Converting factories into innovation platforms to make production more efficient

The Finnish manufacturing industry is taking the digital leap, and it utilises the strong corporate and research sector of the IoT industry in this transformation. The aim is to convert factories into innovation platforms and have them share their successful solutions to improve competitiveness and efficiency in the manufacturing industry.

The businesses participating in the “Reboot Finland IoT Factory” corporate and research ecosystem project funded by Business Finland are ABB, GE Healthcare, Nokia and Ponsse. The R&D activities of the businesses are supported by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the University of Oulu and Åbo Akademi.

The testing of new technologies, such as AR/VR, AI, digital twin, IoT and comprehensive solutions, in production involves both business and technology risks. The business potential of new technology must be assessed before the testing begins while, on the other hand, the customisation of technology into a product has many stages in which top research plays an important role. There are excellent opportunities to benefit from various experiments through cooperation and sharing of experiences in particular. The factories not only share their successful solutions but also their failures, to improve the efficiency of their production activities. This is emphasised in a country the size of Finland in which the optimised use of resources is very important.

SMEs have already been engaged in the project and new ones are being searched from among the SuperIoT, Analytics+, SMACC, FiiF, 5GTNF and AVR ecosystems. For them, participation creates business and offers valuable references to support global sales.

“The ´Reboot Finland IoT Factory´ ecosystem enables the use of IoT products manufactured in the SME sector in various industrial environments. It also enables quick experiments for applying the latest research results in order to develop solutions that are scalable and intended for export,” says Marko Jurvansuu, the project’s coordinator at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The University of Oulu draws the biggest work package of research in the project. "There are experts especially from the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Technology who participate in the quick experiments of the project,” reports Susanna Pirttikangas who is the responsible director of the University of Oulu in the project.

The so-called Grand challenges to the strategic competitiveness of the Finnish manufacturing industry are related to the data-based management of the supply chain and production, improving the performance of robots, and the relationship between the employees and the digital work environment.

The first stage of the project is 1.6.2018–31.10.2019 and the financing is 5 million euros. At the second stage, so-called second wave of factories and actors will be included.

 

 

Last updated: 27.6.2018