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SmartChain – Automation and Digitalization for Efficient Supply Chains

SmartChain – Automation and Digitalization for Efficient Supply Chains

Published 22 May 2017

Norwegian suppliers have had a significant competitiveness and growth potential related to knowledge-based production of highly advanced and innovative products with a high degree of customization. Over the years, we have positioned ourselves in the top of many premium market segments. However, when competition from low-cost competitors intensifies, can we also assert ourselves in the volume segments?

Photo: Kongsberg Maritime
Photo: Kongsberg Maritime

Kongsberg Maritime Subsea (KMS) in Horten has positioned itself as a world leading premium manufacturer of hydroacoustic solutions for marine robotics, subsea navigation and underwater mapping. Over the last fifteen years, however, this competitiveness has been sharply challenged by competitors in low-cost countries. KMS and corporate strategic suppliers will in the coming years respond to this by offering a wider range of products addressing more customer segments.

We are on the marks of the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0. Characterized by, among others, increased digitalization and automation, Industry 4.0 is expected to overturn traditional business models and supply chains. The overall idea in SmartChain is that increased digitalization and automation in the core value chain enables competitive production of volume and premium products for different market segments.

The main goal of the project is to develop methods and solutions that ensure efficient supply chains with a high degree of technology-enabled production, including planning and control. This will be realized through the following objectives:

  1. Develop a strategic concept for efficient supply chains with high degree of automation and digitization
  2. Develop a method for integrating high-volume automated production of premium products with lower volume technical prototypes in a laboratory environment
  3. Develop a methodology for integrated development of production-friendly products in the core value chain
  4. Modeling an integrated system for real-time monitoring and control, which effectively manages material flow and unexpected events in the supply chain
  5. Testing and documenting project results in a demonstrator for integrated and automated manufacturing in the value chain perspective.

The project is carried out by KMS in cooperation with core suppliers Norautron and Oswo, the IT company Virinco, and research partners SINTEF Technology and Society and SINTEF Raufoss Manufacturing.

Research Scientist

Project duration

2017 - 2020