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V-Desk Experience: What do the train drivers think?

V-Desk Experience: What do the train drivers think? 1920 1080 Spii

Some time ago, a group of train drivers and conductors from Trenord came to visit us and we had the pleasure of letting them try our latest technological innovation, born from the partnership with Italdesign.

We are talking about the V-Desk: an explosive mix between Virtual Reality and physical products.

During this initiative, promoted by the Cra association – FNM Railway Culture section, Carmelo Gravotta, Massimo Iannello, Emanuele De Santis and Marco Luoni were the protagonists of this immersive experience.

Are you curious to know how it went?

Watch the video to find out their reactions!

See you next time,
Simona Gianoli


Happy mother’s Day!

Happy mother’s Day! 848 515 Spii
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A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.
Cit. Honorè de Balzac

No other being on Earth can love us as unconditionally as our own mother.

We know that celebrating mothers is something that should be done all year round, but this anniversary allows us to remember how important these amazing women are.

Being a mother means changing your life, your time and your way of thinking.

It means no longer thinking only for themselves, but also for their children.

A mother tries to protect her children from all harm and to help them in any way possible, with their well-being and education as top priority.

A mother is fertile land to give birth to life;

A mother is a shell that protects;

A mother is the one who accompanies you in life and with you looks at the world;

A mother sees her most beautiful seed grow every day.

For our amazing mothers and to support their difficult – and at the same time – exceptional role, we wish to express our emotions of respect and gratitude towards them.

To all the mothers of SPII; To all the mothers of the WORLD

Best wishes from SPII!

See you next time,
Simona Gianoli

Believing in young people means believing in the future

Believing in young people means believing in the future 1536 1024 Spii

Spii is an Italian company, Center of Competence of the Schaltbau Group for the design and production of human-machine interfaces, where engineering combined with manufacturing experience allow to merge Technology, Ergonomics and Style in solutions in which the human being is at the center.

Our company strongly believes in young people and in the value they bring through innovation, the inclination to learning, new technologies and change in general.
For this reason, I quote a sentence from Dr. Paola Foiadelli, CEO of SPII who, on the occasion of the “From father to son” award winning – an initiative promoted by the Liuc University and aimed at rewarding the best generational transition in the Italian company – stated: “It is the people who make the difference. Believing in young people means believing in the future ”.

SPII has always contributed to the growth of young people both from a professional and personal point of view, collaborating with universities and upper secondary schools, in order to create direct contact between the worlds of work and education.
We offer students high-level training opportunities, with a view to intergenerational communication based on the exchange of experiences and knowledge.

It is our care to design different courses for each level of training, with the aim of transferring to young people “tailored” skills of their passions and suitable tools for a constantly evolving world of work.

Every year we promote new internship opportunities and degree theses, activating partnerships with various universities, such as LIUC, Politecnico di Milano and Università Cattolica.

Over the years, SPII has welcomed talents from various study paths: Engineering, Economics, Law, Sociology, Languages, Astrophysics and more.
Students with very different cultural backgrounds, but all united by curiosity and desire to do.

Our company is an active protagonist of various initiatives that offer students the opportunity to present themselves and apply, to become part of the company Graduate Program, which allows them to acquire greater responsibilities over time and to develop their growth path in SPII.

Every year, the company offers lessons to the students of the Automation of Electric Transport Systems course at the Politecnico di Milano, who always ask many questions.
This demonstrates the interest and validity of these initiatives, which proactively involve students to create a union between theory and the world of real applications.

SPII also collaborates with upper secondary schools in the area – such as the I.P.S.I.A. of Saronno – and higher technical institutes – such as the ITS Rizzoli of Milan, activating alternation school-work courses, aimed at 4th and 5th years grade students.
The goal is to develop an awareness of the business culture in young people, through support and tutoring activities for transversal skills and guidance.

We give students the opportunity to get to know and discover different business realities, such as: administration, general services, purchasing office, warehouse and production area, which includes wiring and assembly activities.

In this way, young people have the opportunity to get involved and deal with the world of work, to discover how important it is to work in a team and share ideas and knowledge.

Finally, moving on to middle school, SPII fascinates even the little ones, making them immerse themselves in “tailor-made” solutions in the railway and industrial automation sectors.

PMI Day is for us a fixed appointment with the younger kids, where enthusiasm, curiosity and desire to get to know each other are never lacking.
It is an initiative aimed at eighth-grade students to help them discover the world of small and medium-sized enterprises in the province of Varese.

We offer information on the company organization, examples of roles that can be covered in this reality and indications on the course of study to get to cover the various positions.
Children are given the opportunity to visit the company and in particular the Expo Hall, our showroom where historical products and the latest technological innovations relating to driver desks and components for subways, tramways and railway rolling stock are exhibited.

SPII is looking for passionate, curious and courageous people.
Initiative and a strong spirit are essential to undertake a career path in a challenging and constantly evolving context.
If you are interested in taking a “trip” with us, do not hesitate to send an email to

We are waiting for you!

See you next time,
Marianna Donadonibus

Railway sector and female inclusion: our women stand up for it!

Railway sector and female inclusion: our women stand up for it! 971 1082 Spii

The women who changed the world never needed to show anything other than their own intelligence.
(Rita Levi Montalcini)

We stand up for it!

As a woman who has worked for SPII for years, I am proud to be part of an Italian company in which over 40% of employees are women. Most of these carry out office work (administration, purchases, etc …) while I hold the role of Sales Application Engineer, also working in the field and in close contact with customers.

I started my career as Customer Care but SPII immediately presented itself as a company projected towards the future, able to guarantee a path of continuous growth to anyone who puts their passion, will and commitment.

A special mention goes to our CEO, Dr. Paola Foiadelli, who acts as an inspiration and is the demonstration that welcoming change and accepting female sensitivity can lead to paths that we could never have thought of taking, and that a point of different and new view can open the doors of trains all over the world!

“For a woman who loves her job and who has the desire to become a mother, it is not obvious to have the serenity and the awareness that this life project will be positively welcomed by her company”, tells us Elisa Fuse, Project Coordinator for about 5 years old and a new mother; “In Spii motherhood is welcomed with joy. To meet my needs, I was offered to work in Smart Working mode when this alternative was not yet so widely used. And when you wake up in the morning and don’t feel full strength it can really make a difference! ”.

Carola Portigliotti, Digital Process Specialist for about 1 year, also wanted to tell us about her experience: “SPII definitely travels on an alternative track! Upon my arrival, I immediately perceived the project, much broader than the simple gender focus, which embraces the company: providing the correct tools to People, Women or Men who are. Among these there are certainly motivation and skills, which combined with the right growth opportunities provided by the company, allow each of us to realize our potential and increase our talents.

I am happy and proud to cover a role, in the Digital and railway sectors, where the prevalence is male, and to feel every day free to express myself as a Woman, on a personal and working level, in equal measure. “

“My mother stopped working when she was young to look after me and my brother” says Sara D’arone, who arrived about 3 years ago as a Junior Buyer during her Graduate Program and now Logistic Engineer; “The reality in which she worked did not allow her to be a mother and a worker at the same time. This today is her greatest regret and the greatest teaching she has given me: “never quit your job, your independence will make you a free woman”, she always repeats to me.

When I arrived in SPII I looked around: many women, many young people, many mothers, some responsible for something and someone. I started working in a predominantly female team, I took part in important projects and on several occasions I had the opportunity to compare and exchange views with different people. These have always given me confidence and have given me the opportunity to express myself, to demonstrate my talent and to grow, both as a person and professionally. What made the difference was the result of my actions, not being a man or a woman.

Today I find myself at the helm of an almost all-male team and this is certainly not a problem, neither for me nor for the boys. Respect, trust and the race towards a common goal is what binds us. “

See you next time,
Paola Foiadelli
Valentina Marrese
Elisa Fusè
Carola Portigliotti
Sara D’arone



Digitization is the process that allows you to convert a size of the physical world into a numerical value, into an abstract but still real representation of the everyday life.
The hybridism of people’s lives becomes bigger every day, where the analogue world and the digital world are intertwined to help humans in their activities.

SPII, as a center of competence for human-machine interfaces, straddles the two worlds and, as such, favors and promotes the process of digital transformation of the processes that govern it.

Starting from the corporate vision, I believe we can agree that the keywords – or rather the foundations necessary for the completion of digitization – are: People, Processes and Technologies.

Digitizing a company is a long process that requires planning.
Infact, we have set ourselves annual goals to introduce new technologies, always keeping in mind the HCD (Human Centered Design) approach.
This is because we believe that Technology is at the service of People, who apply Processes that must be Agile to increase efficiency, productivity and quality.

The “New Normal” that has seen people’s habits change in the last two years has led SPII to reach some very important milestones in its digital transformation.
The first, in terms of time, was the installation of digital bulletin boards at strategic points, with the aim of guaranteeing all employees maximum transparency of information, in real time, about the news and company results achieved.

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The introduction of a new and innovative digital clocking in/out system allows, every day, to choose whether to use the classic card or an App-based system, with which, moreover, you can manage your card with the simplicity of a tap on your smartphone.

Important steps are being taken in the field of Augmented Reality, applied to the world of production and service, in favor of the quality of the work of the collaborators involved.

Of particular interest is also the latest achievement: the virtual switchboard. Thanks to this we have managed to make the paradigm according to which the receptionist figure has to remain eight hours sitting at a desk, sorting calls, without being able to do anything else obsolete.

Again, technology at the service of people.

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Finally, I would like to mention a project that is still being implemented but for which the company invests a lot of resources day-by-day, that is, the transfer of all our IT infrastructure to the Cloud.
In this way it is possible to increase the interconnection between colleagues, reduce connection dead times and facilitate the exchange of information and also safeguard the security of the data involved.

Confucius used to say “If you are looking for a hand to help you in your time of need, you will find it at the end of your arm”.

Today, at the end of our arm we could also find a robotic hand to help us and this is why digitalization becomes a fundamental player in our increasingly automatic but increasingly human world.

See you next time,
Carola Portigliotti



Great challenges: facing the complexity of our time.

From the point of view of an “old” engineer, speaking of complex systems means debating “systems of systems”, “hybrid systems”, “multimodal systems” and looking forward to hours at the desk in the midst of formulas and calculation systems.

To date, the traditional complexities have certainly not disappeared, on the contrary, but the “complexity has become more complex”, a new generation engineer must include digital revolution, climate, mobility, health, green energy, technological humanism in the complexity equation , cybersecurity and so on and so forth, the more you put.

In this challenge to complexity 4.0, however, we have new tools, others need to be invented, it is useless to continue to do the same things hoping for always different results.

No approach can be considered superfluous, every point of view is useful and necessary to look at and understand a multifaceted and multifaceted reality, with very high degrees of complexity.

Old style engineering must renew itself by combining different profiles, engineers, designers and figures from the world of human, economic and social sciences.

A working environment where flexibility becomes a necessity, since complex systems require few and simple rules, and the soft skills of the engineer take on an increasingly important role.

Smart working becomes an additional tool for approaching complexity, the change of work environment stimulates new ideas and therefore new solutions. Each of us has come up with the solution to a problem in the car, on the subway or while we were telling a bedtime story to our son.

In a nutshell, the “new” engineer must also be a designer, a social expert, a philosopher, a computer scientist … or more simply can help create an engineering in which all these skills are shared and where brainstorming is permanent.

A professional more capable of grasping the solicitations coming from society, more prepared to face the complex reality of our time.

And this is the approach to engineering that we believe is a winning one, which our customers can count on when they choose us as a partner for their great challenges.

See you next time,
Giovanni Salati


The Culture Map

The Culture Map 2560 1751 Spii
Alessandro Boldetti, Emiliano Grandi, Paolo Casoretti, Daniele Colombini, Massimo Riccelli, Fabio Devenz, Andrea Maggi, Valentina Marrese, Arianna Tiralongo

Spii, as a center of competence, thrives on experience and international interaction with the rest of the world and wants to improve the management of its worldwide network more and more to better support its customers.

Guided by the awareness that diversity is an added value and that there are cultural gaps between the various countries, our desire to understand different cultures arises.

How do we intend to master the intercultural dynamics?
Helping our team members to develop their cultural flexibility thanks to a training course in collaboration with Mylia which is part of our Academy program.

To guide us in this path will be the teacher Maura Di Mauro – Interculural Trainer, Coach & Consultant.

In the meantime, we decided to prepare ourselves by letting ourselves be inspired by Erin Meyer and her fantastic book The Culture Map: a detailed guide to the cultures of different countries to learn how to adopt the most effective techniques in communication and interactions within multicultural environments.

We can’t wait to increase our knowledge by learning to observe from different perspectives!

See you next time,
Simona Gianoli

Happy Easter 2022

Happy Easter 2022 1950 1297 Spii

Easter is the symbol of Renewal, Joy and Rebirth.

It represents an opportunity to regenerate with family and friends.

This anniversary follows the arrival of spring and is accompanied by the awakening of nature.

Thus, the Easter period turns out to be that moment in which life moves again towards its fullness.

May this holiday give us all a vision of the future covered with new light and ready to be lived with curiosity, passion and courage.

On this somewhat special day for everyone, we wish you to smile at the days to come with that joy in the heart that only authentic and genuine things can give.

Happy Easter of serenity and joy from Spii!

See you next time,
Simona Gianoli

Increased Space for a New Cab Layout. How is IntelliArm revolutionary?

Increased Space for a New Cab Layout. How is IntelliArm revolutionary? 2048 1280 Spii
IntelliArm means Improved Cab Design and Environment Sustainability.

The revolution of the railway market passes above all through the cabin layout. Italy, the homeland of the Renaissance and of the famous way of thinking with its “Man in the center”, proposes a railway humanism to build an efficient working environment that surrounds the driver.

The cockpit is the meeting point between the end user and the car builder engineering who developed the design. Only by bringing the technological, style and ergonomics content to the top we can truly aim to revisit the cabin layout by introducing tangible advantages.

Volume and weight savings today are certainly the most popular elements in railway design. in an era in which the “Green ” and sustainability boost is becoming more and more concrete and current.

Acting on these parameters means moving towards a new design paradigm in which each accessory device often contained in the driver desk moves to much more accessible, maintainable areas. Topics we are going to cover in the next episodes of IntelliArm.

IntelliArm accompanies us to the discovery of a Driver Desk, in which the ratio between volume and technical content is extremely high, each I / O is optimally distributed, and each space is carefully designed to host a specific function. The result is a Driver Desk of unparalleled efficiency, in a perfect marriage between Engineering and environmental sustainability.

Volume and Weight

Although the innovations in the Railway field are often of a technological nature, going to act on individual components and processes, they are less inclined to evaluate the entire Control Package in its entirety.

Only a different approach can give birth to a product that is extremely aimed at reducing volume and weight, guaranteeing flexibility in the correct repositioning of all the devices in the cabin.

Volume: Defines the extension of a body, i.e. the space occupied by an object, in our case, the Driver Desk. It is expressed in m³.

Space Saving: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

Decreasing the occupied volume and weight means drastically increasing the efficiency of the desk, a further objective of I / O interfaces, creating space in the cabin where to place what is currently sacrificed. Some examples are pneumatics and the personal effects of the Driver.

The innate compactness of IntelliArm also leads to the reduction of everything that is packaging, an increasingly important need for SPII’s commitment to sustainability.

Weight: Measured in Kg, it expresses the mass related to a specific object.

Weight: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

A decrease in volume brings with it a consequent decrease in weight, a winning combo that allows the Car Builder to handle a concentrate of solutions that in optimal volume and weight, allows to reach the previous effectiveness in terms of operability.

In this case we can compare not only IntelliArm in the single configuration but also in its double essence, emphasizing that in both solutions compared to the desk of a regional train, the additional space created in the cabin is surprising.

Space Saving: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

IntelliArm is thought to give you more with less. Reverse the traditional concept of Driver Desk without losing any of the classic advantages, indeed adding others. Thus creating space in the cabin for your personal belongings and preparing for an unprecedented experience. Design in the space for additional components and increase the maximum seating capacity.

Weight Saving: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

It is incredible how reducing and limiting the overall dimensions consequently improves installation times. Consequently, it becomes possible to minimize installation personnel, tools and reduce the risks associated with installing the Driver Desk. Lightness means less energy expenditure for traction, IntelliArm is therefore the right choice for a Car Builder and an operator who want to be more sustainable than ever.

IntelliArm allows the Car Builder to completely redesign the cabin layout, bringing with it the only advantages that a simple, clean, light and less bulky installation can offer.

Driving innovation means being the spokesperson for all the aspects that both the Driver and the designer would like to improve, concentrating them at the center of the new railway humanism. The Control Package is at the center of the cabin, just as man is in the technological renaissance that IntelliArm is capable of underlining and bringing new life.

See you next time
Paolo Casoretti


SPII: 40% of women in a world of men only

SPII: 40% of women in a world of men only 1474 982 Spii

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
(Marie Curie)

Is the railway world sexist?

As a woman who has been working in the railway world for 6 years now, I ask myself: is this sector sexist? Do women have the opportunity to express themselves and fill the same roles attributed to men? Of course, answering these questions is not easy given that there are many socio-economic variables that determine the sexism of a sector or of an entire country.

With this article, and the next ones about the same subject, we will try to make you aware of our small reality, which has 40% female employees, and to understand whether or not female inclusion is still an open issue that needs to be addressed globally.

In 2016, the Women In Rail association, founded in the United Kingdom to promote female inclusion in the railway sector, conducted a survey on diversity within the train industry. The results show that less than 2 out of 10 employees are women and that these hold Customer Care roles in most cases.

Overall, engineering and leadership roles are male dominated. For example, just think that in the UK only 6% of women are engineers and 4% of railway engineers are women. Regarding the train drivers position, women represent only 4% of drivers in the UK.

It would certainly be unfair and unfounded to claim that the rail industry is sexist. In part, the limited number of female quotas in the sector is due to the fact that there are not many women applying for the available roles; in this regard, many countries are working on strategies and programmes to attract female talents.  (to learn more, click on

The power of diversity

On 05.11.2021, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) signed the Women in Rail agreement in Brussels. (

The goal, also defined thanks to the contribution of Gruppo FS Italiane, is to increase the number of women employed in the railway industry as well as to improve their working conditions.

The fight against wage differences, support for working mothers, the prevention of harassment, abuse and sexist behaviors and therefore the guidelines that companies should follow in order to implement policies that promote equal opportunities and female inclusion.

We at SPII strongly believe that people are at the center of every process and that the dissimilarities between them make the difference between a company that values ​​every single talent, recognizing heterogeneous skills and attitudes and a company that is reluctant to change, subject to collapse, in the quicksand of evolution.

See you next time,
Valentina Marrese