The international group of companies ICOL Group opens its first European R&D center in Milan, Italy

ICOL Group will demonstrate its unique Smart RoboFactory framework for fully robotized footwear manufacturing and its Digital B2B Ecosystems at SIMAC 2020 in Milan.

According to the company plans, it will be soon possible to observe its next generation ICOL.Factory, as a showcase of Belwest installation in Belarus.

The international group of companies ICOL Group opened in January 2020 an AI R&D center in Milan (Italy) just before the Simac Tanning Tech 2020 fair event, the largest international expo of machinery and technologies for the footwear, leather goods and tanning industries. As CEO and Group Founder Dmitry Gontsov explains, the Milan office priority will be the projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Machine Vision and Digital Twins technologies. Dr. Andrey Golub, FashionTech expert and entrepreneur, a Belarusian living in Italy since 2002, becomes the General Manager and Head of AI R&D for ICOL Group in Italy. The Milanese startup ELSE Corp, founded and guided by Golub since 2015, becomes a strategic technological partner for ICOL Group on the R&D direction. “Milan is the centre of contemporary fashion and the attraction point for creative people, the international trendsetter. We are part of the fashion industry so it’s crucial for us to be in tune with it. The Italian office is intended as a bridge between designers, engineers and developers of our Industry R&D business line, and the clients and partners of our B2B ecosystem platform. We also see it as an information hub for communicating with the Italian, European and global professional circles. This is our first investment in the European R&D roadmap”- says Dmitry Gontsov.

On 19-21 February at Simac Tanning Tech in Milan, ICOL Group will present its high-tech b2b solutions both for large enterprises and SMEs in the shoe and leather industries: ICOL.Factory and ICOL.Digital. These technologies have no analogues in the world.    

ICOL.Factory is uniquely beyond stand-alone machines, intelligent software applications, modern sensors or smart devices.  They are comprehensive integrated solutions for robotization of production processes and entire industries, powered by AI and with no global competitor offering a full match to their capabilities. Next-generation digital factory of Belwest (Belarus) is a host of a pilot project where these approaches undergo realization and thorough testing.    According to the plans of the company, soon (within a few months) it will be possible to visit the ICOL.Factory and see the next generation of production.

“We have a far-reaching strategic goal: to increase Belwest’s production capacity to at least 3 million pairs of shoes by 2023. This production volume will be achieved with the help of implementation and integration of ICOL.Factory robotic solutions and full 3D driven design process into production. To produce one pair of shoes it is necessary to perform 185 operations. Using innovative technologies, a large number of these operations will be carried out by robotic and AI systems. Currently it is a pilot project to be implemented and rigorously tested. So, it’s too early to speak about any specific results, but we are very positive about seeing the improvements soon.  According to the preliminary assessments, we will be able to obtain qualitative estimates not earlier than in a year since the project is launched” – claims CEO and Group Founder Dmitry Gontsov.  

ICOL.Factory  – Robotic Smart Factories 4.0:  

  •  comprehensive robotic solutions for production processes,  
  • robots, using artificial intelligence with no human action involved, perform all operations: from troubleshooting leather and cutting to parts removing,   
  • reconfiguration of equipment for each new cycle (also without human action) using digital twins and virtual cutting simulation.

ICOL.Digital  – Digital Smart B2B Platform:   

  • provides native interface and the ability to use it without additional installation of services,   
  • connects all industry participants, from designers and shoe materials and components suppliers to shoe manufacturers,    
  • allows performing operational tasks in the search, planning and organization of production and sales.

“I believe that now it is the best time to take the footwear production back to Europe to get it close to the consumers, making it more efficient and truly sustainable, which is only possible via robotization and digitalization of all data and production chain operations. It is one of the reasons why I’m developing this business stream and why the international project of the ICOL Group has started with particular attention to the European markets” – notes Dmitry Gontsov.

ICOL Group innovations stem from the most advanced technologies for robotization within Industry 4.0 framework, such as Advanced Machine Vision, Deep Learning/ Artificial Intelligence, 3D Simulations, Digital Twin, Autonomous Mobile Robots and Industrial IoT.

About ICOL Group 

ICOL Group is an international group of companies headquartered in Barcelona (Spain). The global group started business activity in 2017 and completed its consolidation in 2019. Presently, the group includes 6 R&D centers in EU and CIS countries.  

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