The industry is in need of renewal. The challenges of industrial digitalization and green conversion are changing the industrial landscape. Chalmers develops new resource-efficient solutions for products and future production, contributing to new theory and knowledge of smart and competitive factories where people and robots work side by side.
Sustainable production is an important key to a sustainable society. Chalmers focus is on optimizing concepts to help companies produce better products faster and with less resources. Chalmers research in production generates knowledge and tools in modeling, simulation and optimization, combined with support for decision making in close collaboration with industry.
Our research makes Chalmers a leader in industrial digitization (in, for example, connected industry, digital twins, digital threads and automation), process modeling, additive manufacturing (3D printing) and sustainable product and process development. Creating added value and optimizing information flows are connected with manufacturing technologies as well as products, factories, automation solutions and a good working environment in the future.
Image: 3D printed objects displayed at the inauguration of the Chalmers centre for additive manufacture - metal, CAM2. Photo: Carina Schultz.
Our research profile
Our research covers activities within manufacturing processes, production systems and product development and addresses challenges related to:
- Production in circular economy
- Industrial digitalization
- Production with new materials
Production in a circular economy
Production solutions that supports the transformation to a circular economy and efforts to promote sustainable production are of crucial importance for future production. This relates to every aspect of closing the flow of materials involving both process innovations and systems perspectives and can e.g. include aspects of re-manufacturing, recycling, methods for assessment of sustainable production, product scenarios with respect to handling of scarce materials or product development platforms integrating sustainability aspects.
Research related to industrial digitalization is extensively involving core research centres as the Wingquist Laboratory and innovation laboratories like the Stena Industry Innovation Laboratory. This area addresses the development of digital twins and digital threads to create and test solutions in virtual reality before implementing them, including for example advanced tolerance management as well as automation and human-robot interaction. There are also extensive activities related to the development and implementation of production including connected industry, design of future workplaces and augmented as well as virtual reality for development of modern production systems. Process-related research is addressing how to measure and bring information from the process (may it be continuous processing or product manufacture involving e.g. metal cutting) and matching this with domain knowledge about materials and processes etc., constitute another field of activity. In this way, optimized processing can be settled for improved product and production performance and cost.
Production with new materials
New materials place demands bringing new manufacturing processes forward. A key challenge is to establish solutions for scalable and predictable manufacturing processes, taking new inventions in materials involving graphene-based solutions, bio-based materials and novel multifunctional composites as well as new metallic materials and ceramic materials towards future industrialization. Also, rapidly emerging technologies like additive manufacturing means that the process-material interaction must be understood and new solutions be established, like in the Vinnova competence center CAM2.
Close cooperation with industry
Production research at Chalmers stands out internationally as a result of our close cooperation with industry. Our strength is a deep understanding of factors affecting the industry, such as costs, quality, time, globalization, service fusion and sustainability. An additional advantage is our ability to conduct research on industrial sectors and scientific areas, including cooperation between competing companies. This is very unusual from a global perspective!
Inspection preparation and off-line programming are examples of successful implementation of research. Courtesy of Volvo Cars and Wingquist Laboratory.