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Lopane workshop: classic car restoration 4.0

Laboratorio Lopane is a body shop in Milan that offers new modern services and innovative workmanship appropriate for restoring life and splendor to collector vehicles. It is run by Alfredo, Andrea and Alberto, sons of Alfredo Lopane who came to Milan from Puglia in 1954 with a great passion: automobiles.

Alfredo Lopane arrived in Milan in 1954, years when the big car companies, such as Alfa Romeo or the American Hudson, were using the collaboration of Milanese workers to find new solutions for bodywork with the newest, most beautiful, aerodynamic and functional shapes. The most famous at the time was certainly Carrozzeria Touring, also known as Touring Superleggera, famous for having patented in 1936 the Superleggera method, whereby the body is composed of aluminum panels supported by a lightweight steel frame welded to the chassis. In the late 1950s, involving his brothers and a friend, Alfredo Lopane decided to open a small body shop. These were very intense years: the market was growing and there were many demands.

Then, in the 1980s, Alfredo made a decision to focus on a niche market, vintage vehicles, and he involved the most talented Milanese beaters, such as Stefano Bellini. 

Today their sons Andrea and Alberto Lopane continue to cultivate this dream and carry on their father's great intuition: always restoring classic cars, to which they add a range of other services such as maintenance and storage for these very special cars. They do this, however, with a focus on new 4.0 technologies, which they use especially to recreate body parts of cars that are now unavailable. How do they do it? They make 3-D scans and create scale models, and then recreate new parts from scratch.

The object of the design challenge conceived by the Upskill 4.0 team with Andrea Lopane concerns sheet metal modeling.

ITS FITSTIC Laboratorio Lopane students were asked to imagine and devise possible solutions for optimizing and making efficient one of the crucial steps in car refurbishment: sheet metal modeling.

The design solution devised is Re-built, a virtual reality simulation that projects Laboratorio Lopane into the future .As in a video game, the user logs in and finds himself in a workshop struggling with the beating of a sheet metal to create new parts to restore a vintage car. An immersive experience that is etched in the memory and certainly makes it more appealing to young people.

ITS FITSTIC students with Alice Rizzetto, project manager of Upskill 4.0, worked four months on VR simulator implementations; they then created a new communication strategy and a sophisticated landing page to build customer loyalty.

This project is part of the Upskill Milano project of Cariplo Factory and Upskill 4.0. It is aimed at companies based in the Milan Metropolitan Cities, operating in the craft and Made in Italy sectors. The goal of the project is to contribute to the competitiveness of businesses by combining 4.0 technologies with traditional know-how, and to promote new opportunities for ITS students to meet businesses looking for specific technical and professional skills.

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