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Product development with engineering sharpness

Published: 14 December 2018

During the year, five student groups have worked intensively in the project course Sirius with sharp assignments for Volvo CE, Vattenfall, BAE Systems Hägglunds, Sandvik and Skogstekniska Klustret. As usual, the results were impressive and commercialization of a couple of the solutions can be expected.

– We have again had a very successful round of Sirius projects where several of the results will be commercialized, says Magnus Karlberg, Professor of Computer Aided Design and responsible for the course.

More efficient land preparation

In one of this year's assignments, the students have had Skogstekniska Klustret as a contractor and worked in the Future Forest Regeneration project. Skogstekniska Klustret is an organization with ten companies in the forestry industry, working together to develop technology for tomorrow's forestry.

– The project is about developing a solution for machine-preparation and planting of forests. The purpose is to streamline the forest rejuvenation process, minimize soil damage and increase the survival rate of the plants. Planting forests is mostly done by hand, only a very small proportion is carried out mechanically, despite the fact that several attempts have been made for mechanization, says Björn Svensson, who is studying the fifth and final year of the Master Programme in Mechanical Engineering.

The group is pleased with the final result as their concepts stand well in the competition within field preparation.

– Although some parts need to be further developed, we are pleased with the result. We have developed a comprehensive concept that has proven to be competitive compared to the most common method in Sweden today, which is based on cultivation followed by manual planting. It was fun was to solve engineering problems with the group and to work creatively. The course has taught us to produce a product by following the product development process.

Longer life for hydropower

Another group has worked for Vattenfall to develop a bearing that increases system dampening and thus reduces vibrations that occur in hydroelectric power plants. As the wear reduces, this results in lower repair costs and increased service life for the hydroelectric power plant.

 – We are pleased with the result! We have developed solutions that have not been tested in hydropower plants before, and to investigate how these will work, we made simulations that can later be validated through practical tests. I especially enjoyed the concept generation phase in the project. Then the creativity flowed and nothing seemed impossible, says Hannah Ihrström, student at the Master Programme in Mechanical Engineering.

She explains how the group learned to practically apply the theory behind the product development process. Being able to go from idea, to concept, and finally a finished product.

– In the Sirius course, I have really tried out how it is to work as a civil engineer with all what that includes. The course gives a realistic view of future working life.

The projects at Sirius 2018

BAE Systems Hägglunds. Further development of the driveline to the BvS10 Beowulf All-Terrain tracked vehicle.
Sandvik Coromant. Develop a new metal cutting tool.
Skogstekniska Klustret. Provide a solution for machine-based soil preparation and planting.
Volvo Construction Equipment. Develop a machine that is optimal for loading and thus reduce unnecessary transport.
Vattenfall. Develop a bearing that increases system dampening and thus prolongs the life of hydropower.