Sweden's top facility for new smart industry jobs opens its doors

​On the 8th of May, the doors were opened to the Stena Industry Innovation Laboratory (SII-Lab) at Chalmers campus Lindholmen, Sweden – a 1000 square meter test-lab for digitalisation and future jobs in industry. Production researchers Johan Stahre and Åsa Fast-Berglund invite everyone to engage – young people, students, researchers and companies!
Sweden now has a unique environment to show how the smart factories of the future could look. The lab can be significant for the development of the digitalised industrial work of tomorrow, and for accelerating the digital transformation of industry and society.

"More and more companies are moving their manufacturing to Sweden, and the Stena Industry Innovation Lab now makes that even easier. The project sits well with what the government wants to achieve in strengthening the conditions for Swedish industry to develop, manufacture and compete in the world market,” says Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, who opened the national test lab on the 8th May.

With the help of funds from the Stena Foundation, an old library at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has been transformed into a multifaceted laboratory – the Stena Industry Innovation Laboratory. Inside there is much of what is required for new industrial practices, or what is commonly called ‘Industry 4.0’.

"Digitalisation is changing industry quickly, but the job will not disappear. At the heart of the center there are still people – and with that, all the expectations we have of modern workplaces” says Professor Johan Stahre, who, together with Åsa Fast-Berglund, is responsible for Chalmers’ new focus on industrial digitalisation.

In smart industrial production, technologies and tools are adapted to the employee. Builders, operators and production developers can utilize their creativity and perform their work better with the use of tools such as VR, 5G and collaborative robots.

"The digitalised workplace of the future has a lot in common with the world of digital gaming" says Åsa Fast-Berglund, Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology.

Companies both large and small, together with Chalmers researchers and students, are already implementing the ideas and technology of the future. At the unique, open environment of the SII-Lab, new innovations and business models will see the light of the day for the first time. In this environment, which is important for the training of future engineers and digitalisation experts, a large number of Master’s theses are ongoing.

"Swedish industry faces very big production challenges. We believe that many people can be inspired by this environment, thereby contributing to the digital transformation that needs to happen," says Madeleine Olsson Eriksson, chairman of the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture, which has funded the greatly expanded business.

For industry, the test-lab is long-awaited. Efficiency improvements in manufacturing are taking place today through innovations in digitalisation and automation, resulting in increased flexibility, improved quality, reduced costs, environmental and energy gains   all of which are relevant to being competitive, according to Alrik Danielson of SKF.

“All of this can be done anywhere in the world. So this type of lab activity allows Sweden to get back to leadership in areas where we have lost it, and to maintain and further strengthen the areas where we are already leading. This is our chance as an industrial nation," says Alrik Danielson, CEO of SKF.

Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson is pleased by the Stena Foundation’s desire to make such a big investment in the important area of production.

"We work closely with Swedish industry to open up great opportunities for research, innovation and education. An important piece of the puzzle is for Chalmers to remain an internationally leading environment in the area of production. Now we can contribute even more strongly to increasing the speed of Swedish industry’s digitalisation, "says Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers.

For more information contact:

Professor Johan Stahre
E-mail: johan.stahre@chalmers.se
Tel: 031-772 12 88

Associate Professor Åsa Fast-Berglund
E-mail: asa.fasth@chalmers.se
Tel: 031-772 36 86

Published: Wed 09 May 2018. Modified: Tue 15 May 2018