126 research outputs found

    Economic evaluation of automated guided vehicles usage in a food company

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    Abstract Nowadays, companies are more and more attracted and interested by the possibility of automating processes which can be easily carried out by devices or machines instead of employees, allowing saving in costs, higher productivity and flexibility. Among the most spread ways of automating processes, more precisely in this specific case the flow of materials, the Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) stand out. But the main question that everyone asks is the following: is it convenient or not? In this paper, the answer is provided for a company operating in the food context, which intends to automate the transport of raw ingredients from the kitchens where they are produced and prepared to the filling lines; to this end, an economic feasibility study is carried out, taking into account three different levels of automation for three different lines. Results from all the three scenarios demonstrate the convenience in terms of achievable revenues, saved hours and manpower, and will support the management in their operational decisions

    Statistical Process Control of assembly lines in a manufacturing plant: Process Capability assessment

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    Abstract Among the main strategies adopted by companies for enhancing their competitive advantage as well as for improving the internal efficiency is the quality management. Several tools can be involved when dealing with this issue; one of these is the Statistical Process Control, which includes the employment of statistical methods and metrics to monitor and control a process' quality. In this paper, indeed, two statistical metrics are involved for assessing the process capability of a filler machine produced by an Italian company operating in the food context. Specifically, two processes are inspected: the slewing ring-pinion backlash and the handling clamps height check, both showing excellent performances after having carried out the control and provided appropriate adjustments. Results are also compared with those obtained from the Six Sigma theory, another tool involved for quality controls which is in line with principles of lean manufacturing. Moreover, for the second process, a software was implemented for speeding up operations and achieving benefits in terms of time. The reliability of these analysis is confirmed by the application of the ANOVA Gage R&R tool, which allowed to assess the precision of the measurement system involved

    Stress Hyperglycemia and Complications Following Traumatic Injuries in Individuals With/Without Diabetes: The Case of Orthopedic Surgery

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    Purpose: Hyperglycemia in trauma patients may stem from metabolic response to stress, both in the presence and the absence of underlying diabetes. We aimed to test the association of stress hyperglycemia with risks of adverse events subjects undergoing orthopedic surgery. Patients and Methods: In a prospective observational study, we enrolled 202 consecutive patients with hyperglycemia at hospital admission for trauma injuries requiring orthopedic surgery. Based on history, diabetes was present in 183, and 13 more were defined as unknown diabetes on the basis of HbA1c ≥48mmol/mol. Stress hyperglycemia was defined in subjects with/without diabetes by a stress hyperglycemia ratio (SHR) >1.14, calculated as admission glucose/average glucose, estimated from glycosylated hemoglobin. Logistic regression analysis was used to calculate the risk of post-surgery adverse events associated with different states of hyperglycemia, after correction for demographic and clinical confounders. Results: Stress hyperglycemia was diagnosed, either as superimposed to diabetes (54/196 cases, 27.6%) as well as in the 6 cases without diabetes. At least one complication was recorded in 68 cases (33.7%), the most common being systemic infection (22.8% of cases). In the total cohort, stress hyperglycemia, irrespective of the presence of diabetes, increased the risk of adverse events (any events, odds ratio [OR], 4.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.11–9.30), cardiovascular events (OR, 7.09; 95% CI, 2.47–19.91), systemic infections (OR, 4.21; 95% CI, 1.97–9.03) and other adverse events (OR, 6.30; 95% CI, 1.41–28.03), after adjustment for confounders; hospital stay was much longer. The same was true when the analysis was limited to the diabetes cohort or by comparing pure stress hyperglycemia vs diabetes without stress hyperglycemia. Conclusion: The study highlights the importance of stress hyperglycemia for adverse events in the setting of orthopedic surgery following trauma injuries. This condition requires stricter management, considering the much longer length of hospital stay and higher costs

    A versatile clearing agent for multi-modal brain imaging

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    Extensive mapping of neuronal connections in the central nervous system requires high-throughput um-scale imaging of large volumes. In recent years, different approaches have been developed to overcome the limitations due to tissue light scattering. These methods are generally developed to improve the performance of a specific imaging modality, thus limiting comprehensive neuroanatomical exploration by multimodal optical techniques. Here, we introduce a versatile brain clearing agent (2,2'-thiodiethanol; TDE) suitable for various applications and imaging techniques. TDE is cost-efficient, water-soluble and low-viscous and, more importantly, it preserves fluorescence, is compatible with immunostaining and does not cause deformations at sub-cellular level. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method in different applications: in fixed samples by imaging a whole mouse hippocampus with serial two-photon tomography; in combination with CLARITY by reconstructing an entire mouse brain with light sheet microscopy and in translational research by imaging immunostained human dysplastic brain tissue.Comment: in Scientific Reports 201

    Prodromal angina and risk of 2-year cardiac mortality in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous intervention

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    We sought to investigate the prognostic significance of prodromal angina (PA) in unselected patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) and its additive predictive value to the GRACE score.We prospectively enrolled 3015 consecutive STEMI patients undergoing PPCI. Patients were divided in 2 groups according to the presence or absence of PA. Multivariable Cox regression was used to establish the relation to 2-year cardiac mortality of PA.The mean age of the study population was 68 (±14) years; 2178 patients (72%) were male. During follow-up, 395 (13%) patients died with 278 of these (9.2%) suffering from cardiac mortality. Kaplan-Meier estimates showed a survival rate of 95% and 87% for patients with PA and no PA, respectively (log rank test < 0.001). After multivariable analysis, patients with PA had still a lower risk of 2 years' cardiac mortality compared with patients without PA (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.50; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06-1.81, P = .001). Evaluation of net reclassification improvement showed that reclassification improved by 0.16% in case patients, whereas classification worsened in control patients by 1.08% leading to a net reclassification improvement of -0.93% (95% CI: -0.98, -0.88).In patients with STEMI undergoing PPCI the presence of PA is independently associated with a lower risk of 2-year cardiac mortality. However, the incorporation of this variable to the GRACE score slightly worsened the classification of risk. Accordingly, it seems unlikely that the evaluation of PA may be useful in clinical practice

    Quality of residential facilities in Italy: satisfaction and quality of life of residents with schizophrenia spectrum~disorders

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    Background Recovery and human rights promotion for people with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSDs) is fundamental to provide good care in Residential Facilities (RFs). However, there is a concern about rehabilitation ethos in RFs. This study aimed to investigate the care quality of Italian RFs, the quality of life (QoL) and care experience of residents with SSD. Methods Fourty-eight RFs were assessed using a quality assessment tool (QuIRC-SA) and 161 residents with SSD were enrolled. Seventeen RFs provided high intensity rehabilitation (SRP1), 15 medium intensity (SRP2), and 16 medium-low level support (SRP3). Staff-rated tools measured psychiatric symptoms and psychosocial functioning; user-rated tools assessed QoL and satisfaction with services. RFs comparisons were made using ANOVA and Chi-squared. Results Over two-thirds patients (41.5 y.o., SD 9.7) were male. Seventy-six were recruited from SRP1 services, 48 from SRP2, and 27 from SRP3. The lowest QuIRC-SA scoring was Recovery Based Practice (45.8%), and the highest was promotion of Human Rights (58.4%). SRP2 had the lowest QuIRC-SA ratings and SRP3 the highest. Residents had similar psychopathology (p = 0.140) and functioning (p = 0.537). SRP3 residents were more employed (18.9%) than SRP1 (7.9%) or SRP2 (2.2%) ones, and had less severe negative symptoms (p = 0.016) and better QoL (p = 0.020) than SRP2 residents. There were no differences in the RF therapeutic milieu and their satisfaction with care. Conclusions Residents of the lowest supported RFs in Italy had less severe negative symptoms, better QoL and more employment than others. The lowest ratings for Recovery Based Practice across all RFs suggest more work is needed to improve recovery

    Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pediatric obesity: consensus position statement of the Italian Society for Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology and the Italian Society of Pediatrics

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    The Italian Consensus Position Statement on Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of Obesity in Children and Adolescents integrates and updates the previous guidelines to deliver an evidence based approach to the disease. The following areas were reviewed: (1) obesity definition and causes of secondary obesity; (2) physical and psychosocial comorbidities; (3) treatment and care settings; (4) prevention.The main novelties deriving from the Italian experience lie in the definition, screening of the cardiometabolic and hepatic risk factors and the endorsement of a staged approach to treatment. The evidence based efficacy of behavioral intervention versus pharmacological or surgical treatments is reported. Lastly, the prevention by promoting healthful diet, physical activity, sleep pattern, and environment is strongly recommended since the intrauterine phase

    Colorectal Cancer Stage at Diagnosis Before vs During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy

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    IMPORTANCE Delays in screening programs and the reluctance of patients to seek medical attention because of the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 could be associated with the risk of more advanced colorectal cancers at diagnosis. OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was associated with more advanced oncologic stage and change in clinical presentation for patients with colorectal cancer. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This retrospective, multicenter cohort study included all 17 938 adult patients who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer from March 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021 (pandemic period), and from January 1, 2018, to February 29, 2020 (prepandemic period), in 81 participating centers in Italy, including tertiary centers and community hospitals. Follow-up was 30 days from surgery. EXPOSURES Any type of surgical procedure for colorectal cancer, including explorative surgery, palliative procedures, and atypical or segmental resections. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was advanced stage of colorectal cancer at diagnosis. Secondary outcomes were distant metastasis, T4 stage, aggressive biology (defined as cancer with at least 1 of the following characteristics: signet ring cells, mucinous tumor, budding, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, and lymphangitis), stenotic lesion, emergency surgery, and palliative surgery. The independent association between the pandemic period and the outcomes was assessed using multivariate random-effects logistic regression, with hospital as the cluster variable. RESULTS A total of 17 938 patients (10 007 men [55.8%]; mean [SD] age, 70.6 [12.2] years) underwent surgery for colorectal cancer: 7796 (43.5%) during the pandemic period and 10 142 (56.5%) during the prepandemic period. Logistic regression indicated that the pandemic period was significantly associated with an increased rate of advanced-stage colorectal cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95%CI, 1.01-1.13; P = .03), aggressive biology (OR, 1.32; 95%CI, 1.15-1.53; P < .001), and stenotic lesions (OR, 1.15; 95%CI, 1.01-1.31; P = .03). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE This cohort study suggests a significant association between the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the risk of a more advanced oncologic stage at diagnosis among patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer and might indicate a potential reduction of survival for these patients

    Mortality and pulmonary complications in patients undergoing surgery with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international cohort study

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    Background: The impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on postoperative recovery needs to be understood to inform clinical decision making during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This study reports 30-day mortality and pulmonary complication rates in patients with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: This international, multicentre, cohort study at 235 hospitals in 24 countries included all patients undergoing surgery who had SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed within 7 days before or 30 days after surgery. The primary outcome measure was 30-day postoperative mortality and was assessed in all enrolled patients. The main secondary outcome measure was pulmonary complications, defined as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or unexpected postoperative ventilation. Findings: This analysis includes 1128 patients who had surgery between Jan 1 and March 31, 2020, of whom 835 (74·0%) had emergency surgery and 280 (24·8%) had elective surgery. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed preoperatively in 294 (26·1%) patients. 30-day mortality was 23·8% (268 of 1128). Pulmonary complications occurred in 577 (51·2%) of 1128 patients; 30-day mortality in these patients was 38·0% (219 of 577), accounting for 81·7% (219 of 268) of all deaths. In adjusted analyses, 30-day mortality was associated with male sex (odds ratio 1·75 [95% CI 1·28–2·40], p\textless0·0001), age 70 years or older versus younger than 70 years (2·30 [1·65–3·22], p\textless0·0001), American Society of Anesthesiologists grades 3–5 versus grades 1–2 (2·35 [1·57–3·53], p\textless0·0001), malignant versus benign or obstetric diagnosis (1·55 [1·01–2·39], p=0·046), emergency versus elective surgery (1·67 [1·06–2·63], p=0·026), and major versus minor surgery (1·52 [1·01–2·31], p=0·047). Interpretation: Postoperative pulmonary complications occur in half of patients with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection and are associated with high mortality. Thresholds for surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic should be higher than during normal practice, particularly in men aged 70 years and older. Consideration should be given for postponing non-urgent procedures and promoting non-operative treatment to delay or avoid the need for surgery. Funding: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, Bowel and Cancer Research, Bowel Disease Research Foundation, Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons, British Association of Surgical Oncology, British Gynaecological Cancer Society, European Society of Coloproctology, NIHR Academy, Sarcoma UK, Vascular Society for Great Britain and Ireland, and Yorkshire Cancer Research

    Testing Framework for the LHC Beam-based Feedback System

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    During the first LHC shut-down period, software for the LHC Beam-based Feedback Controller (BFC) and Service Unit (BFSU) was migrated to new 64-bit multi-core hardware and to a new version of CERN's FESA3 real-time framework. This coincided with the transfer of responsibility to a new software team, charged with readying the systems for beam in 2015 as well as maintaining and improving the code-base in the future. In order to facilitate the comprehension of the system's 90'000+ existing lines of code, a new testing framework was developed which would not only serve to define the system's functional specification, but also provide acceptance tests for future releases. This paper presents how the BFC and BFSU systems were decoupled from each other as well as from the LHC plant's measurement and correction systems, thus allowing simulation-data driven instances to be deployed in a test environment. It also describes the resulting Java-based domain-specific language (DSL) which, when employed in JUnit, allows the formation of repeatable acceptance tests
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