The research group in "Intelligent Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation (FI4.0)" focuses its activity on the study of new industrial models, resulting from the process of digital transformation of the company and economic activity. Technology is a central element in the new industrial revolution that makes possible intelligent, high-value manufacturing models that need high connectivity and manage large volumes of information.

Thus, the technological roadmap of the smart factory must combine, among others: cyberphysical systems (CPS), Internet of things (IoT), secure communications, cloud computingand big data solutions. These technologies facilitate the digitisation and integration of the value chain, the emergence of new business models and the digitisation of the company's product and service portfolio.

The smart factory, with its technological infrastructure, introduces the principles of vertical and horizontal integration. The first corresponds to the integration of planning and development with production, with an increase in connectivity between the level of automation and production management (ERP-MES). The second refers to the exchanges of information between departments of the company and between the company and the other agents of the innovation system.

Despite the strategic importance of technology in thesmartfactory, it is necessary to highlight the possibilities of non-technological innovation in the face of the need for new business models related to an adaptation of internal processes and the company's relationships with its environment, with new ways of interacting with competitors, suppliers and customers. The competitive strategies of traditional industrial firms based on the differentiation, specialisation, or cost leadership that has sustained their business models for decades need to be reviewed. The fourth industrial revolution involves substantial changes in the factory that lead us to the concept ofsmart factory, a highly connected industrial company that manages a large amount of data, and characterized by being flexible, efficient, receptive, collaborative, secure, predictive and sustainable, within an industrial model with collaborative innovation, connected means of production, integrated value chains, and digital distribution and care channels.


Areas of research

The group has the following lines of research:

Study of the processes of innovation and territorial development in the framework of the strategies ofsmart specialisation of the EU, and in particular within the thematic area of ​​Industry 4.0. The new knowledge economy establishes new demands for competitiveness in companies and territories. Thus, the design of successful territorial development policies requires a deep knowledge of the processes of innovation and entrepreneurship, and their connection with research and technology transfer from the university to the company. The main objective within this strategic area is the in-depth study of the determinants and dynamics of the innovative process and its activators and results, both at the business level (Smart Factory) as territorial (Smart Regions), which can help local public administrations to reorient policies in the field of economic development and growth. Likewise, the analysis of the institutional environment of the development of the processes of innovation and entrepreneurship can be of great utility to the public administrations for the review of the services of support to the creation and the development of the business activity.

The research activity will focus on the design and implementation of actions and projects within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations (SDG), which directly challenges universities as active agents of change, generating impact on the territory.

The group supports a set of strategic lines in the field of intelligent data analytics. The most obvious gains from the application of this knowledge are in the improvement of production, efficiency, automation and in the reduction of costs (allowing customers and businesses to capitalize on the digital economy) within the context of theSmart office.

Within Industry 4.0, the development of new forms and applications of robotics stands out. The milestones of recent years in the field of robotics are: the development and introduction in recent years of robots working in collaboration with humans in the workplace; the use of robots as guided transport vehicles within manufacturing plants and warehouses; the implementation of mobile robots that cooperate with each other; robots capable of moving on highly uneven terrain; robots learning from their own experience; interfaces close to human experience (hands, voice, hominoid shapes, etc.). Outside of industry, many of these milestones also apply to it; its use in medicine and care for people can be especially noted.

The aim of this strategic area is the study and development of new advances in the field of robotics, especially focused on industrial environments. Especially the group focuses on:

  • The use of mobile robots and route planning.
  • In the self-learning of mobile robots interacting with the environment.
  • Collaboration between mobile robots.

Within this line, we study how to increase the energy efficiency and reliability of an electronic converter consisting of an array of switching cells, where each cell is formed by a power transistor with diode in antiparallel of the same voltage rating, together with auxiliary circuitry, and which can be used as a building block to implement any type of conversion (cc-cc, cc-ca, poop) in a wide range of voltage and current ratings.

Electronic power converters based on these switch cell arrays inherently involve the use of multilevel structures, which improve the performance of conventional two-level converters, both as a power converter as well as on the system level.

This electronic power device consists of an array of switching cells without bulky passive components, and proper control allows to distribute the power losses in the structure. Therefore, the device has a high potential for integration, which enables a very compact implementation.

Group members

Dra. Virginia Espinosa (group coordinator)

Dr. Salvador Alepuz



Dr. Jordi Ayza

Dr. Jose de Gea

DFKI GmbH Robotics Innovation Center. Bremen (Germany)


Mr. John Gil


Dr. Julian Horrillo



Dr. Jordi Mas

Dr. Joan Triadó

Dr. Francesc Flores Salgado

Dr. Joan Ramon Gomà Ayats

Dr. Arnau González Juncà

Dr. Xavier Font Aragonés

Scientific production


  •  Alepuz, Salvador, Joan Nicolás-Apruzzese, Roya Rafiezadeh, Sergio Busquets-Monge, Mariana Raya, and Àlber Filbà-Martínez (2023) "Active Thermal Control in Neutral-Point-Clamped Multilevel Converters Based on Switching-Cell Arrays" Electronics 12, no. 19: 4055.
  • Busquets-Monge, S; Alepuz, S; Garcia-Rojas, G; Bordonau, J (2023). Electric Vehicle Powertrains with Modular Battery Banks Tied to Multilevel NPC Inverters. Electronics, 12(2), -. DOI: 10.3390/electronics12020266


  •  R. Rafiezadeh, S. Busquets-Monge, S. Alepuz, G. Garcia-Rojas and GF Puigjaner (2023) "Design Optimization of a Three-Level Neutral-Point-Clamped Traction Inverter for Electric Vehicles based on Switching-Cell Arrays, " 2023 25th European Conference on Power Electronics and Applications (EPE'23 ECCE Europe), Aalborg, Denmark, 2023, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.23919/EPE23ECCEEurope58414.2023.10264425.


  • A. Filba-Martinez, S. Busquets-Monge, S. Alepuz, G. Garcia-Rojas, A. Luque and J. Bordonau, "An Intelligent Electronic Fuse for Selective Isolation of Faulty Switching Cells in Power Electronic Converter Legs to Guarantee Continuous Operation," in IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 7665-7676, Dec. 2022, doi: 10.1109/JESTPE.2022.3183160.
  • Alepuz, Salvador, Sergio Busquets-Monge, Joan Nicolás-Apruzzese, Àlber Filbà-Martínez, Josep Bordonau, Xibo Yuan, and Samir Kouro. 2022. "A Survey on Capacitor Voltage Control in Neutral-Point-Clamped Multilevel Converters" Electronics 11, no. 4: 527.


  • R. Rafiezadeh, S. Busquets-Monge and S. Alepuz, "Design Optimization of Switching-Cell-Array-Based Power Converters," 2022 IEEE 31st International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE), Anchorage, AK, USA, 2022, pp. 39-46, doi: 10.1109/ISIE51582.2022.9831616.


  • S. Busquets-Monge, R. Rafiezadeh, S. Alepuz, A. Filba-Martinez and J. Nicolas-Apruzzese, "Fast Reliability Assessment of Neutral-Point-Clamped Topologies Through Markov Models," in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, flight. 36, no. 12, pp. 13449-13459, Dec. 2021, doi: 10.1109/TPEL.2021.3087446.


  • S. Busquets-Monge, Alepuz, S. et al., "Multibattery-Fed Neutral-Point-Clamped DC–AC Converter With SoC Balancing Control to Maximize Capacity Utilization," in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 16-27, Jan. 2020, doi: 10.1109/TIE.2019.2896176.


  • Espinosa-Duró, V., Horrillo, J., Buil, M. (2020). Sustainable Energy Model in Tecnocampus Higher Education Smart Campus. In: , et al. Universities as Living Labs for Sustainable Development. World Sustainability Series. Springer, Cham.
  • Font X., Paul C., Rodriguez E. (2020) Data Insights and Classification in Multi-sensor Database for Cervical Injury. In: Esposito A., Faundez-Zanuy M., Morabito F., Pasero E. (eds) Neural Approaches to Dynamics of Signal Exchanges. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 151. Springer, Singapore.


  • S. Busquets-Monge, A. Filba-Martinez, S. Alepuz, J. Nicolas-Apruzzese, A. Luque, A. Conesa Roca, J. Bordonau. "Multi-Battery-Fed Neutral-Point-Clamped Dc-Ac Converter with SoC Balancing Control to Maximize Capacity Utilization". IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. 2019. (Early Access)


  • V. EspinosaJ. Horrillo and M. Buil, Sustainable Energy Model in TecnoCampus Higher Education Smart Campus. Universities as Living Labs for Sustainable Development: Supporting the Implementation of the SDGs - Volume 3. World Sustainability Series. Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Chris Shiel, Arminda do Paco, Judy Rogers. Ed. Springer. April 2019.

  • V. Yaramasu, S. Kouro, A. Dekka, S. Alepuz, J. Rodriguez, M. Duran. “Power Conversion and Predictive Control of Wind Energy Conversion Systems”. Chapter 5. pp. 113-139. Book “Advanced Control and Optimization Paradigms for Wind Energy Systems”. Editors: RE Precup, T. Kamal, SZ Hassan. Ed. Springer. 2019. ISSN 1612- 1287. ISSN 1860-4676 (electronic). ISBN 978-981-13-5994-1. ISBN 978-981-13-5995-8 (eBook).


  • Horrillo-Tello, J. (2019): “Innovation and cooperation in local innovation systems. The case of the TecnoCampus Mataró-Maresme Science and Innovation Park ”. XLV Regional Studies Meeting. International Conference on Regional Science, Castellón (pending acceptance).


  • Interuniversity Master's Degree in Industry 4.0 (UOC-ESUPT). Learning resources for the specialization course "Digital transformation of the industrial company". Authors: J. Martínez, S. Llorens, L. Janer, X. Source Coordinator J. Ayza. Ed. UOC Foundation.
  • Interuniversity Master's Degree in Industry 4.0 (UOC-ESUPT). Learning resources for the specialization course "Intelligent Design and Manufacturing". Authors: J. Horrillo, S. Llorens, C. Cosials, C, Soler, JR Gomà. Coordinator J. Triad. Ed. UOC Foundation.


  • Horrillo, J .; Triadó, J. (2018): “Training gaps in engineering degrees for Industry 4.0 in Spain. A proposal for actions ”. PAD, 93 (4), p. 365-369.
  • ME Adabi, JA Martinez-Velasco, S. Alepuz. “Modeling and simulation of a MMCbased solid-state transformer”. Electrical Engineering. Flight. 100, no. 2, pp. 375-387. June 2018. ISSN 0948-7921.


  • Horrillo-Tello, J .; Lladós, J. (2018): “Smart Specialization and Industry 4.0. Absorption capacity and institutional context for the digital transformation of European industry ”. XLIV Regional Studies Meeting. International Conference on Regional Science, Valencia.
  • V. Espinosa, J. Horrillo and M. Buil, Sustainable Energy Model in TecnoCampus Higher Education Smart Campus. 4th WSSD-U World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities. University of Science Malaysia. Penang. Malaysia 28-30 August 2018.


  • S. Busquets-Monge, A. Filba-Martinez, S. Alepuz, A. Calle-Prado, "A Modulation Strategy to Operate Multilevel Multiphase Diode-Clamped and Active-Clamped DC – AC Converters at Low Frequency Modulation Indices With DC-Link Balance Voltage Capacitor ". IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, Vol. 32, no. 10, pp. 7521–7533, Oct. 2017. ISSN 0885-8993.

Conference papers

  • Horrillo, J .; Lladós, J. (2017): “Smart specialization in European regions. A dynamic vision from the manufacturing ”. XLIII Regional Studies Meeting. International Conference on Regional Science, Seville.


  • A. Calle-Prado, S. Alepuz, J. Bordonau, P. Cortes and J. Rodriguez. “Predictive Control of a Back-to-Back NPC Converter-Based Wind Power System”. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. Flight. 63, no. 7, pp. 4615–4627, July 2016. ISSN 0278-0046.
  • J. de Gea Fernández, M. Ronthaler. EU Projekt FourByThree: Auf dem Weg zu eigensicheren Robotern. In “Industrie 4.0 Management“, Gito GmbH Verlag für Industrielle Informationstechnik und Organisation, Apr / 2016.
  • Triado-Aymerich, J., Ferrer-Martí, L., García-Villoria, A., Pastor, R. MILP-based heuristics for the design of rural community electrification projects. "Computers & operations research", 01 July 2016, vol. 71, p. 90-99.


  • J. de Gea Fernández, E. Allouis, K. Seweryn, F. Kirchner, and Y. Gao. Chapter "Manipulation and Control" in Book "Contemporary Planetary Robotics: An Approach Toward Autonomous Systems", First Edition. Edited by Yang Gao, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. KGaA, ISBN: 978-3527413256, 08/2016

Conferences and lectures

  • Conference "Opportunities of Industry 4.0 in Catalonia". Organized by: ASEITEC at the headquarters of the College of Technical Engineers of Barcelona. Barcelona, ​​January 2016. Moderator J. Ayza.

- Conference "The smart factory and Industry 4.0". Organized by: Metal Business Federation at the headquarters of the CECOT. Terrassa, June 2016. Round table on “Practical experiences of the smart factory”. Moderator J. Ayza.

- Conference “Smart factory. The keys to management in Industry 4.0 ”. Organized by: ASEITEC at the headquarters of the College of Technical Engineers of Barcelona. Barcelona, ​​April 2016. Moderator J. Horrillo.

- Conference “Innovation systems in the European regions of industry 4.0. The case of Catalonia ”. Speaker J. Horrillo.

- V. Bargsten, J. de Gea Fernández, Y. Kassahun. Experimental Robot Reverse Dynamics Identification Using Classical and Machine Learning Techniques. In International Symposium on Robotics, (ISR), 21.6.-22.6.2016, Munich, 2016.


  • A. Calle-Prado, S. Alepuz, J. Bordonau, J. Nicolas-Apruzzese, P. Cortes, J. Rodriguez. “Model Predictive Current Control of Grid-Connected Neutral-Point-Clamped. Converters to Meet Low-Voltage Ride-Through Requirements ”. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. Flight. 62, no. 3, pp. 1503–1514, March 2015. ISSN 0278-0046.
  • A. Rius, C. Pratdepàdua, J. Ayza, L. Janer. "Automation of the coding of clinical information through terminological servers." Medical Papers Vol. 23, Number 2 - Any 2015. SEDOM (Spanish Society of Medical Documentation), pp 43-48
  • A. Rius, C. Pratdepàdua, J. Ayza, M. Nozal, M. Rovira. "Clinical Dictionary for Health". Medical Papers Vol. 23, Number 2 - Year 2015, pp. 28-34. SEDOM (Spanish Society of Medical Documentation


  • EA Kirchner, J. de Gea Fernández, P. Kampmann, M. Schröer, JH Metzen, F. Kirchner. Intuitive Interaction with Robots -Technical Approaches and Challenges. In Formal Modeling and Verification of Cyber ​​Physical Systems, Springer Verlag GmbH Heidelberg, pages 224-248, Sep / 2015. ISBN: 978-3-658-09993-0.


  • F. González, J. Martin-Arnedo, S. Alepuz, JA Martinez, "EMTP model of a bidirectional multilevel solid state transformer for distribution system studies". IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting (PES 2015). Flight. 1, pp. 1-5. 26-30 July 2015, Denver (CO), USA. Electronic ISBN: 978-1-4673-8040-9. Print ISSN: 1932-5517.
  • A. Rius, A. Graupera, C. Pratdepàdua, J. Ayza, L. Janer. "Registration of information encoded from Clinical Stations using terminology servers." Inforsalud Paper 2015, February 2015.


  • J. de Gea Fernández, D. Mronga, M. Wirkus, V. Bargsten, B. Asadi, F. Kirchner. Towards Describing and Deploying Whole-Body Generic Manipulation Behaviors. In 2015 Space Robotics Symposium, 29.10.-30.10.2015, Glasgow, IET, University of Strathclyde, 2015.
  • V. Bargsten, J. de Gea Fernández. COMPI: Development of a 6-DOF Compliant Robot Arm for Human-Robot Cooperation. In Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Human-Friendly Robotics, (HFR-2015), 21.10.-23.10.2015, Munich, 2015. Technische Universität München (TUM).