Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Giancarlo Paccapeli

8 Predicting Machine-Down of Woodworking Industrial Machines

Authors: Matteo Calabrese, Martin Cimmino, Dimos Kapetis, Martina Manfrin, Donato Concilio, Giuseppe Toscano, Giovanni Ciandrini, Giancarlo Paccapeli, Gianluca Giarratana, Marco Siciliano, Andrea Forlani, Alberto Carrotta

Abstract:

In this paper we describe a machine learning methodology for Predictive Maintenance (PdM) applied on woodworking industrial machines. PdM is a prominent strategy consisting of all the operational techniques and actions required to ensure machine availability and to prevent a machine-down failure. One of the challenges with PdM approach is to design and develop of an embedded smart system to enable the health status of the machine. The proposed approach allows screening simultaneously multiple connected machines, thus providing real-time monitoring that can be adopted with maintenance management. This is achieved by applying temporal feature engineering techniques and training an ensemble of classification algorithms to predict Remaining Useful Lifetime of woodworking machines. The effectiveness of the methodology is demonstrated by testing an independent sample of additional woodworking machines without presenting machine down event.

Keywords: predictive maintenance, machine learning, connected machines, artificial intelligence

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7 Research Facility Assessment for Biomass Combustion in Moving Grate Furnaces

Authors: Francesco Gallucci, Mariangela Salerno, Ettore Guerriero, Manfredi Amalfi, Giancarlo Chiatti, Fulvio Palmieri

Abstract:

The paper deals with the experimental activities on a biomass combustion test-bed. More in detail, experimental campaigns have been devoted to investigate the operation of a biomass moving grate furnace. A research-oriented facility based on a moving grate furnace (350kW) has been set up in order to perform experimental activities in a wide range of test configurations. The paper reports the description of the complete biomass-plant and the assessment of the system operation. As the first step, the chemical and physical properties of the used wooden biomass have been preliminarily investigated. Once the biomass fuel has been characterized, investigations have been devoted to point out the operation of the furnace. It has been operated at full load, highlighting the influence of biomass combustion parameters on particulate matter and gaseous emission.

Keywords: biomass, combustion, experimental, pollutants

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6 IPO Valuation and Profitability Expectations: Evidence from the Italian Exchange

Authors: Matteo Bonaventura, Giancarlo Giudici

Abstract:

This paper analyses the valuation process of companies listed on the Italian Exchange in the period 2000-2009 at their Initial Public Offering (IPO). One the most common valuation techniques declared in the IPO prospectus to determine the offer price is the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) method. We develop a ‘reverse engineering’ model to discover the short term profitability implied in the offer prices. We show that there is a significant optimistic bias in the estimation of future profitability compared to ex-post actual realization and the mean forecast error is substantially large. Yet we show that such error characterizes also the estimations carried out by analysts evaluating non-IPO companies. The forecast error is larger the faster has been the recent growth of the company, the higher is the leverage of the IPO firm, the more companies issued equity on the market. IPO companies generally exhibit better operating performance before the listing, with respect to comparable listed companies, while after the flotation they do not perform significantly different in term of return on invested capital. Pre-IPO book building activity plays a significant role in partially reducing the forecast error and revising expectations, while the market price of the first day of trading does not contain information for further reducing forecast errors.

Keywords: initial public offerings, DCF, book building, post-IPO profitability drop

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5 Graphene Based Materials as Novel Membranes for Water Desalination and Boron Separation

Authors: Francesca Risplendi, Li-Chiang Lin, Jeffrey C. Grossman, Giancarlo Cicero

Abstract:

Desalination is one of the most employed approaches to supply water in the context of a rapidly growing global water shortage. However, the most popular water filtration method available is the reverse osmosis (RO) technique, still suffers from important drawbacks, such as a large energy demands and high process costs. In addition some serious limitations have been recently discovered, among them, the boron problem seems to have a critical meaning. Boron has been found to have a dual effect on the living systems on Earth and the difference between boron deficiency and boron toxicity levels is quite small. The aim of this project is to develop a new generation of RO membranes based on porous graphene or reduced graphene oxide (rGO) able to remove salts from seawater and to reduce boron concentrations in the permeate to the level that meets the drinking or process water requirements, by means of a theoretical approach based on density functional theory and classical molecular dynamics. Computer simulations have been employed to investigate the relationship between the atomic structure of nanoporous graphene or rGO monolayer and its membrane properties in RO applications (i.e. water permeability and resilience at RO pressures). In addition, an emphasis has been given to multilayer nanoporous rGO and rGO flakes based membranes. By means of non-equilibrium MD simulations, we investigated the water transport mechanism permeating through such multilayer membrane focusing on the effect of slit widths and sheet geometries. These simulations allowed us to establish the implications of these graphene based materials as promising membrane properties for desalination plants and as boron filtration.

Keywords: boron filtration, desalination, graphene membrane, reduced graphene oxide membrane

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4 Development of Personal and Social Identity in Immigrant Deaf Adolescents

Authors: Marialuisa Gennari, Giancarlo Tamanza, Ilaria Montanari

Abstract:

Identity development in adolescence is characterized by many risks and challenges, and becomes even more complex by the situation of migration and deafness. In particular, the condition of the second generation of migrant adolescents involves the comparison between the family context in which everybody speaks a language and deals with a specific culture (usually parents’ and relatives’ original culture), the social context (school, peer groups, sports groups), where a foreign language is spoken and a new culture is faced, and finally in the context of the “deaf” world. It is a dialectic involving unsolved differences that have to be treated in a discontinuous process, which will give complex outcomes and chances depending on the process of elaboration of the themes of growth and development, culture and deafness. This paper aims to underline the problems and opportunities for each issue which immigrant deaf adolescents must deal with. In particular, it will highlight the importance of a multifactorial approach for the analysis of personal resources (both intra-psychic and relational); the level of integration of the family of origin in the migration context; the elaboration of the migration event, and finally, the tractability of the condition of deafness. Some psycho-educational support objectives will be also highlighted for the identity development of deaf immigrant adolescents, with particular emphasis on the construction of the adolescents’ useful abilities to decode complex emotions, to develop self-esteem and to get critical thoughts about the inevitable attempts to build their identity. Remarkably, and of importance, the construction of flexible settings which support adolescents in a supple, “decentralized” way in order to avoid the regressive defenses that do not allow for the development of an authentic self.

Keywords: immigrant deaf adolescents, identity development, personal and social challenges, psycho-educational support

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3 Therapeutic Drug Monitoring by Dried Blood Spot and LC-MS/MS: Novel Application to Carbamazepine and Its Metabolite in Paediatric Population

Authors: Giancarlo La Marca, Engy Shokry, Fabio Villanelli

Abstract:

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, with an estimated prevalence of 50 million people worldwide. Twenty five percent of the epilepsy population is represented in children under the age of 15 years. For antiepileptic drugs (AED), there is a poor correlation between plasma concentration and dose especially in children. This was attributed to greater pharmacokinetic variability than adults. Hence, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is recommended in controlling toxicity while drug exposure is maintained. Carbamazepine (CBZ) is a first-line AED and the drug of first choice in trigeminal neuralgia. CBZ is metabolised in the liver into carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide (CBZE), its major metabolite which is equipotent. This develops the need for an assay able to monitor the levels of both CBZ and CBZE. The aim of the present study was to develop and validate a LC-MS/MS method for simultaneous quantification of CBZ and CBZE in dried blood spots (DBS). DBS technique overcomes many logistical problems, ethical issues and technical challenges faced by classical plasma sampling. LC-MS/MS has been regarded as superior technique over immunoassays and HPLC/UV methods owing to its better specificity and sensitivity, lack of interference or matrix effects. Our method combines advantages of DBS technique and LC-MS/MS in clinical practice. The extraction process was done using methanol-water-formic acid (80:20:0.1, v/v/v). The chromatographic elution was achieved by using a linear gradient with a mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile-water-0.1% formic acid at a flow rate of 0.50 mL/min. The method was linear over the range 1-40 mg/L and 0.25-20 mg/L for CBZ and CBZE respectively. The limit of quantification was 1.00 mg/L and 0.25 mg/L for CBZ and CBZE, respectively. Intra-day and inter-day assay precisions were found to be less than 6.5% and 11.8%. An evaluation of DBS technique was performed, including effect of extraction solvent, spot homogeneity and stability in DBS. Results from a comparison with the plasma assay are also presented. The novelty of the present work lies in being the first to quantify CBZ and its metabolite from only one 3.2 mm DBS disc finger-prick sample (3.3-3.4 µl blood) by LC-MS/MS in a 10 min. chromatographic run.

Keywords: carbamazepine, carbamazepine-10, 11-epoxide, dried blood spots, LC-MS/MS, therapeutic drug monitoring

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2 Social Business Model: Leveraging Business and Social Value of Social Enterprises

Authors: Miriam Borchardt, Agata M. Ritter, Macaliston G. da Silva, Mauricio N. de Carvalho, Giancarlo M. Pereira

Abstract:

This paper aims to analyze the barriers faced by social enterprises and based on that to propose a social business model framework that helps them to leverage their businesses and the social value delivered. A business model for social enterprises should amplify the value perception including social value for the beneficiaries while generating enough profit to escalate the business. Most of the social value beneficiaries are people from the base of the economic pyramid (BOP) or the ones that have specific needs. Because of this, products and services should be affordable to consumers while solving social needs of the beneficiaries. Developing products and services with social value require tie relationship among the social enterprises and universities, public institutions, accelerators, and investors. Despite being focused on social value and contributing to the beneficiaries’ quality of life as well as contributing to the governments that cannot properly guarantee public services and infrastructure to the BOP, many barriers are faced by the social enterprises to escalate their businesses. This is a work in process and five micro- and small-sized social enterprises in Brazil have been studied: (i) one has developed a kit for cervical uterine cancer detection to allow the BOP women to collect their own material and deliver to a laboratory for U$1,00; (ii) other has developed special products without lactose and it is about 70% cheaper than the traditional brands in the market; (iii) the third has developed prosthesis and orthosis to surplus needs that health public system have not done efficiently; (iv) the fourth has produced and commercialized menstrual panties aiming to reduce the consumption of dischargeable ones while saving money to the consumers; (v) the fifth develops and commercializes clothes from fabric wastes in a partnership with BOP artisans. The preliminary results indicate that the main barriers are related to the public system to recognize these products as public money that could be saved if they bought products from these enterprises instead of the multinational pharmaceutical companies, to the traditional distribution system (e.g. pharmacies) that avoid these products because of the low or non-existing profit, to the difficulty buying raw material in small quantities, to leverage investment by the investors, to cultural barriers and taboos. Interesting strategies to reduce the costs have been observed: some enterprises have focused on simplifying products, others have invested in partnerships with local producers and have developed their machines focusing on process efficiency to leverage investment by the investors.

Keywords: base of the pyramid, business model, social business, social business model, social enterprises

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1 A New Second Tier Screening for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Utilizing One Dried Blood Spot

Authors: Engy Shokry, Giancarlo La Marca, Maria Luisa Della Bona

Abstract:

Newborn screening for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) relies on quantification of 17α-hydroxyprogesterone using enzyme immunoassays. These assays, in spite of being rapid, readily available and easy to perform, its reliability was found questionable due to lack of selectivity and specificity resulting in large number of false-positives, consequently family anxiety and associated hospitalization costs. To improve specificity of conventional 17α-hydroxyprogesterone screening which may experience false transient elevation in preterm, low birth weight or acutely ill neonates, steroid profiling by LC-MS/MS as a second-tier test was implemented. Unlike the previously applied LC-MS/MS methods, with the disadvantage of requiring a relatively high number of blood drops. Since newborn screening tests are increasing, it is necessary to minimize the sample volume requirement to make the maximum use of blood samples collected on filter paper. The proposed new method requires just one 3.2 mm dried blood spot (DBS) punch. Extraction was done using methanol: water: formic acid (90:10:0.1, v/v/v) containing deuterium labelled internal standards. Extracts were evaporated and reconstituted in 10 % acetone in water. Column switching strategy for on-line sample clean-up was applied to improve the chromatographic run. The first separative step retained the investigated steroids and passed through the majority of high molecular weight impurities. After the valve switching, the investigated steroids are back flushed from the POROS® column onto the analytical column and separated using gradient elution. Found quantitation limits were 5, 10 and 50 nmol/L for 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione and cortisol respectively with mean recoveries of between 98.31-103.24 % and intra-/ inter-assay CV% < 10 % except at LLOQ. The method was validated using standard addition calibration and isotope dilution strategies. Reference ranges were determined by analysing samples from 896 infants of various ages at the time of sample collection. The method was also applied on patients with confirmed CAH. Our method represents an attractive combination of low sample volume requirement, minimal sample preparation time without derivatization and quick chromatography (5 min). The three steroid profile and the concentration ratios (17OHP + androstenedione/cortisol) allowed better screening outcomes of CAH reducing false positives, associated costs and anxiety.

Keywords: congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, cortisol, LC-MS/MS

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