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From Orders to Bets

Le storie di Job Digital Lab
Fondazione Mondo Digitale

From Orders to Bets

From Orders to Bets

Job Digital Lab: sharing local stories


Alessandro Di Girolamo, a mechanical engineer and CEO of Tekno Idea, has produced machines to order for years. Then, he chose to try a new business challenge based on artificial intelligence. He developed Ctrl + Paint, a system that automatically identifies painting defects on industrial products. This is an innovative application that can be adopted in various industrial sectors, besides the automotive industry.

Alessandro presented his story at the local Job Digital Lab session in Pescara to other entrepreneurs in the Abruzzi who employed technology.

With the help of Nicoletta Vulpetti, a true lover of identity stories, the second edition of Job Digital Lab, the educational programme developed with ING Italia, presents the stories of the protagonists of personal and community change.


When I graduated in engineering twenty years ago, artificial intelligence was not a big subject. For many years, Tekno Idea, the enterprise I now share with a friend produced machinery to order. Then, in 2015, we received a request from the Cassino FCA plant: Is there a way of check painting defects on cars without a manual check? Instead of building the usual machinery, we decided to mix things up and move from the world of custom orders and take a “bet.” And started to look for a solution.

We studied, collaborated with universities, sought partners out on the market, self-financed ourselves with the “Industry 4.0” calls and networked to share knowledge.

This led to the creation of Ctrl + Paint, a project that has won various awards both in Italy and abroad.

What is Ctrl + Paint? It’s an automatic artificial intelligence system to identify the presence of defects on painted industrial products. We developed it in partnership with a multinational, at first only for car bodies, in a number of FCA plants. In 80 seconds, the device applied to a robotic arm, could identify a 2 tenths of a millimetre defect, visualizing it as a black point on a clear background.

This system replaced a physically tiring task for workers, and with a far greater degree of accuracy. It’s a bit like an echography: the device scans the car body and identifies any defects with great precision.

When I was at university, AI seemed to be far off into the future, but now it’s a part of our lives, far more than we notice. The bet that we won was to apply AI to an industrial device, whilst keeping the cost of a traditional solution. We now want to extend CTRL+Paint to other industrial areas and continue using artificial intelligence to create “real” projects for the market.

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