Converting factories into innovation platforms to make production more efficient in Finland

News, Press release

​The ecosystem of the Finnish manufacturing industry is taking the digital leap, and it utilises the strong corporate and research sector of the IoT industry in this transformation. The aim is to convert factories into innovation platforms and have them share their successful solutions to improve competitiveness and efficiency in the manufacturing industry.

"The "Reboot Finland IoT Factory" ecosystem enables the use of IoT products manufactured in the SME sector in various industrial environments. It also enables quick experiments for applying the latest research results in order to develop solutions that are scalable and intended for export," says Marko Jurvansuu, the project's coordinator at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The testing of new technologies, such as AR/VR, AI, digital twin, IoT and comprehensive solutions, in production involves both business and technology risks. The business potential of new technology must be assessed before the testing begins while, on the other hand, the customisation of technology into a product has many stages in which top research plays an important role. There are excellent opportunities to benefit from various experiments through cooperation and sharing of experiences in particular. The factories not only share their successful solutions but also their failures, to improve the efficiency of their production activities. This is emphasised in a country the size of Finland in which the optimised use of resources is very important.

Project solves so called Grand Challenges that are found as main drivers improving Finnish manufacturing industry competitiveness. These are data-driven supply chain and production led by Ponsse, robotics fusion led by GE Healthcare Finland Oy and interaction of labour and digital working environment led by ABB.

"Innovative future technologies provide good potential to improve quality, competitiveness and job satisfaction. It is a pleasure to participate Finnish driven initiative that create such forerunner solutions for manufacturing", says Pekka Tiitinen, CEO of ABB Finland.

"Our target is to further develop automation supporting our smart supply chain vision and operations further improving our positioning in the global market. Together with participating leading Finnish research organisations, universities and companies we are developing a concept that also other Finnish companies can utilize", says Timo Rouvinen, head of factory GE Healthcare Finland Oy.

The businesses participating in the "Reboot Finland IoT Factory" corporate and research ecosystem project funded by Business Finland are ABB, GE Healthcare, Nokia and Ponsse. The R&D activities of the businesses are supported by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the University of Oulu and Åbo Akademi. SMEs have already been engaged in the project and new ones are being searched from among the SuperIoT, Analytics+, SMACC, FiiF, 5GTNF and AVR ecosystems. For them, participation creates business and offers valuable references to support global sales.

The so-called Grand challenges to the strategic competitiveness of the Finnish manufacturing industry are related to the data-based management of the supply chain and production, improving the performance of robots, and the relationship between the employees and the digital work environment.

Marko Jurvansuu
Marko Jurvansuu
Principal Scientist