The Knowledge Foundation has granted financial support to the University of Skövde for research on Virtual Factories and Knowledge-Driven Optimization. The financial support of close to SEK 100 million is granted for the eight-year long research profile.
The research profile "Virtual Factories and Knowledge-Driven Optimization" (VF-KDO) is a part of the INFINIT research at the University of Skövde. The overall goal of the research profile is to contribute to knowledge and innovation in virtual developments and optimization technology that are crucial to designing and running the manufacturing systems of the next generation. Professors Amos Ng and Anna Syberfeldt at the Department of Engineering are the driving forces behind the application from funding from the Knowledge Foundation, an application that has now been approved.
– We are very excited. This is definitely the biggest thing that has happened to our research field here at the University of Skövde. We are seeing the result of long-term work over the last 10 - 15 years, says Anna Syberfeldt, and Amos Ng adds:
– This makes it possible for us to strengthen our leading position on a national level. We also want to acknowledge the support we have received through our collaboration with the manufacturing industry, which is another factor that has made this possible.
Optimizing the Production Chain
The work in the research profile starts on September 1, 2018 and will be focused on testing various solutions for the industry in a virtual environment. Through virtual testing, industries will be able to work on development without having to invest in solutions that are not yet ready to launch.
– We can help industries test everything, from the smallest sensors to entire plants. Our virtual tests are unique in the way that the entire production chain can be optimized. Some testing approaches only test each part separately. In this project, we approach testing holistically, says Anna Syberfeldt.
Financial Support from the Knowledge Foundation and Partner Companies
The financial support from the Knowledge Foundation is approximately SEK 49 million (incl. overhead) distributed over eight years. In addition, the research receives co-funding of an equal amount from its partner companies and the University of Skövde. All research that is financed by the Knowledge Foundation is performed in close collaboration with partner companies. The research profile will work closely together with Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Group Trucks Operations, Scania CV, IKEA Industry, Flexlink, Arla Foods Götene, and ABB.
"A Very Important Effort"
– This work very important in order to meet the challenges of tomorrow, especially regarding technology. We know that the University of Skövde is good at simulations for ergonomics and flow, which will be very beneficial for us. This research is also important because it provides information for us in making decisions on future investments, says Lars Hanson, Scania CV.
– This new research profile enables us to develop virtual tools together with the University of Skövde, so that we can evaluate the production paradigm of the future. With input from the research in the profile, we can build, test, and evaluate our future production processes and concepts. It will be invaluable to have access to knowledge and results about how to develop, build, and run our systems before they are constructed, says Tehseen Aslam, Volvo Car Corporation.