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MDH researchers develop cloud solution for industry



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The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) is allocating SEK 250 million to eight research projects with the aim of developing new technology for Swedish industry. The MDH project Future factories in the Cloud, which is led by Professor Hans A Hansson, was allocated one of the largest amounts: close to SEK 35 million. The purpose of the project is to give better prerequisites for cloud-based production, as it is called.

Cloud-based production is considered to be the future in industry. Hans A Hansson explains:

- If you use Facebook then you are cloud users, since the servers that handle Facebook lie on a place unknown to you and as a rule it's unintresting to know where. In this project we use the same principle, but here we develop technology that enables an industrial company to place large parts of its production system in the “cloud”. In concrete terms it could be a case of putting the bulk of the computer programmes that govern the physical equipment into a public or an internal company cloud. 

”No room for mistakes”

In practice this means that the programmes that lie in the cloud govern a lot of physical machines in a production plant.

- This sort of cloud usage puts great demands on reliability and real-time performance. It's no disaster if you have to wait an extra second in Facebook, but when you are steering machines in a factory it can lead to just that. There's no room for mistakes and therefore the technology that is to be developed will be tested in relevant industrial environments, says Hans A Hansson.

A project that requires cooperation

In the research project two of the University's different research domains, Embedded Systems and Innovation and Product Realisation, are linked to each other. This is something that Damir Isovic, Dean of the School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, where the project has its base, finds positive.

- I'm convinced that we have a lot to gain by working more across the borders and that with the aid of each others' skills we can develop technology that has a bigger chance of really being of benefit to the users, he says.

Hans A Hansson agrees with him.

- The objective is to create the prerequisites for new business models and increased flexibility in production. The accelerating digitalisation of today's industry will make new sophisticated products and more efficient production possible, which will lead to lower costs at the consumer level, he says.

About the funding from SSF

On 10 November SSF decided that, within the programme "Generic methods and tools for future production", they would support research in manufacturing and service production by SEK 250 million.  Of a total of 59 project applications, 8 were granted funding with a so-called group grant of SEK 23-35 million over five years. The purpose is to strengthen Swedish competitiveness and to contribute to increased cooperation between academia and industry.

The original article in Swedish can be found here.