BTH partner in SåNätt research project

[20110618] A light car consumes less fuel and uses less material in manufacturing. SAAB Automobile, together with academic and industrial partners, have started a new project where BTH takes part.
SåNätt (from classic Saab Sonett) is a suitable name given the direction of the project – focus on resource efficiency with sustainable development in mind. It is both about the development and manufacturing of the product, and about how cars should be developed efficiently in supply chain collaboration, without jeopardizing quality and safety.
Saab Automobile have started this collaboration to find unexplored possibilities for more resource efficient product concepts. A very extensive and long-term effort was launched last year with Saab initiating the creation of a new supply chain collaboration structure for lighter vehicles. This resulted in the current project in which everyone involved, from the main stakeholder Saab to individual suppliers, are provided with a platform for increased collaboration within the industry. The goal is to get lighter vehicles.
VINNOVA funds 50% of the project, dubbed SåNätt. The project will not only result in new product solutions, but also increase collaboration between industry and academia to create open dialogue between professionals. Saab is the project coordinator during the entire process. Anders Holmkvist is the project manager. He says that SåNätt is a long term project which initially runs for 2.5 years.
– With a budget of 60 million, we hope to develop new lightweight solutions to in the long-term deal with new CO2 targets, while we create an entirely new basis for increased collaboration throughout the industry, informs Anders. Swedish automotive industry will be enhanced by the investments we make, the project is completely unique with the flow of ideas for concept generation of products, and product-service concepts.To ensure that all areas are covered in the best way to create strong synergies between researchers, Saab and suppliers has created seven project teams working on different systems areas; seat concept, suspension, front structure, cockpit, floor structure, body components in polymer/composite and roof concept. In addition, a group working on the car as a whole is created to not loose the holistic view.
Professor Tobias Larsson of Product Innovation, BTH, lead concept evaluation of the project along with inspirational work to increase the focus on innovative product-service innovation throughout the supply chain. This involves a lot of how productivity can be achieved and that vendors can develop solutions that can be offered to other parties except Saab, an opportunity which then makes the concepts find a larger market and perhaps create a new business model for Saab.
-It is very interesting to see what can come out of this project; new product concepts as well as integrated services to the product platforms, product-service systems, says Tobias Larsson.


Anders Holmkvist from Saab explains further that he also sees a large participation from suppliers and subcontractors. He ends with this:
– The project may result in entirely new ways of working, we have the hope that with SåNätt be able to establish a new model for how the automotive industry of the future will operate.


Professor Tobias C. Larsson is chaired professor in Product Innovation at School of Engineering, BTH.