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

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

Nuovo layout, più spazio in cabina. In che modo Intelliarm è rivoluzionario?

Nuovo layout, più spazio in cabina. In che modo Intelliarm è rivoluzionario? 2048 1280 Spii
IntelliArm significa design della cabina migliorato e sostenibilità ambientale.

La rivoluzione del mercato Railway passa soprattutto per il Layout di cabina. L’Italia, patria del rinascimento e del famoso modo di pensare con il suo “Uomo al centro”, propone un umanesimo ferroviario volto a costruire un efficiente ambiente di lavoro che circondi il macchinista.

La cabina di guida è il punto di incontro tra l’utente finale e l’ingegneria del car builder che ne ha sviluppato il design. Solo portando ai vertici il contenuto tecnologico, di stile e di ergonomia possiamo veramente puntare a rivisitare il layout di cabina introducendo tangibili vantaggi.

Il risparmio di volume, ed il risparmio di peso oggi, in un’epoca in cui la spinta Green e di sostenibilità si fa sempre più concreta ed attuale, sono gli elementi sicuramente più apprezzati nel design ferroviario.

Agire su questi parametri vuol dire innescare un nuovo paradigma di progettazione in cui ogni apparato accessorio, spesso contenuto nel banco, si sposta in zone molto più accessibili e manutenibili. Aspetti che toccheremo nelle prossime puntate di IntelliArm.

IntelliArm ci accompagna alla scoperta di un Driver Desk in cui il rapporto tra volume e contenuto tecnico è estremamente alto, ogni I/O è distribuito in maniera ottimale, ogni spazio è accuratamente designato ad ospitare una specifica funzione. Ne deriva un Driver Desk di impareggiabile efficienza, in un matrimonio perfetto tra Ingegneria e sostenibilità ambientale.

Volume e Massa

Sebbene le innovazioni in campo Railway siano spesso e volentieri di carattere tecnologico andando ad agire sui componenti singoli e sui processi, esse sono meno propense a valutare tutto il Control Package nella sua interezza.

Solamente un approccio diverso può far nascere un prodotto estremamente volto alla riduzione di volume e peso, garantendo flessibilità al riposizionamento corretto di tutte le device in cabina.

Volume: Definisce l’estensione di un corpo, ossia lo spazio occupato dallo stesso, nel nostro caso, il banco di manovra ed è espresso in m³.

Risparmio di spazio: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

Diminuire il volume occupato ed il peso vuol dire aumentare drasticamente, a parità di interfacce I/O, l’efficienza del banco, andando a creare spazio aggiuntivo nella cabina dove posizionare ciò che attualmente sacrificato. Ne sono alcuni esempi la pneumatica e gli effetti personali del Driver.

L’innata compattezza di IntelliArm porta inoltre a ridurre tutto ciò che è packaging, un’esigenza sempre più importante per la vocazione alla sostenibilità di SPII.

Peso: Misurato in Kg esprime la massa correlata ad un specifico oggetto.

Peso: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

Una diminuzione di volume si porta dietro una conseguente diminuzione di peso, una combo vincente che permette al Car Builder di maneggiare un concentrato di soluzioni che nel volume e peso ottimali, permette di raggiungere la precedente efficacia in termini di operabilità.

In questo caso possiamo confrontare non solo l’IntelliArm nella configurazione singola ma anche nella sua essenza doppia, enfatizzando come in entrambe le soluzioni rispetto al banco di un treno regionale, lo spazio addizionale creato in cabina sia sorprendente.

Risparmio di spazio: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

IntelliArm è pensare di poter ottenere di più con meno. Capovolgere il tradizionale concetto di Driver Desk senza perdere nessuno dei classici vantaggi, anzi aggiungendone altri. Creare così lo spazio in cabina per i tuoi effetti personali e prepararsi per un’esperienza senza precedenti. Progetta nello spazio per le componenti addizionali e aumenta la capacità massima dei posti a sedere.

Risparmio di peso: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

E’ incredibile come riducendo e limitando gli ingombri migliorino di conseguenza i tempi di installazione. Diventa di conseguenza possibile ridurre al minimo il personale di installazione, gli strumenti e ridurre i rischi associati alla posa del Driver Desk. Leggerezza implica meno dispendio di energia per la trazione ferroviaria, IntelliArm è quindi la scelta giusta per un CarBuilder ed un operatore che vogliono essere sostenibili più che mai.

IntelliArm permette al Car Builder di ridisegnare completamente il layout di cabina, portando con sé i soli vantaggi che una installazione, semplice, pulita, leggera e meno ingombrante può offrire.

Guidare l’innovazione vuol dire farsi portavoce di tutti gli aspetti che sia il Driver, che il progettista vorrebbero migliori, concentrandoli al centro del nuovo umanesimo ferroviario. Il Control Package è al centro della cabina, così come l’uomo lo è nel rinascimento tecnologico che IntelliArm è capace di sottolineare e portare nuova vita.

Alla prossima puntata,
Paolo Casoretti

Rail vehicles in good hands… and feet – with footrests

Rail vehicles in good hands… and feet – with footrests 1473 982 Spii

Footrests with DSD switches allow the driver to operate the driver safety device from an ergonomic seating position while keeping hands free. Additional functions, as horn activation and track sanding can be integrated. An optional heatable base plate provides additional comfort in winter.

Footrests and DSD switches can be found in railway vehicles all around the world, characterized by a high degree of safety over the many years of operation typical of railway vehicles.

Generally, footrests are customized product developments because of the need for adaptions required by each specific customer, based on the desk integration and country of operation.

The modular design and constructions of our robust, shock and vibration-proof footrests creates a large variation in the design of the final product, which will be customer-specific, reliable, rugged, low-maintenance and ergonomics, for even more safety.

Every footrest meets all the requirements of the rail vehicle manufacturers and of the railway’s standard, and are notable for their solid construction and high reliability.

The design of these devices follows the structural requirements of railways vehicles according to the standard EN 12663.  This standard specifies the loads vehicle equipment should be capable of sustaining and presents the principles to be used for design validation by analysis and testing, in order to guarantee the resistance of the object.

All the footrests are tested according to a comprehensive type test program and are compliant with the severe railways’ standards and the customer specifications.

One of the most severe tests to which the footrest is subjected is the shock and vibration test, according to standard EN 61373. This test specifies the requirements for testing equipment intended for use on railway vehicles which are subsequently subjected to vibrations and shock owing to the nature of railway operational environment. To demonstrate the quality of the product, it has to withstand tests that simulate the service conditions seen throughout its expected life.

Learn more by clicking here:

See you next time,
Stefano Milani

Industrial HMIs: why not nice and easy to use?

Industrial HMIs: why not nice and easy to use? 940 589 Spii

The future is clear: our world is becoming more and more automated and technology is permeating our lives the more the time passes. Every electronic or automatic system needs to communicate with the user, just like any person speaks to each other by means of words and languages.

Throughout the years various ways have been developed to cope with this goal: in the 70’s one of the first personal computer, maybe one of the most famous due to its BASIC programming language, the Altair 8800, used LEDs to communicate its state to the user.

Then, in the 80’s, 7-segment display dominated the era (just think about KITT from Knight Rider). The 90’s were the time of alphanumerical displays. The last twenty years saw the development of a progressively evolved way to use and to be kept in touch with technology.

We are used to interact with machines: from the washing machine to our cars, passing from our smartphone, there is one big and most important interface to let us communicate with them: the display.

Displays, even in bigger machines like trains, are the main window to see what’s going on inside this extremely complex system. SPII can manage the challenge of making this possible: to ensure the best view of the entire environment while retaining ease of use, ergonomics and style, in the Italian way of creating superb products.

This is paired with state-of-the-art technologies: Intel or ARM architectures, capacitive touch and numerous display form factors and size available to be integrated in a custom, reliable and, most of all, safe design. Safe because our solutions are also SIL2 according to EN 50129 and already employed for ETCS signalling onboard of trains driver desks.

Moreover, the modularity of our technology ensures quick time to market, even for the most customized solution. We never forget our mission of guaranteeing the best state of the art technology, fused with ergonomics and style, to keep our automatic world always on track.

If you want to learn more visit our website:

See you next time,
Davide Rossi

Visibility means safety. How IntelliArm is revolutionary?

Visibility means safety. How IntelliArm is revolutionary? 1920 1080 Spii
IntelliArm Urban Scenario Application

Safety and reliability are cornerstones of the railway world and since the dawn of this iconic and increasingly eco-friendly way of traveling, man has tried to guarantee it by improving every single aspect of it.

It is easy to think how visibility from the cab, as important as it is in the world of high-speed rail, plays an incredible role alongside the Driver in the urban scenario where, today, LRVs are increasingly present.

The world really changes quickly, our streets and cities are increasingly hectic and dynamic thanks to the advent of the latest in electric mobility, everyone is experiencing the experience of being in an urban setting, among pedestrians, bicycles and scooters.

What contribution can we offer by improving the conditions for which our sector, the railway one, is truly safer for those inside and outside the cabin?

It is IntelliArm that accompanies us in the discovery of this tech-article, a product that maximizes the concept of visibility, improving the safety of increasingly chaotic cities.

Visibility in the cabin, it hasn’t always been like today!

The famous view from the cabin, which sadly today fascinates memories of early 20th century trains with all the gauges and instruments that surround it, was certainly not the correct example of Cabin-Design aimed at increasing the safety on both driver and passenger side.

But we were only at the beginning! Certainly the boiler and all the pneumatic parts had to be easy to access in the cabin, a condition that however completely limited the front visibility so much that the drivers had to protrude from the side windows.

Source: 1367 SBB Historic B 3/4 at Airolo, 1920’s era circa.

Thanks to the advent of electrification, in the following decades, step by step, the cumbersome and limiting boiler gave way to a more modern control desk, which allowed the driver, finally, to have his eyes on what was happening on the tracks. . An increase not to be underestimated in terms of field of vision and cone of vision!

1960’ –

Driver Desk and fields of vision that, if we identified ourselves with a driver, would still accompany us along the very famous railway lines from all over the world.

Going back to the present day, starting from the 2000s, up to the most modern trains, the concept of visibility would seem to have reached an excellent goal and consequently passed into the background, allowing car builders to devote themselves more to equally important topics such as Ergonomics and Technology, which however, according to us at SPII, could be summarized in a single product.

The goal is to recreate a control desk whose essence is the perfect mix of Ergonomics, Style and Design, the result of our mission, maximizing the level of safety that is offered to the driver and those around him.

Frecciarossa 1000 Driver Desk

Field of View and Cone of Visibility

Working together with the professionals of the sector, and with the train drivers who work every day in our cities, crossing thousands of stations, has allowed us to touch on two issues that are very dear to them, and which make the difference if we want to talk about safety and innovation.
Introducing them is a must to better understand why we want to try to maximize them.

Field of view: The field of view is the area that represents the part of the outside world visible when fixing a point and is expressed in m².

Field of View: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

Increase visibility by creating a new dimension of safety. Eliminate blind spots, upset the perception of what is happening outside your cabin.

Cone of visibility: Measured in degrees, it is the width of the cone that starts from the driver’s eye and hits the windshield.

Field of View: IntelliArm Vs Regional Train Driver Desk

Don’t make your work environment an hindrance to your senses. With IntelliArm, the advantage over the cone of visibility is clearly perceptible, offering better safety for you and those around you. The Driver is at the center of the work environment and can focus on what is really important.

IntelliArm in the results

Analyzing the results is easy and intuitive thanks to the metrics we have created by comparing the reference product, IntelliArm, with a classic Driver Desk still in service in Europe today.

The important improvement of these parameters is mainly due to the elimination of the bulky front components that have been repositioned in order to facilitate the driver’s visibility. By improving driving comfort and visibility, the user accumulates less stress and remains more alert, thus increasing safety on board the train.

IntelliArm redefines the standards of visibility thanks to its approach aimed at reducing dimensions and a geometry developed vertically, making it possible to reach all internal components intuitively and easily.

A product resulting from an ambitious path, the first command platform created with the user and engineered for the user, a true extension of command towards the complexity of the world around us.

See you next time,
Paolo Casoretti


Paese che vai, treno che trovi

Paese che vai, treno che trovi 2560 1708 Spii

Il Master Controller è un dispositivo di sicurezza che controlla e veicola i comandi principali del treno: trazione e frenatura.

La sua funzione si può definire dunque in modo semplice: il macchinista muove una o più leve per determinare il movimento o la fermata del treno, oltre che l’eventuale impostazione, tramite apposite leve o pulsanti, della direzione e della velocità.

Nonostante la sua funzione sia molto semplice, l’oggetto al suo interno è davvero complesso; Il come trasmettere il comando alla centralina del treno, ovvero la logica di veicolo, è fondamentale per assicurare elevati standard di sicurezza.

Il Master Controller, infatti, è un dispositivo in continuo cambiamento: la posizione dei pulsanti ed il numero di leve, la presenza o meno di encoder, il numero di camme e microinterruttori, tante sono la variabili da tenere in considerazione durante la progettazione di un manipolatore. Pertanto, anche i movimenti, gli angoli e le combinazioni di sblocco delle funzioni possono variare da progetto a progetto, un po’ come la retromarcia di un’auto.
Così come il manipolatore, al pari delle nostre automobili, anche le cabine di comando dei treni continuano a cambiare e le aziende del settore ferroviario sono sempre alla continua ricerca di miglioramenti e utilizzo delle tecnologie più all’avanguardia.

Ci sono vari motivi per cui i Master Controller possono essere così diversi tra loro; vediamoli insieme:


I macchinisti di tutto il mondo trascorrono una grande quantità di tempo a bordo del treno e fondamentale è assicurare loro elevati standard ergonomici. Negli ultimi decenni, infatti, si sono approfonditi gli studi sulla relazione del corpo con gli oggetti che ci circondano.

I movimenti, le geometrie e le funzioni stesse dei comandi sono in continua evoluzione.


Il contesto ha un forte impatto sulla percezione dell’ergonomia: nonostante ci siano normative di settore che determinano gli standard da rispettare, spesso la componente soggettiva e di contesto è quella che prevale. Per esempio, la comodità degli angoli per il polso, o con quanta forza è necessario impiegare al fine di muovere una leva, e così via.
Infatti le tradizioni, gli usi e i costumi dei singoli paesi pesano sulle decisioni dei diversi car-builder nel mondo.
A seconda del continente, della nazione e dei veicoli ferroviari preesistenti cambiano le preferenze e i requisiti di macchinisti e costruttori.


Infine, le differenze non si limitano solo all’interfaccia con il macchinista. Molta variabilità si trova anche nel modo in cui il Master Controller deve dialogare col treno: contatti elettrici, sensori angolari, sensori touch, diverse tensioni di alimentazione, etc.

Come ingegnere meccanico, da diversi anni sviluppo manipolatori destinati a progetti di tutti i continenti, e difficilmente riuscirei a definire quale sia lo standard, se interrogato.

Tuttavia, proprio questa eterogeneità ci da la possibilità di esplorare nuove soluzioni, di dare spazio alla nostra creatività e di aiutare i clienti a definire e soddisfare, con loro, le particolari necessità di ogni progetto. Il cliente stesso, infatti, contribuisce allo sviluppo del manipolatore con suggerimenti, dettagli e desideri che passano dalla carta alla realizzazione fisica.

Per i motivi descritti sopra, il Master Controller è assolutamente un dispositivo custom per eccellenza. Grazie alla nostra esperienza andiamo incontro a tutte le richieste del costruttore del treno, della compagnia che effettuerà il servizio e del macchinista stesso. Ma non dimentichiamoci degli oltre 500 manipolatori, tutti diversi tra loro, già prodotti ed apprezzati in tutto il mondo! In assenza di una specifica tecnica o in caso di tempistiche molto stringenti, non è infatti possibile partire da zero e il nostro portafoglio prodotti ha un ruolo fondamentale in questo.

Per concludere, che si tratti di un manipolatore custom o di un oggetto esistente, non dobbiamo mai dimenticare che questo dispositivo ha un valore intrinseco inestimabile. Nonostante il peso economico di un master controller sia solo dello 0,01% su un intero treno, sicurezza, disponibilità e performance possono dipendere da esso.

Alla prossima puntata,
Corrado Giusti


To each country, its own train!

To each country, its own train! 2560 1708 Spii

The Master Controller is a safety device that controls and conveys the main commands of the train: traction and braking.

Its function can therefore be defined in a simple way: the driver moves one or more levers to determine the movement or stop of the train, as well as the possible setting, by means of specific levers or buttons, of the direction and speed.

Although its function is very simple, the object inside is really complex; How to transmit the command to the train control unit, i.e. the vehicle logic, is essential to ensure high safety standards.

The Master Controller, in fact, is a constantly changing device: the position of the buttons and the number of levers, the presence or absence of encoders, the number of cams and microswitches, there are many variables to consider when designing a Master Controller. Therefore, even the movements, angles and combinations of unlocking functions may vary from project to project, a bit like a car reverse gear.
Like it happens for the automotive sector, also trains driver desks and Master Controllers themselves continue to change and companies in the railway sector are always looking for improvements and use of the most advanced technologies.

There are various reasons why Master Controllers can be so different from each other; let’s give a look at them together:


Train drivers all over the world spend a great deal of time on board the train and it is essential to ensure them high ergonomic standards. In fact, in recent decades, studies on the relationship of the body with the objects that surround us have been deepened.

The movements, the geometries and the functions of the controls themselves are constantly evolving.


The context has a strong impact on the perception of ergonomics: although there are sector regulations that determine the standards to be respected, often the subjective and contextual component is the one that prevails. For example, the comfort of the wrist angles, or how much force you need to use in order to move a lever, and so on.
In fact, the traditions, habits and customs of individual countries weigh on the decisions of the various car builders around the world.
Depending on the continent, country and pre-existing rail vehicles, the preferences and requirements of train drivers and builders change.


Last but not least, the differences are not limited only to the interface with the driver. A lot of variability is also found in the way in which the Master Controller must communicate with the train: electrical contacts, angle sensors, touch sensors, different supply voltages, etc.

As a Mechanical Engineer, I have been developing MCs for projects on all continents for several years, and I would hardly be able to define what the standard is, if questioned.

However, precisely this heterogeneity gives us the opportunity to explore new solutions, to give space to our creativity and to help customers define and satisfy, with them, the particular needs of each project. The customer himself, in fact, contributes to the development of the device with suggestions, details and wishes that pass from paper to physical realization.

For the reasons described above, the Master Controller is absolutely a custom device par excellence. Thanks to our experience we meet all the requests of the train manufacturer, of the company that will carry out the service and of the driver himself. But let’s not forget the over 500 Master Controllers, all different from each other, already produced and appreciated all over the world! In the absence of a technical specification or in the case of very tight deadlines, it is not possible to start from scratch and our product portfolio plays a fundamental role in this.

To conclude, whether it is a custom Master controller or an existing object, we must never forget that this device has an inestimable intrinsic value. Although the economic weight of a master controller is only 0.01% on an entire train, safety, availability and performance can depend on it.

See you next time,
Corrado Giusti

avanchair project

When your Vision shapes your Future: SPII & Avanchair

When your Vision shapes your Future: SPII & Avanchair 1443 1211 Spii
crowdfunding avanchair
Avanchair’s crowdfunding campaign

June 13th, 2021 was a very special day.

Maybe you didn’t realize it, but on that day the life of 130 million people worldwide may have taken a turn for good.
That’s how many people would benefit from Andrea Depalo’s invention, Avanchair, according to the Wheelchair Foundation.

On that day, indeed, his “smart” wheelchair reached its crowdfunding goal on Eppela.

Now a new chapter begins: Avanchair needs to move from “dream” to “reality”.

And we at SPII are happy to be part of it, lending our knowledge and experience in Human-Machine Interfaces to this amazing project.

Not only because it will help millions of people overcome their disability and live a better life.

But also because Avanchair is an original and beautiful manifestation of our Mission and Vision.

And when you let your Vision shape your Future, great things happen.

When innovation is born

wheelchair classic
Some of the everyday actions disabled people need help with – before Avanchair

Andrea Depalo is an Italian entrepreneur who had a dream: help people with a disability like himself move more freely.

A dream that started to become a Vision some years ago, when he first pictured the idea of Avanchair.

A wheelchair that could help its users perform a number of movements, thanks to a motorized seat that can move vertically and horizontally.

With this simple but essential innovation, the persons using the chair can get closer to a car, a bathroom, a bed or any other surface they may want to move to, empowering them to be more autonomous and free during their everyday life.

An innovation that is simple…but also enormously complex.
It needs, among the rest, a human-machine interface that is essential, easy to use, precise and effective.

Something we at SPII know well about.

The initial connection between Andrea and SPII was totally random: by chance, the entrepreneur lives maybe 300 meters away from the company’s headquarters, in Saronno.

So at the very beginning of this journey, few years ago, we met, we exchanged opinions, we gave him suggestions about the technological side, we pledged our interest to the project.

During the following years, Andrea went on “building” his idea: he found sponsors, partners such as Enel, and the project grew stronger and stronger.

And now, with the crowdfunding campaign successfully concluded, it’s closer than ever to becoming a reality!

There is still much to do before some actual work together can begin, but we knew from the very beginning there was something there – a bond, a connection.

A shared Vision.

intelliarm and avanchair
The HMI from Intelliarm could be similar to the one of Avanchair

When a shared Vision is born

If you have read our story so far, you know that our company has always been strongly tied to the train industry. As the market leader for components and safety devices for railway and industrial applications, we have always been very focused.

But we also had something else, something that made us look further away and beyond our industry.
Something that would later become our motto, synthesizing our Vision and Mission in a sentence:


Wheelchairs are not SPII’s specialty for sure…but mobility is.

Wherever we can” is not only a slogan, is a way of being: it’s the way we look at the world, the recipe we use to navigate decisions. It’s how we want to be, and how we want other people to be.

Mobility is in our DNA – as it is sustainability, diversity, inclusion. All values we strongly saw from the very beginning in Avanchair.

When, in recent years, SPII had to rely more than ever on its resilience, we decided to look deeply into our company’s soul, with an effort to grow with the times and stay relevant to society’s needs.

What emerged is well summarized in our About Us page:

  • It’s a Vision that sees a human being at the center of an automated and robotized world;
  • and it’s a Mission that sees us providing the best possible solutions for the interaction between humans and machines, through technology, style and ergonomics.

This consciousness is what led us so far, what informs our decisions and the projects we work on.

It’s what allowed us to build an innovative solution like IntelliArm, which was awarded with a RedDot for its design.

It’s what led us to support Elli&Rini with their last creation, PIANETA. Or to partner with ItalDesign and work on a solution like V-Desk to integrate AR into the industrial process.

And it is what makes us want to contribute to Avanchair: because we see technology as a tool to improve people’s health, happiness and freedom.

So what is a better fit for SPII than a robotized wheelchair, which leverages automation to allow its users to be all of the above?

Interview to Andrea Depalo, Avanchair’s founder

Our expertise goes well beyond trains: it goes wherever we can.

And we want to help allow people with disability do the same.

Are you curious to know how the Avanchair project evolves?
Keep in touch with us and follow the dedicated website and Facebook page.

See you next time,
Ilaria Cazziol

banco di manovra mosca 2020



On 21/09/2020 the new train of the Moscow Metro 2020 was presented. It entered service in the autumn of the same year.

Here you go one of the most beautiful train in the world: the new underground train of the Russian capital “Moscow 2020”.

Moscow 2020 is a latest generation train, completely innovative and has our driver desk inside!

During the official ceremony, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said:

“We started renovating the rolling stock of the Moscow Metro in 2010 and now we have one of the youngest fleets among the metropolitan systems in the world” […]

“Today we welcome the new Moscow 2020 train, which clearly surpasses its predecessors thanks to its parameters. […]
The Moscow Metro is considered as an example by the designers. Our wagons, built in the 70s, are still used in Europe today. The new generation “Moscow 2020” will certainly serve as an experience for Europe and America “.

The driver desk was designed according to the following guidelines: innovation, modernity and comfort.
Entry to the driver’s cabin is permitted using an individual access card which also activates the complete traffic control and safety system.
The new generation train driver desk is more ergonomic and has almost twice as few buttons thanks to the large touchscreen monitors.

The ceremony was also attended by the Locomotive Engineer Instructor Andrej Blochin: “The desk is avant-garde, modern, much more ergonomic than the previous ones, the software incorporates that of smartphones, which allows the train driver to make decisions faster, in complete safety “.

The deputy head of the project Arcadiy Sajzev was also interviewed and he underlined the importance of combining tradition and innovation, with a look at the future version of “Moscow 24”.

Spii is proud to be part of this great project and to be on board the trains of the future!

See you next time,
Simona Gianoli & Valentina Marrese