Smart Manufacturing in an Ecosystem (ÄVE - Älykäs valmistus ekosysteemissä) is a joint research project by Tampere University, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Its aim is to support and produce new knowledge for an ecosystem operating in the manufacturing industry. The research project has three focus areas: materials, manufacturing, and supply chains.
Intelligent machines are the top products of the Finnish manufacturing industry. These are advanced machines that require high competence to manufacture. Rapid digitalization of the product requirements, design and manufacturing, and product life cycle management requires development and integration of new technologies.
As the population is aging, the workforce is retiring faster than new experts can be introduced to the field. Also, the incorporation of earlier technologies to advanced ones requires more diverse skills than before. To counter these challenges, co-operation of the leading research organizations and industry is required.
The aim of each focus area:
- Materials aims to guide the selection of materials using accurately defined product requirements. The research involves manufacturing methods, requirement specifications, heat treatment optimization, and intelligent material characterization.
- Manufacturing aims to attach design and manufacturing information on each individual part, thus creating an intelligent component. To achieve this, a digital manufacturing research environment is created to research the integration of design and manufacturing, model-based design, and digital manufacturing.
- Supply chain aims to create a transparent and learning supply chain within the ecosystem. Using machine learning an anticipating and preventive system is created to support the management of maintenance and product life cycle. In addition, profitability management and supply chain digital twin development are researched.
ÄVE research project is a joint project involving many research organizations and companies. The project produces knowledge related to the focus areas that is used within the ecosystem. Also, international co-operation is done during the project with multiple organizations. The results of the fist part of the project is published in a public report (in Finnish).
This project has been funded by Business Finland, partner companies and involved research organizations.
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Automation Technology and Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
kari.koskinen [at] tuni.fi
Senior Scientist, IWE, IPMA-C
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland