Research Team Production Technology West works on the development of production processes in the manufacturing industry. The focus is on a surface coating process called thermal spraying, welding, cutting processing and sheet-metal stamping.
The team also performs research on computer simulation, control and automation engineering and nondestructive testing. An important overarching aim of the research is to achieve sustainability in production.
The research team belongs to University West in Trollhättan, western Sweden. It is also part of the Production Technology Centre, PTC, which is run in partnership with University West, Innovatum Technology Park and the manufacturing industry of the region.
The research team and their lab equipment are located in PTC premises, i.e. in a neutral arena. They are neither in the university nor in any of the companies. This makes it easier to engage in the kinds of cooperation that would otherwise have been difficult to achieve. For example, the researchers often work closely with the companies' operators. They tackle problems that are of high priority for the companies and come up with solutions that often need only small adjustments to be applicable to their production.
The researchers contribute something that the companies do not get when they run their own development projects; the latter usually focus on producing solutions to particular problems, but these solutions may not be valid after a production reorganisation. By contrast, the researchers delve into the problems at a deeper level. They produce knowledge that allows future problems to be solved too.
The Production Technology West research team includes around 50 researchers, headed by Per Nylén, professor of production technology. The members have a multitude of specialities and backgrounds. Some of them are born and bred in the region, but a large number have an international background. Their working language is English, and there are frequent exchanges with several universities abroad. This means, among other things, that visiting researchers are often on the spot, making it possible to run joint research projects.
When it comes to subject backgrounds, too, there is a great deal of variety in the team. This distinguishes it from other similar groups in Sweden, which often gather together specialists within a particular field. In the research team, physicists and mathematicians work together with experts in manufacturing engineering, materials engineering, robotics, process control and control engineering, simulation and automation, etc. The researchers constantly draw on each other's expertise and they have access to a varied range of machinery supplemented by a great variety of measuring equipment. This means that they are able to come up with creative solutions for many types of problem.