Research project

Uutta kilpailukykyä tuotannon digitalisaatiolla / Improved manufacturing competitiveness by digitalization





Project Details

Start date: 01/09/2017

End date: 31/08/2019


Other Finnish


The manufacturing industry is the most important industrial sector in Finland when measured by both number of employees as well as the value of exports. There are several methods developed to monitor the manufacturing methods and observe the machines and the various properties and phenomena apparent in the manufacturing processes. However, the automatic features of most commercial production monitoring systems are limited to seeing if the monitored machine is ON and if it is active or if the production has stopped.

Several methods have been developed in Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) to real time monitoring the behavior of vibrational phenomena in the machinery and selecting the optimal parameters in metal cutting. Using state-of-the-art methods it is possible to collect much more accurate information that is happening in the process and thus improve production quality and reduce waste. Using intelligent sensors it is possible to identify the behavior of the tools and the product. Commonly computer controlled machines such as machining centers, mills and lathes are already connected to the company internal network and this network can be used for centralized information collecting – digitalizing the production monitoring and quality assurance.

By identifying optimal manufacturing conditions and actively striving to develop manufacturing methods, quality of the production can be improved and thus reduce waste, which means decreasing loss of materials and energy. There are strong structural changes going on in the manufacturing industry. Most importantly the deindustrialization of industrialized countries and long-predicted retirement of proficient, experienced workers. At the same time, the level of costs is increasing in developing countries such as in China, causing European companies to seek local manufacturing sites. The employment of new workers with possibly less can be assisted by using digitalized machining methods, enabling them to complete more challenging tasks with maintaining the efficiency and quality of production.

An intelligent production monitoring, analysis and optimization system has been developed in the earlier research by LUT. This system can be used to pilot the use of intelligent digitalized production monitoring. A more comprehensive collection of production data enables a more accurate identification of production efficiency and possible constraining factors (via so-called big data). However, the focus of this project will be implementing digitalized collection and analysis of production data.

Digitalization and automation can facilitate the younger and less experienced workers in the employment sector, as well as creating favorable situation for Finnish product remains in Finland and possibly more and more machine shops in Finland. In this case, the women's interest in traditionally male-dominated sector can increase. This is an unpresented change offering opportunities for a wide variety of professions.

The main objective of the project is to safeguard vitality of the existing manufacturing and machine shop industry, increase its employment significance of the whole of Finland, to secure the amount of labor it needs, and also improve opportunities for industry to increase the volume of exports. The recent beneficial development on the Valmet Automotive plant in Uusikaupunki can be repeated elsewhere in Finland.

Last updated on 2018-18-09 at 09:35