Innovation and Product Realisation

Product and Production Development

The Product and Production Development research group focuses on the development of digitally enabled products and production systems for increased competitiveness of industry. Our specific focus is not primarily in developing new technology but in adapting and rapidly deploying core technologies in AI and Industry 4.0 to the needs of industry. These capabilities are not fundamentally limited to technology diffusion; they also relate to firms’ strategic change and organizational management, including strategy, organizational structure and processes, resources, and cultural readiness. Our ambition is to address this topic from an ecosystem perspective in the long run, where we work with diverse actors along the entire value chain.


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Our group research concerns the design, operations and improvement of the processes for product and production development through applying the capabilities of new digital technologies (such as AI, IIoT, CPS, Digital Twin, Cloud computing, 5G, VR/AR, Cybersecurity). The group works with a holistic perspective related to product and production development in the Industry 4.0 context, considering adapting and optimising digital technologies and IT infrastructure, changes in the organisational work processes, structures, resources, culture and networks. A central part of our research is the smart product and production laboratory with hardware and software from for example Festo, ABB, UR as well as the MDU XR lab for Virtual and Augmented Reality. The research work involves close collaboration with leading industrial partners.

Research focus

  • Production Systems Development and Industrialisation - Work processes, information and feedback loops for innovation, development and improvement of flexible, dependable and resilient production systems, aligned with product development.
  • Digitalisation, automation and new technologies - Exploitation and adaptation of next-generation technologies in the product and production environment, addressing the issues related to competences, human-machine interfaces, new processes, new capabilities, and security.
  • Sustainable product development and production - Methods and tools, organisation and processes to develop products and production system with low environmental impact that contributes to economic benefit. Development of new business models with the support of digitalization and digital technologies.

Ongoing research projects

The overall aim of the project is to support companies and the public sector in accelerating the use of applied AI to strengthen society and competitiveness in Sweden.

Project manager at MDU: Elvira Synnelius

Main financing: Vinnova

The project aims to improve manufacturing companies ability to manage and coordinate the digital transformation in factory networks by developing strategies and organizational structures that support and streamline the technology development. The overall goal is better utilization of new technologies and thus increased efficiency and industrial competitiveness.

Project manager at MDU: Anna Granlund

Main financing: FFI

The aim of this project is to develop a comprehensive synthesis of academic and practical knowledge related to digital twins (DT) and assess their potential relevance and impact a crisis and preparedness perspective.

Project manager at MDU: Alessio Bucaioni

Main financing: Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap

The project is about designing circularity, resource efficiency and sustainability into investment projects from the start. It is a new and unique approach that has great potential to create climate-neutral and resource-efficient factories.

Project manager at MDU: Jessica Bruch

Main financing: VINNOVA

The INDTECH project is an industrial graduate school at MDU, focusing on the implementation of Industry 4.0 and applied AI in production systems in collaboration with 12 partner organizations consisting of leading industrial companies, research institutes and technology centers and supporting organizations such as AI Sweden, PiiA, Automation Region and Blue Institute. INDTECH Industrial Technology Graduate School offers advanced training in the field of industrial digitization, a new and emerging field of technology that revolutionizes all aspects of the manufacturing and process industry

Project manager at MDU: Markus Bohlin

Main financing: KK-stiftelsen

ShiftLabs is an organization dedicated to supporting the adoption and integration of new digital technologies among small and medium-sized manufacturing companies.

Project manager at MDU: Johan Kostela

Main financing: Digital Europe (EU kommissionen)

The initiative for Excellence in Production Research, XPRES, is a joint initiative between KTH, MDU and Swerea. XPRES was elected as one of two strategic initiatives within Manufacturing engineering in Sweden by the government in 2010.

Project manager at MDU: Koteshwar Chirumalla

Main financing: Governmental funding from Strategic Research Area (SRA) intiative