratiche in questo ambito, PSC si è dotata di una piattaforma di business intelligence all’avanguardia.

R&D initiatives implemented by companies and business units are plenty and mixed practice and they include those described in the following paragraphs.
In 2021 and 2022 Sole Oderzo started developing a research project called Sustainable Capacitive Keyboards (TCS), which is part of the calls for large R&D projects that can benefit from the resources of the Fund for Sustainable Growth (FCS), established to support businesses and investments in this field.
The three-year project, whose conclusion is expected in 2023, aims at the development of keyboards whose functions can be activated with a touch action similar to the one we use on a smartphone screen and which are created with advanced processes of super-thin plastic injection molding.

The TCS project has three phases:

Study and screening in the laboratory of possible options for new molding, materials, devices for TCS and their compatibility.

Development of two prototypes: one for the dashboard with color-changing backlighting and one for the rear lid opening handle. This phase ended in 2021, with the development of three prototypes, two for the internal coatings and one for the handle.

Full development of the technology, expected in the course of 2022/2023

During the first reporting of the financed project, the inspector confirmed that the project was in line with the planned objectives. The project represents an innovation in the sector of materials and advanced production systems, in particular for plastic components, and confirms the very high profile of Sole Oderzo’s R&D, one of the excellences of the area and a proven international leader for the application in this field.

During 2021, both Sole Oderzo and Sole Components were also involved in the realization of other R&D projects, for the development of which they accrued the tax credit provided for by article 3 of decree-law 145/2013, as replaced by ‘art. 1 paragraph 35 of law 190/2014 and implemented with the ministerial decree 24/05/2015.

The initiatives involved are:

Research, experimentation and development of innovative galvanic chrome plating technologies with high environmental sustainability, based on the use of Trivalent Chromium. The second step of the project saw the inclusion of hexavalent chrome-free etching in 2022.

Study for the application of mold painting technology in our flagship products to evaluate solutions with reduced environmental impact and cost-efficient.

Study for the identification of an alternative to automatic and specific EOL presence control, exploiting visual control work procedures step by step on the basis of new lidar technologies and pursuing a versatility of the equipment.

Study for a technical-economic feasibility assessment in Sole Oderzo on the core products of the use of nitrogen gas as a carrier fluid in painting.

Study and analysis for the application of induction heating on IMM injection groups.

In addition to these, new projects have been launched for the development and application of: new post-consumer recycled materials and their homologation; new polypropylene materials without the use of primers and plasma for bioadhesive applications; laser cutting.
Some successfully completed projects finally went into production, including: PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) metallization technologies for the production of components aimed at aesthetic coating; aesthetic radiator grilles in ASA and ASA/non-embossed PC; the use at the Sole Oderzo plant of collaborative robots in industrial processes.
During 2022, several companies within the Group received financial assistance for a total of 7.736.658 euros. Most of this sum, amounting to 5.617.963 euros, was provided in the form of tax relief. The companies that have benefited most from this form of assistance are Prima Components Gricignano with 22% of the reliefs, and Sole Pontedera with 19%.

Prima Poprad obtained 83% of the subsidies acquired by the Group, for a total amount of 512.663 euros. In addition, Prima Eastern, Prima Components Anagni and Prima Components Paliano received a total of 642.506 euros in investment grants.
Sole Oderzo and Prima Components Paliano benefited from financial incentives for a total of €774.077, while Sole Components, Sole Suzzara and Sole Pontedera received other financial benefits for a total of €82.364. Over the last three years, the total financial assistance granted to all PSC Group plants has been as follows.

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