MDH research makes new manufacturing technology more accessible to industries

Jul 06, 2015 | Research/Cooperation

Industrial doctoral student Mats Ahlskog, Mälardalen University (MDH), wants to make it easier to introduce new manufacturing technologies into production. In his Licentiate thesis, "Supporting pre-development of new manufacturing Technologies", he presents methods which can increase the competitiveness of manufacturers.

 

The introduction of new manufacturing technologies can reduce manufacturing times, improve product quality and create increased profits for the manufacturers. In spite of this, very few resources are allotted today towards finding and evaluating such new technologies.
– People focus a lot on the development of new products, but forget to investigate how to introduce new manufacturing technologies into production. This I would like to change since it can contribute towards both increased competitiveness and profitability, says Mats Ahlskog.

New technology implies challenges

To meet the challenges when introducing new manufacturing technology it is important to develop and evaluate new manufacturing concepts in advance. A few examples are that the staff need sufficient knowledge, cooperation with equipment suppliers must work well and the new technology must be able to cope with the desired product volume. In his Licentiate thesis, Mats Ahlskog has investigated how the degree of maturity of new manufacturing technology can be evaluated, and also the factors affecting the introduction.
– I have observed what works and doesn’t work, and what this depends on. If a company for example finds a new manufacturing technology, but has too little knowledge of the manufacturing method, it often ends up with their buying the same manufacturing concept as before. But in this way the company never gets any development in their production, he says.

Support increases accessibility

There is a lack of research studies within this field. With his investigation Mats Ahlskog would like to create support for a faster, more efficient and more accessible introduction of manufacturing technology.
– Above all I would like companies to be able to test and evaluate what is completely new on the market. If you buy new technology without first building up knowledge and assessing the level of maturity it can be costly, create problems and mean more work, he says.

“I’m sitting on a lot of knowledge”

Mats Ahlskog is working at Volvo Group Truck Operations in Köping at the same time as he is researching at MDH. He has a Master of Science degree in Electronics from MDH and soon 20 years’ experience from the manufacturing industry. He started at an early stage thinking about researching and looks forward to testing his results in practice in his continuing work towards a doctoral degree.
– I like what is new and unknown about research, and I have learnt to see questions from different perspectives. It’s a challenge, but necessary to be able to understand, says Mats Ahlskog.