Areas of research

If Sweden is to successfully navigate the digital transformation in product and production development, industrial digitization needs to accelerate. Keeping up with the new digital demands means that enterprises must grow their expertise. Smart Industry Sweden aims to educate key figures of the future within the following areas of research: Smart, sustainable materials and manufacturing methods; smart products and processes; smart industrial engineering; smart working methods; and efficient development for smart production.

Lennart Malmsköld, University West (in Swedish)

Smart, sustainable materials and manufacturing methods 

Tomorrow’s products and services require the use of smart, sustainable materials such as materials with built-in intelligence and sensors in new ways. Which is why optimised new sustainable manufacturing processes will be needed to satisfy customers’ demands in relation to price, sustainability, quality and function. In this area of research, understanding the properties of materials, often in combination with process simulation, will be key in developing new knowledge around process development and process control.

Smart products and processes 

The products and services of the future will communicate and support the user at a significantly higher level than is currently the case. If businesses want to maintain or increase their market share, they will need to focus more on digitization. New services linked to products will follow, and the digitization of internal corporate processes and those linked to customers will increase the quality of processes and products. 

Smart industrial engineering 

As demand for more complex and customised products grows, there will be a greater need to accelerate the launch of new products and services. To meet this challenge, flexible, agile and adjustable production systems will be needed. This requires a higher degree of intelligent automation, simulation, emulation, digital twins and the optimisation of production systems. The focus of this area of research is on understanding how these areas can be developed with the aid of AI.

Smart working methods 

The more complex and customised products of the future, in combination with faster production, will require intelligent product development – significantly more intelligent than product development today. Making the product development process more intelligent requires the enterprise to have knowledge in and access to artificial intelligence, big data, simulation, emulation and optimization. This area of research involves learning about which components are needed for faster, more efficient product development and industrialisation.

Efficient development for smart production 

Smarter digitization is the key to achieving efficient production. More efficient production also requires the digitization of quality assurance processes, O&M systems and productivity trends. AI, Big Data, cyber-physical production systems, Industry 4.0, etc., all offer new, previously undreamt-of possibilities for streamlining and integrating these processes to achieve greater profitability and higher quality.