The Lightweight Challenge (Future by Semcon # 2 2012)
1ALLYOUNEEDTOKNOWABOUTFUTURESMARTGRIDS1ROLLS-ROYCESAVESTIMEWITHYELLOWCARDS1MERVENTO’SHUGEWINDTURBINEINMINIFORMATA MAGAZINE ABOUTENGINEERING SERVICES &PRODUCT INFORMATION #2 2012futurebysemcon#22012THEEXPECTATIONSAREHIGH.THECHALLENGESAREMANY.ISTHEFUTURELIGHT?LIGHTWEIGHTAFTERWORKname Nils Bjerkås and Anders Dahlsjöwhat we do at work Civil engineer inautomation and machine constructionengineer.office Semcon Göteborgwhat we do after work Match racingwith the Berntsson Sailing Team as atrimmer and foredecker.current challenge To improve on lastyear’s bronze at theWorld Championships.NILS BJERKÅS ANDANDERS DAHLSJÖ:“It’sallworthitwhenwe’restandingonthewinners’podium”About usnils:“I’m ambitious,competitiveand like tough challenges,whichis reflected in everything I do.I’m33 and live with my wife Kristinain Göteborg.”anders:“I think first and act later,and am probably considered asa bit quiet,but I never quit.I’vebeen professional a few times andhave competed in the America’sCup and theVolvo Ocean Race.I’m39 and live with my wife and twodaughters in Onsala just outsideGöteborg.”About our jobnils:“I’m responsible for a groupof 18 people that helps customerswith product development.I’malso a sales manager and meet alot of customers.”anders:“I’m working on mo-tor development forVolvo Penta,customizing their industrial motorsto meet future emissions require-ments.”About match racing“We’ve both sailed since we werechildren but only met one an-other as competitors at varioussailing events prior to workingat Semcon.We started sailing to-gether in 2011 when taking partin the World Match Racing Tourwith the Berntsson Sailing Team.We won bronze together withthe rest of the crew and werenominated yachtsmen of theyear in Sweden, which was a fan-tastic feeling, especially consider-ing that most of our competitorswere professionals.We have twocrews to juggle work, family andsailing.The best thing aboutmatch racing is the teamwork,the head-to-head races, the tacti-cal game, that we can combinesailing with our technical inter-ests and that we can share oursuccesses with one another.”What we’ve learned from matchracing“Everyone in the world of sailing isdriven and have set clear goals forthemselves.We’re also completelydependent on one another.Every-one puts in 150 per cent in tryingto outdo themselves.It’sworth all the hard work whenwe’re standing on the winners’stand.Having the ambition,teamspirit and the feeling you get onthe winners’stand at work wouldbe great.”FACTS: MATCH RACINGMatch racing is a form ofsail racing where two yachtscompete against one anotheron a course.The yachts com-plete two distances with thewind and two against thewind.The most well knownmatch racing competition isthe America’s Cup.+searchfor“semcon”inappstoreExtramaterialon iPadTHEME
2 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012CONTENTS #2.2012ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE OF FUTURE BY SEMCONFUTUREBYSEMCONONYOURIPADSearch for“Semcon”in the App Store.6GridsofthefuturewillbesmartMakeuseofelectricalenergyfromthewind,sunandelectricvehicles.Thesearesomeofthebenefitsofsmartelectricitynetworks.ProfessorLinaBertlingTjernbergtellsuswhatthefutureholds.
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 342MEETSEMCON’SSHARPESTMINDSInSemconBrainsyouwillmeettheHybridDesignStudiosteamwhovisualizecustom-ers’futures,MiriamStribeckwhoknowsallthereisaboutsteeringsystemsandJensOlowwhoteacheshiscustomerseverythingheknowsaboutprojectmanagement.16ONTHEHUNTFORALIGHTERCARCreatinganormalcarthat’sasmuchas40percentlighter.That’sthetaskthattheSåNättproject tookon.Semconandotherplayersdecidedtogo100yearsbackintime.Website: semcon.com Letters: Future by Semcon, Semcon AB, 417 80 Göteborg, Sweden. Change of address: firstname.lastname@example.orgPublisher: Anders Atterling. Tel: + 46 (0)70-447 28 19, email: email@example.com Semcon project manager: MadeleineAndersson. Tel: +46 (0)76-569 83 31, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial production: Spoon. Manager/Editor:Katarina Misic. Designer:Mathias Lövström.Website: spoon.com Repro: Spoon. Printing:TrydellsTryckeri,Laholm.Translation: CannonSpråkkonsult,Kungsbacka.ISSN: 1650-9072.EDITORIALThe art of making the world lighterIt’s not enough today to just come up with asmart, innovative product. It also has to becheap to make, simple to use, easy to main-tain, safe, eco-friendly and recyclable.The list goes on. The demands on today’sproducts are on the rise and more complex.We help our customers to not only meet thesedemands but also to predict tomorrow’s demandsby being at the forefront of technical development.We make our customers the best in their class.One requirement in recent years that has keptlots of our customers busy has been the need tomake things light. Lighter products are almost al-ways better products. If it’s a vehicle then it usesless fuel and gives off fewer CO2 emissions. If it’sa wind farm then it can be made even bigger andmore efficient by using lightweight materials. Inthis issue of Future by Semcon, we’ll not onlytake a closer look at how lightweight materialshave revolutionized product development butalso what challenges the future holds.I never cease to be amazed by the extent of theassignments we carry out with our customers.From Olympic cycling shoes and wind turbineprototypes to lighter vehicles, aftermarketinformation for milking equipmentand more efficient production at RollsRoyce. You can read about all this andlots more in this issue of Future bySemcon. 124DELAVALMAKESMILKINGSIMPLEAdvancedtechnologymakeslifesimplerfordairyfarmersaroundtheworld.SemconishelpingDeLavalwithitscomplexaftermarketinformation–withresourcesinSweden,HungaryandtheUK.MARKUSGRANLUND,CEO,SEMCON36LIGHTERWHEELLOADERISSTILLSTRONGByusingtherightweightintherightplacesVolvoCEsucceededinsignifi-cantlyreducingtheweightofitswheelloader.Semconhelpedinmakingalighter,moreefficientwheelloader.
4 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012PEOPLE #2.2012PEOPLE IN THIS ISSUE OF FUTURE BY SEMCONgustavlarsson,professionalcyclist,monacoHowwilllightweight materialsaffect cyclinginthefuture?“I’mcurious toseehowgraphenewillbeusedin thefuture.It’sare-allyinterestingmaterial.Abicyclecontainselectronicsforgearing,measuringspeeds,powerandGPS.Grapheneisextremelyef-fectiveat conductingelectricity.It might beable tobeusedforintegrating thenecessaryelectric-ityrequiredin theframeinsteadoflotsofwireseverywhere.”Making products lighter is a challenge for manyindustries today. Meet some people in Future by Semconspeaking on the subject of making things lightweight.andersholmkvist,projectmanagerforsånätt,trollhättanWhat arethebiggest challengesinmakingvehicleslightertoday?“Cost-efficiency.I’mmainlyreferring tohowwecreateeffectiveproduc-tion technology.It’sveryprobable that we’redealingwithalot ofcom-positematerials.Making thisworkinmajorvolumeswill,inmyview,bethebiggest challenge.”linabertlingtjernberg,professorofdurableelectricalenergysystemsatchalmersuniversityoftechnology,göteborgArelightweight materialsimportant fordevelopingsmart grids?“Yes.Especiallyforwindpower,not onlybecausereducing theweight of theconstruc-tionisachallenge,but alsoat powerstations,where theswitchgearand transformersare,toreduce thesizeandweight of thecomponents.”16PAGE34PAGE30PAGE
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 5patrikholm,ceoandfounderofmervento,vasaWhat futuredolightweight materialshaveinthewindpowerindustry?“Thechoiceofmaterialswhenconstructingawind turbineisobviouslyveryimportant becauseeverythingneeds tobedurable.But evenif theactualbodyof the turbineismadeofsteelIstillbelieve that thereisafutureforvariouslight-weight materialsfor theinsidesof the turbines.”miriamstribeck,designengineer,semcongöteborgHowimportant islightweightmaterialinyourfieldofwork?“It’smassivelyimportant.Theweight ofacaraffects theservosteering,whichiswhat I’mcurrentlyworkingon.Smalldif-ferencesin thechoiceofmaterialcanhaveahugeimpact.”larsserander,headoftheswedishprojectoffice,volvoconstructionequipment,eskilstunaHowimportant isit tomakeyourplant machinerylighter?“Not at allactually.Forus theoppositeisimportant,weight.Weight iswhatmakes thesemachinesworkeffectively.Toget anenergy-efficient wheel-mountedloaderweinsteadneed tooptimizeitsweight distribution,whileretainingorincreasinglift capacity.Optimizingconstructionwhilealwaysconsideringweight isanongoing task.”50PAGE36PAGE44PAGE
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 7Tennisrackets,carsorwind turbines–whateveryoumakemust bemadelighter.Companiesarehopingtosaveboth theenvironment andfuturebusinessbyintroducingnewsmartermaterials.Thepossibilitiesareseeminglyendless,but thereareplentyofchallenges.JoinFuturebySemconintoalighterworld.TEXT PETER HAMMARBÄCKALIGHTCHALLENGE
During Björn Borg’s glorydays, like here follow-ing his fifth Wimbledontitle in 1980, nobodyquestioned his choice ofwooden racket, the Don-nay Borg Pro. Donnaywent bankrupt in 1988,overtaken by its competitors.Monte Carlo, 1991. A slim 34 year-old Swedesteps out onto the tennis court. Around his headis his trademark sweatband to keep his blondmane in place. It’s the long-awaited comebackof one of the biggest names in tennis history.Björn Borg,“Mr five Wimbledon titles in a row”,is back in his first professional match in almosteight years. He’s about to play Spaniard JordiArrese, ranked at a modest Nr. 52 in the world.The enthusiastic crowd at the MonteCarlo Open are clearly pleased to see BjörnBorg playing tennis again. In his hand he hashis trusty wooden Donnay Borg Pro racket,which weighs 415 grams, the one he won fiveWimbledon titles with. Arrese will be playingwith an ultra modern, light graphite racket,which weighs around 350 grams. This mightnot sound like a big difference, but the headof the graphite racket can be made biggerallowing the player to hit the ball 25-30 percent harder. Björn Borg was beaten 2-6, 3-6in the hotly awaited comeback that was notto be long-lived. The next time Borg made acomeback, on the veteran tour, he made surehe was playing with a graphite racket.LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIALS HAVE brought about arevolution in the world of sport. The relativelysimple construction of hockey sticks andbadminton rackets were first, and were madefrom aluminium and composite materials. Bi-cycles, F1 cars, skis, golf clubs and yachts soonfollowed – and the list is as long as there aresports where saving weight really matters.Development in competitive cycling isproof of that. The winners of the Tour deFrance in the 80s averaged speeds of 37km/h, while today’s competitors are averag-ing around 40 km/h. This speed is mainly at-tributable to the equipment becoming lighterand better. Over the past 30 years old steelframes have made way for carbon-fibre andthe weight of each bicycle has dropped byaround 2.5kg, a significantly less amount ofweight to haul across the French Alps.THE WORLD OF SPORT is however not the onlyone to have realized the possibilities of light-weight materials. Even the more advancedmanufacturing industry wants to lose weight,whether it’s a question of vehicles, aircraft,trains or boats. The question of weight isclearly a crucial issue for many.“It’s due to environmental requirements.They need to cut back on the use of energyand reduce CO2 emissions. The automotiveindustry has, for example, talked about savingweight for the past fifteen years, but it’s onlyrecently that they’ve done anything about it.It’s become more of a serious issue,”says JanSkogsmo, lightweight expert at the SwereaIVF industrial research institute.It’s hard to find anyone these days whodoesn’t care about lightweight solutions.“The only people who don’t want to loseweight are the companies that make counter-weights for cranes, diggers and bridge build-ers. Otherwise nearly everyone wants to maketheir products lighter. It might not be impor-tant for the product itself, but it makes morefinancial sense to transport lighter goods, andit makes the product more manageable. Youalso use less material, saving costs and theenvironment. A washing machine that weighs50kg can be lifted up stairs by the installer onhis own, while one that weighs 75kg mightneed two men to lift,”says Jan.THE DESIRE TO MAKE THINGS LIGHTER is intense,but nothing new. As far back as the first halfof the 20th century, industry experimentedwith various materials for use in makinglighter aircraft and cars. Aircraft manufactur-ers soon saw the advantages of aluminium.German professor Hugo Junkers presentedhis Junkers J4 aircraft in 1917, the first aircraftentirely made of metal. A crucial role in theconstruction was the aluminium alloy, dura-lumin. Both world wars helped Junkers’air-craft develop and go into mass production forthe German Luftwaffe, something that provesthe close link that has existed between light-FOCUS:LIGHTWEIGHTDuring Björn Borg’s glory days,like here following his fifthWimbledon title in 1980,nobody ques-tioned his choice of wooden racket,the Donnay Borg Pro.Donnay went bankrupt in 1988,overtaken byits competitors.(Photo:RobTaggart/Getty)8 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012
weight material, the military and the aviationindustry for many years.Developments have also been driven peri-odically by the aerospace industry and thenthe automotive industry. Aluminium got itscommercial breakthrough in the aviation in-dustry in the 1920s, and the material’s proper-ties still make it popular in cars. New com-posite materials first appeared in the 1950s,first in the form of fibreglass for boats andcars. Boeing’s 707 passenger aircraft contained2 per cent fibreglass as far back as the 1950s.Graphite appeared in the 1960s and was alsoused in the aviation industry and by the mid-60s carbon-fibre was introduced to the world.The automotive industry soon realized theadvantages of the new materials being usedfor some components, but sports equip-ment manufacturers also realized the hugepotential of making fishing rods and bicycleslighter. The USSR launched the first satelliteinto space, Sputnik 1, on 4 October 1957. Itwas mainly made from an alloy (AMG6T) ofaluminium, titanium and magnesium. In thesearch for the perfect alloy, engineers learnedhow to give metals certain properties, shapesand weight. Designers making vehicles, air-craft, military equipment and spacecraft todayprobably spend a lot of their waking hoursthinking about what things weigh – and howmuch of this weight can be reduced.ONE OF THEM IS Dan Jönsson who was recruitedby truck manufacturer Scania in Södertäljeabout a year ago to work with compos-ite materials.“We develop lightertrucks because wehave to, becauseof the competi-tion. The en-tire automotiveindustry todayis working onmaking vehi-cles lighter,at least in thepremium seg-ment. Scania’saim is to cutCO2 emissionsfrom its trucksby 50 per cent by2020, from the levelsof 2000. To succeedwith this we need to thinkoutside the box,”says Dan.It’s mainly climate demands that arethe catalyst, but lighter vehicles also meanimproved economy for companies operatingtrucks and busses – lighter vehicles can takemore passengers or more load, cutting costsper transported ton. In addition, the develop-ment of electric and hybrid vehicles,with heavy batteries has putmore pressure on reducingthe weight of the rest ofthe vehicles’con-struction.THAT’S WHY wenow have peoplein white coatsand protectiveeyewear, inlaboratoriesthroughout theworld, workingout how they canuse lighter mate-rials in products.The German Fraun-hofer research institutein Munich is consideredto be world-leading in thefield of weight research. From itsHQ in Munich, and a further 60 or so“Lightweight construction isamong the most importanttechnologies for the futurein aircraft manufacture,car making and mechanicalengineering.”Professor Holger Hanselka, Fraunhofer Lighweight Construction AllianceAudi A3In the next Audi A3 2.0TDI 150PS,the German engineershave shaved off 80kg compared with previous A3s.Thishas been achieved by using more aluminium andhigh-tensile steel than in previous versions.FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 9
LarsCarlssonisresponsibleforre-searchinSemcon’sAutomotiveRDbusinessarea.Lightweight isanimportant area,not just for theautomo-tiveindustry.“Thereisstillalot todoin theautomo-tiveindustryin thefieldoflightweight,”hesays.“But we’realsoseeingmajorpotentialfor theaviationindustryandfutureenergyproductionsuchaswindpower.Themarineindustryisalsowork-ingwithlightweight materials.It’snotjust that lessweight cutsdownonfuelconsumptionandemissions,but alsofindingnewmaterialsandcombina-tionsofmaterials that alsomanage tomaintainandimprovefunction,safetyanddurability.”Semconalreadyhasbothwide-rang-ingand thecuttingedgeexpertise tosolve thecomplexissuesandchallengesLarsCarlssonisaimingforalighterfutureThedevelopmentpotentialforlightweightmaterialsisvast,notjustinthetransportsector.LarsCarlssonmakessurethatSemconisatthecuttingedgeofallitdoesinRDprojects.TEXT FLORENCE OPPENHEIM PHOTO LARS ARDARVETHEEXPERTLars CarlssonTitle:Technical Director,Automotive RDOffice: Semcon,Göteborgthat thiskindofresearchanddevelop-ment faces.As theresearchmanagerit’sLars’job toalsolook to thefutureandtakeadvicefrom theorganization toproposestrategicrecruitmentsandin-vestmentsinorder toalwaysstayat theforefront in thefieldoflightweight.“Imonitor trendsfromaglobalper-spectiveandnot just in theautomotiveindustry.Wearenowaglobalengineer-ingpartner,andformealot ofmyworkdealswithconsideringfuturedemandsthat willbeplacedonusandwhat chal-lengesweasacompanymight faceinthenext 20years,”hesays.Thelightweighttrendisclear.Organis-inginternalandexternaleventsisonewayforSemcontotakepartandstrengthenitstechnicaldevelopmentandexpertiseinthearea.“Wehistoricallyhave,andstillhave,asolidbaseandknowledgeoflightweight,bothin termsofmetallicandnon-metallicmaterials.Wefocusstronglyonreviewingcustomers’futureneedsandcommit ourselvesininternationalnetworksandforums,wherewe’reseenasaknowledgeproviderandattractivepartnerforRD,”hesays.LarsCarlssonisanimportant contactforcustomersin termsoffinding theright expertisein thefieldoflightweight,not just formaterialissues,but alsoforcomplementaryresourcesinareassuchasdesignandproductionmethodsforvariousprojects. It isalsoimportant toshowcustomersotherusesforlight-weight materials.“Wehaveacompletelightweightportfolio.Myjobas technicaldirectoristosupport andprovidecontacts,bothinternallyinSemconandexternally tocustomersandbusinesspartners.”110 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012
other institutions around Germany and theworld, we are now getting new products andsolutions in the lightweight field. For theseresearchers there is no doubt about where thefuture lies.“Lightweight construction is among themost important technologies for the future inaircraft manufacture, car making and me-chanical engineering,”says Professor HolgerHanselka at the Fraunhofer Lightweight Con-struction Alliance to Fraunhofer Magazine.Fraunhofer not only looks at the materials’properties, but also how to cut productioncosts and how to join different materials toone another – two key issues for the future oflightweight materials.JOINING IS THE SUBJECT of Magnus Burman’sresearch. He’s part of a research group atthe Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) inStockholm that’s focussing solely on compos-ite materials. These materials can consist ofalmost anything, mud and straw for exam-ple, but when talking about composites andlightweight we often talk about carbon fibreand glass fibre-reinforced plastics. One of thecrucial problems is implementing the com-posite material, i.e. how to join the compositecomponents with steel so it’s durable and costeffective, because welding is not an option.“We try to find sensible ways of imple-menting composites in major load-bearingstructures like buses, trucks and cars. Newstudents here at KTH usually ask why wecan’t make entire vehicles from compositematerials instead of making smaller parts. Itwould undoubtedly be simpler, but for largeproduction companies it would be difficultwith such a drastic re-tooling. They are stuckin production systems that the new materialsneed inroads into. Re-tooling the entire au-tomotive industry to deal with carbon fibre –it’s not going to happen. I rather believe thata vast range of various lightweight materialswill be combined in tomorrow’s vehicles,”says Magnus Burman.THE WORLD’S BIGGEST passenger aircraft, theAirbus A380, is a mix of different lightweightmaterials. It’s made of fibreglass and carbonfibre composites, quartz fibre and the uniquematerial GLARE (Glass-reinforcedfibre metal laminate), alumin-ium alloys etc. Despiteall the work to makethe A380 as light aspossible it weighsaround 276 tonswithout cargo,around 100tons morethan theBoeing 747,which waspreviously theworld’s largestpassenger air-craft. Around 50Airbus A380s havebeen sold, but prob-lems with small cracksthat appeared in 2011 haveput the project under hugepressure, from a business perspec-tive. The cracks are not really dangerousbut must still be repaired, which will costmanufacturer EADS hundreds of millions ofEuros. A critical article in Der Spiegel askedwhether it’s wise to use the new“high-tech”material in aircraft. Airbus’Executive VicePresident Programmes, Tom Williams warnsagainst erring too much on the side of cautionbecause of just this one disaster.“If we hadnever dared to embark on new paths, aircraftwould still be made of wood and canvas,”hesays to Der Spiegel.JOINING COMPOSITE MATERIALS to metal is ahuge challenge. The streamlined and effec-tive production systems in many industriesis another, equally major challenge. Makinga car door from composite materials for ex-ample can not be compared to makingthe same door out of steel oraluminium. When making adoor from composites it’smade from a hardenedmix of fibres andplastic, which wouldrequire an enor-mous re-toolingof the world’sautomotive fac-tories.Dan Jönssonat Scania is wellaware of the prob-lem:“It’s a challenge.We need to thinkcomposite all the way,and to succeed with thatwe need to improve exper-tise internally, which is a processwe’re in right now.”“But it’s slow. Scania currently uses alu-minium and high-tensile steel, but has yetto produce a truck or bus using compositecomponents,”he says.“As long as we just use aluminium andhigh-tensile steel there’s a clear limit for howmuch weight we can save. That’s why I havehigh hopes for composite materials over the“New students here at KTHusually ask why we can’tmake entire vehicles fromcomposite materials instead ofmaking smaller parts.”Magnus Burman, KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyFOCUS:LIGHTWEIGHTGiant TCR AdvancedFor many years the magic figure for manufacturers ofracing bikes was 1,000 grams.With theTCR Advanced,Giant succeeded in getting down to 830 gramswith the help of specially developed carbonfibre and resins that were mixed withthe composite.FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 11
12 FUTURE BY SEMCON 1.2012long-term. That will allow us to make realweight savings. We’re letting car manufactur-ers go first and get all the teething troubles,”he says with a glint of irony.A MANUFACTURER that has taken an early leadand clearly expressed its belief in compos-ites is BMW. In June 2011 they said that theywere investing EUR 100 million in building apurpose-built carbon fibre factory. They arethe first car manufacturer to make such a boldmove towards composites, a material that’ssignificantly more expensive to mass-pro-duce than steel, but also significantly lighter.Chris Reiter, Berlin-based motor journalistat Bloomberg BusinessWeek, explains whyBMW is investing in carbon fibre.“A lot of theprofit from German car sales comes from largecars like the Mercedes S class and BMW 7series. As environmental regulations are madestricter, car manufacturers need to succeedin making theirmodels morefuel-efficient.”Although moreefficient enginesmight be part of thesolution, cars also haveto be lighter, and carbon fibrecurrently has the biggest weight-savingpotential. The German car manufacturersalso have the biggest margins in the industry,meaning they can absorb the extra cost formore expensive carbon fibre better than manyof their competitors.Mercedes Benz and Audi are also trying tosecure their access to carbon fibre by becom-ing part-owners in carbon fibre companies(Mercedes) and by merging with companiesthat develop tools for mass-producing carbonfibre parts (Audi).“But we’ve not yet seen any proof thatmass-productionof carbon fibre partsfor the automotiveindustry works, somanufacturers are alsoworking with other materi-als in parallel. Aluminium isoften standard in the premium carsegment these days, and high-tensile steeland magnesium are also being used,”saysChris Reiter.Next year BMW will present its long-awaited i3, which will be completely electricwith a carbon fibre body. The car is an excit-ing rethink of car construction, but it re-mains to see whether customers will pay therelatively high price (probably around EUR27,000) for a small electric car with limitedluggage space.ANOTHER INDUSTRY that’s fighting to intro-FOCUS:LIGHTWEIGHT1 CARBON FIBREA reinforcement material consistingof thin layers of carbon thread.Togetherwith epoxy,poly and vinyl resins it pro-duces a material with many areas of use.Also used as a sandwich material withcarbon fibre in the outer layers and a light,but stiff honeycomb structure,balsawoodor foam centre.used in: Cars,boats,bicycles,aircraft,golfclubs,helmets,skis,weapons etc.pluses: Extremely light and stiff.Doesn’tcorrode.minuses: Expensive,less impact-resistantand risk of cracks appearing between thelayers.2 NATURAL FIBRESNatural fibres like linen,hemp andjute can replace fibreglass in compositecomponents.used in: The car industry,which has takenthe lead,though mainly in seat coveringsand non-structural components.pluses: Cheap,better stiffness per unitof weight compared with fibreglass and arenewable resource.minuses: Less crash strength than fibre-glass,variable quality of the raw material,moisture-sensitive,less fire-resistant.3 PLASTICSConsist mainly of one or morepolymers mixed with additives to producevarious properties.Can for example be rein-forced with fibreglass to be made strongerand more durable.used in: Everything from prostheses,packaging and construction material tointeriors and engine parts in vehicles,boats,trains and aircraft.pluses: Pliable,insulating,light,durable,lasts a long time and easy to manufacture.minuses: Requires crude oil (althoughrenewable alternatives exist),manufactur-ing causes high levels of emissions,noteasy to recycle.4 CERAMIC METALTechnical ceramic metals such asaluminium oxide and silicon nitride areproduced by heat-treating at temperaturesin excess of 600°C.used in: Hip replacements,dentalimplants,knife blades,electronics,heatshields for space shuttles,cutting tools andthe aviation and automotive industries.pluses: Light in relation to propertiessuch as heat-resistant,high melting point,durable,non-conductive,non-corrosive,not affected by bacteria,non-magnetic andrequires no lubrication.minuses: Very tension-sensitive and easilyweakened by cracks.8 MATERIALS THAT MAKE PRODUCTION LIGHTERBoeing 787 DreamlinerAirbus 380 might be biggest,but it’s actually the Boeing787 Dreamliner that’s the world’s first commercialaircraft to be built of 50 per cent carbon fibrecomposite (compared with 12 per cent in the20-year old Boeing 777).The weightloss is said to save 20 per centof fuel.
duce lightweight material is the shippingindustry. There are many advantages forlarge transport vessels and small ferries tointroduce lightweight construction. Lightervessels need less ballast, meaning more spacefor cargo that they can get paid for. With therising price of oil and stricter environmen-tal regulations, any way of saving fuel is hardcurrency in shipping. Composite materialsalso require a lot less maintenance becausethey don’t rust. But there is a huge obstacleto overcome.“The greatest challenge is proving that ves-sels can be made from lightweight materialswithout compromising fire safety,”says Tom-my Herzberg, researcher at the SP researchinstitute and project manager of the SwedishLÄSS project.Combustible composites challenge tradi-tional construction methods in shipping, butsince 2002 regulations allow the replacementof steel with other materials as long as safetycan be guaranteed. And Composite materials’properties have developed to such an extentthat this now seems possible.Sweden is the world-leader in the con-struction of composite vessels, mainly at theKockum yard in Karlskrona, which for exam-ple built the pioneering Visby corvette outof PVC, carbon fibre and laminated vinyl forthe Swedish Navy and launched its first civilcarbon fibre-based CarboCat in 2010.According to Tommy Herzberg the questionis not if, but when we’ll start seeing a greaternumber of lightweight vessels being built.THE FIGHT FOR LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIALS is notonly a question of cost, durability and re-tooling production systems, but also oneof what materials represent the future, andwho is willing to invest in taking the lead. Dr.Stephen Rudzewski, Head of Technics andInnovation, works at Semcon in Ingolstadt,Germany. The future for him is not just car-bon fibre and aluminium. He has his sightsset on MnE21. The material is a magnesiummanganese light metal, which is soft, availableeverywhere in the world and well-suited formaking many automotive parts.“Magnesium was completely forgottenabout after World War II, when the alumin-ium lobby invested a lot of money in gettingeveryone to use aluminium. Since MnE21 - arepresentative for aluminum-free magnesiumalloys - has now been rediscovered we’re hop-ing that automotive manufacturers and otherswill be willing to start using it again,”saysRudzewski.MnE21 should be processed at elevatedtemperatures (150-350 ° C), since it is theneasy to work with and easy to shape. Despitethis, European automotive manufacturers arehesitant. Semcon has noticed much wider“We could lose between 80 and 100 kgfrom an ordinary car by using MnE21parts without affecting crashworthiness.”Dr Stephen Rudzewski, SemconFUTURE BY SEMCON 1.2012 135 ALUMINIUMThe“grand old lady”of lightweightmaterial is the most common metal onearth.Conducts electricity well.used in: Cars,aircraft,cans,aluminiumfoil etc.pluses: Lighter than steel,quite malleableand doesn’t corrode as easily as steel.minuses: Relatively advanced process(heat treatment) to achieve the material’smaximum strength.Never as strong assteel,not easy to weld and can scratch.6 HIGH-TENSILE STEELSteel with higher tensile yield limitachieved through alloying or heat treat-ment,can be made thinner and lighterthan traditional steel.used in: Cars,cranes,freight containers,loading machines etc.pluses: Manageability and access.One offew light materials that can be welded andthat industries can start using without re-tooling entire production lines.minuses: High CO2 emissions during pro-duction.Still relatively heavy.7 MAGNESIUMThe eighth most common mineral onEarth.Important nutrient for humans andimportant for photosynthesis in plants.used in: Various alloys in aircraft,mobilephones,bicycles,missiles etc.pluses: Very light with half the densityof aluminium.Found globally,even inseawater.minuses: Cannot compete with high-tensile steel in constructions requiring highsafety.Corrodes easily if not surface-treat-ed correctly and burns easily if cut thinly.These weaknesses do not apply to MnE21(magnesium manganese).8 TITANIUMThe expensive luxury metalTitaniumis mostly used in“price is not an issueindustries”.used in: Medical constructions forimplanting into the human body.In avia-tion and aerospace industries.Jewellerybecause it is a non-allergen.pluses: Hard! 50 per cent lighter thansteel,but despite this is just as hard insome alloys.Works well with the humanbody.Corrosion-resistant.minuses: Expensive.Difficult to machine(bend,weld) because it’s so hard.
interest in theEast.“Chinese au-tomotive manu-facturers are muchmore interested inMnE21. They are notafraid of building newfactories when designingnew products. In Germany wehave to adapt products according to fac-tories’layout and equipment levels today.”Stolfig, the German company that Semconcooperates with on MnE21, replaced twentyor so parts in the popular Chinese car La Vidawith MnE21 last year and saved 36 kg imme-diately, a significant reduction.“We could lose between 80 and 100 kg froman ordinary car by using MnE21 parts withoutnoticeably affecting crashworthiness,”he says.A RELATIVELY new industry to lobby for com-posite materials is wind power manufactur-ers. To make expensive wind turbines profita-ble means they need to be really big. But withsize also comes weight, leading to huge forceswhen the vast blades are out at sea spinningaround in stormy weather. Weight reduces ef-ficiency and increases the risk of breakdown.Danish firm Vestas currently manufactureswind turbines with blades that are 80 metreslong and despite using composite materi-als they weigh 35 tons. GE Energy, anothercompany in this sector, will use 3,000 tons ofcarbon fibre in 2012 for making rotor bladesfor wind turbines. The company’s chief engi-neer, Nirav Patel, told the 2011 Carbon FibreConference in Washington DC how difficultit is even for big companies like GE to gettheir hands on really high quality carbon fibreof such quantity and at a reasonable price.“GE currently pays 20–30 dollars for 1 kg ofcarbon fibre. If access doesn’t increase and theprice falls consider-ably then it could bea“show-stopper”forGE Energy’s plans forusing more carbon fibrein its wind turbines,”said Nirav at the confer-ence in Washington.ANOTHER CHALLENGE for manufac-turers is how to balance lighter productswith more advanced ones. The trend inmodern product development is to add morefunctions. This has, for example, led to ourvehicles, despite all efforts with lightweightmaterials, becoming heavier than ever. Theexplanation is comfort, safety and function-ality, which have been more important is-sues for consumers and producers than lessweight. Jan Skogsmo at Swerea IVF believesthat change is imminent:“Nearly all mid-range cars are built for thefew times you go on holiday with the familyin the summer, which might only be once ayear. We have AC, electric windows, ad-vanced stereos, video cameras etc. We shouldask ourselves whether we need cars that cango 230 km/h and have really comfortableback seats. If we relaxed the performancea little then we could reduce weight enor-mously. A holistic approach could achieveweight loss of around 40 per cent for familycars,”he says.Magnus Burman at KTH believes that the“right material in the right place”will be themotto of future products:“High-tensile steel, aluminium and com-posites will work together and be used wherethey are best suited. The biggest challengenow is that we need to see a few good exam-ples, companies willing to take the lead andshow that it’s possible to produce really lightproducts rationally.”He also likes to point out the positiveweight spiral that comes with working withlightweight. If the bodywork is lighter thenyou only need light springs, and if a truckplatform is light enough then you might getaway without needing a bogie.“I believe that composites and sandwichmaterials will have a place in smaller, lightervehicles of the future. But there’s also a trendtowards natural fibres like hemp and sisal.Wooden fibres can also be used to makecomposites, so why not car body panels madefrom natural wooden fibres.”WE ARE IN a state of positional warfare interms of what materials, technologies andmethods are best. But everyone concerned isagreed about one thing: we’re facing a lighterfuture. 1FOCUS:LIGHTWEIGHT“We should ask ourselveswhether we need cars thatcan go 230 km/h.”Jan Skogsmo, Swerea IVFsearchfor“semcon”inappstoreExtramaterialon iPadLenovoThink Pad X1 CarbonLenovo’s futureThink Pad X1 Carbon case is made fromcarbon fibre composite and just 18 mm at thethickest point.Weighing just 1.36 kg it will,according to its manufacturer,be thelightest laptop with a 14-inchscreen.Siemens SWT-6.0-120Wind turbineSiemens offshore SWT-6.0-120 has a6 megawatt turbine,120 metre rotordiameter and weighs less than 350tons thanks to blades made fromfibreglass reinforced epoxy.The weight per megawattis comparable with 2-3megawatt turbines.14 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012
Steel and cast iron have almostcompletely given way, in theautomotive industry, to lightermaterials like aluminium, magne-sium, plastics, carbon fibre and newhybrid materials.The pressure on theauto manufacturer to make bodyworklighter is increasing, not just becauseof the EU’s aim of cutting family cars’emissions to 120 g/km by 2015.“Moderncarscontainanincreasingamount offunctions tomeet customers’demandsforsafetyandcomfort,requir-ingelectroniccomponents that makethecarsheavier,”saysGünterPfeifer.Hans-GünterPfeiferdevelopsconceptsforlightercarsLowfuelconsumptionandreducedemissionscombinedwiththehighestpossiblesafetyandcomfort.ThedemandsonmoderncarsarehighandHans-GünterPfeiferknowsthattheweightofthebodyworkplaysanincreasinglyimportantroleformeetingthem.TEXT LINDA KARLSSON-ELDH PHOTO KARSTEN THORMAELENTHEEXPERTHans-Günter PfeiferTitle: Head of Department,Bodywork StructuresOffice:Semcon,BadFriedrichshallSemconisconsideredapioneerin thisareainGermany.Asfarbackas thelate80sSemconwasinvolvedin thefirstlightweight concepts.“In thosedaysaluminiumwas themost important lightweight material.Wewereinvolvedin theconcept phaseright up tofinalproductionof theAudiA8,whichwas thefirst aluminiumcar tobemassproduced,”hesays.“Byusingaluminiuminsteadofsteelwewereable toreduce theweight ofthecarbyup to40percent.Today’slight-weight materialsincludecarbonfibrereinforcedpolymers(CFRP),whichis themost modernmaterialaround.CFRPhasnot yet enteredmassproductionin theautomotiveindustry,whichmakesiden-tifyingdamage,repairandrecyclabilityofthematerialrelativelycomplicated.”“CFRPmakes thebodyworkaroundtenpercent lighter thanaluminium,butbecauseit’sexpensiveandcomplicatedinproductionIbelieve that it willbelim-itedforawhileyet tospecialmodelsandparts,”hesays.The trendisinsteadstronglyheadingtowardsmixedconstructions,wherevari-ousmaterialsareusedindifferent places.“Thisispossible thanks toanumberofnewjointing technologiescustom-ized to thenewmaterials.Spot-welding,whichwasstandardonsteelbodywork,hasbeencomplementedwithriveting,clinchingandgluing.”That modernlightweight construc-tionsaremorecomplex than traditionalsteelconceptsisobviouslyalsodue tothematerials’properties.Whileisotropicmaterials,e.g.materialswith thesamepropertiesinalldirections,likesteelandaluminiumcaninprincipleonlyvarybythicknessoralloycomposition,compos-itematerialslikeCFRPhavemorephysi-calorchemicalproperties.Weare there-foreworkingwith twoconstructionsinparallel– thebodywork’sgeometryandthestructureof thematerial’sfibres.GünterPfeiferbelieves that thefutureliesincombiningnewmaterialsanddrivesystemswithadifferent viewas tothefunctionof thecar.“We’llseemorecarpartsmadefromplastics,but Ialsobelieve that driversinurbanenvironmentsspecificallywillbemoreprepared toforego theelement ofcomfort,openingdoorsforwholenewconceptsin theareaoflightweight con-structions.”1FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 15
16 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012BACKTOTEXTMATS TIBORNThiscouldbethedecidingfactorfortheautomotiveindustry.TomeettheSwedenhastakenthebullbythehornswiththeSåNättproject.
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 17THE FUTUREPHOTO ANDERS DEROSincreasinglystricteremissionlevelscarsneedtobecomelighter.Tosucceedwehavegone100yearsbackintime.
18 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012hat would mod-ern cars looklike if HenryFord had acrystal ball andwas able to usethe technologywe have today?Since the firstModel T rolled out of the factory the automo-tive industry has developed through changeand improvement, but with the cars of the ageas a starting point. If crash safety wasn’t suf-ficient, carmakers improved it by strengthen-ing the bodywork and adding various safetysystems. If comfort was improved it alsomeant weight was added. Modern cars arequite simply too heavy. If cars of the future areto meet the lower CO2 emissions levels theyneed to lose weight.According to the EU’s emission require-ments, family cars will only be allowed to emit95 g of CO2 per kilometre by 2020, which fewof today’s cars can manage.“Weight loss is vital for car manufactur-ers. If nothing is done then they won’t be ableto meet the new legislative requirements of2020 at all,”says Anders Holmkvist, projectmanager for SåNätt.“It’s a matter of win or lose for many OEMs(original equipment manufacturers)”addsLars-Göran Dandebo, Semcon’s project man-ager for SåNätt.BUT IT IS NOT only because of reduced CO2 emis-sions from the manufactured car that light-weight solutions are important, but also becausethey will be more sustainable than today’s cars.Lighter cars using lighter materials and fewerparts will mean fewer, lighter deliveries to facto-ries, meaning less burden on the environment.“Even if electric cars become the prevailingdriveline of the future, lightweight solutionsare still necessary,”says Lars-Göran.“Thelighter the car the further it will travel with abattery under the bonnet.”Both Anders Holmkvist and Lars-GöranDandebo have had key roles in the projectsince it started in February 2010. It was whenSaab Automotive gained independence fromGM and it wanted to find a new way of work-ing with its subcontractors that the idea oflightweight cooperation was hatched. The“Leverantörsstruktur för lättare fordon”(sup-plier structure for lighter vehicles) researchproject took shape. To make things simple itwas called SåNätt, which alludes to light-weight and the old Saab model, Sonett.HALF OF THE FINANCE for the project comes fromFFI, which is a collaboration between the Swed-ish state, the Swedish auto manufacturers andFKG, which is the subcontractors’industry or-ganization for the automotive industry in Scan-dinavia. The idea was for Saab to work moreclosely with its suppliers and let them be moreinvolved in the entire development process.When Saab Automotive then went bankruptVolvo Cars took over as OEM for the project.“Lightweight is an absolute must for VolvoCars,”says Elisabeth Horbury, Volvo’s projectmanager for SåNätt.“The demands on energyconsumption will be tough in the future, withoverall resource consumption playing a signif-icant role. Innovation that focuses on weightgenerates opportunities in both these areas.”Elisabeth also thinks that the project’s set-up is interesting.“The Swedish companies possess a greatdeal of expertise, creating lots of interestingproposals, because suppliers don’t usuallywork with complete vehicles.”There are a total of 41 players involved, in-cluding Volvo Cars, a number of universities,colleges, suppliers and Semcon.SOMETHING THAT THE PROJECT works towards isto come up with really innovative solutionsin order to build a car that weighs less than1,000 kg, but in terms of quality, size andcomfort is the same as a Volvo V60, whichtoday weighs around 1,700 kg.SåNätt is split into seven groups who workon different parts of the car: suspension,cockpit, roof, seats, chassis, superstructureand a complete car team.WThe SåNätt projectA collaboration between 41 players from theautomotive industry,academia and the stateto boost the Swedish automotive industry.Theobjective is to make it possible to reduce theweight of cars by 20 to 40 per cent by 2020.Thebudget for the project is SEK 60 million,wherehalf is from the state-run FFI programme andhalf from other players.FOCUS:LIGHTWEIGHT
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 19To find the right starting point for savingweight the complete car group stepped backin time and started with cars made at the be-ginning of the 20th century. They wanted tosee where in time, with modern technology, itwould have been possible for developments totake a different route.“We travelled through time until we arrivedwhere we are today. We didn’t want to end upat the same place, and we didn’t,”says Lars-Göran Dandebo.THE TURNING POINT came when Citroen inEurope started making cars completely fromsteel and then making cars with self-sup-porting bodywork, leaving the older frameconstruction behind. The work group wentin the opposite direction and came up with achassis that’s both complex and simple, wherethe various components assist one another’sfunction and work together completely differ-ently than they do today.A total of 21 Semcon employees are contrib-uting with both expert knowledge and a ho-listic approach. Two of these are Stefan Banérand Daniel Nordin. Stefan works with compos-ites in the bodywork group and Daniel worksas an illustrator, mainly in the seat group.“My job is also to provoke,”says Daniel.“When we get too close to today’s design Istart to ask questions. And if we get a seatthat already exists then it’s not research.”The seat group has made the biggest ad-vancement. It is close to producing a light-weight seat that is viable for producing inlarge volumes. Daniel doesn’t want to revealtoo much yet about how discussions areprogressing, but ideas that have been on theagenda have included a living room feel in thecar with a corner sofa and rotating seats.“Ifwedon’tdoanythingabouttheissueoflight-weightwewon’tmeetthelegislativedemandsof2020.”Anders Holmkvist, project manager, SåNättAndersHolmkvistTitle:Project manager,SåNätt,Development ManagerEELCEEABOffice:TrollhättanLars-GöranDandeboTitle:Programdirector,SemconOffice:Trollhättan/Göteborg
20 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012IT’S IMPORTANT to create synergy effects in or-der to cut weight by 20-40 per cent. The workgroups are trying to find ways of providing thecar’s parts with more than just one propertyeach. If they succeed in giving a section morethan one area of use then they might be ableto remove another section and maybe even re-move other parts that become obsolete whenthe section is removed.“Side windows are another aspect thatcould be given more areas of use in the future.We can wind windows down today. In the fu-ture they may be made from another materialand fixed. That would allow them to possiblybe load-bearing,”says Daniel.LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIALS are extremely impor-tant to SåNätt. Stefan Banér from Semcon’scomposite group is working with the team whoare trying to trim weight from the bodywork.Their toughest challenge is not building abody using lightweight materials. Materialslike carbon fibre, sandwich constructions andother composites are already available and canconsiderably reduce weight. The problem is tomake it viable in large volumes while retainingquality and safety. It’s expensive today to mass-produce lightweight materials. SåNätt partici-pants are now hoping that the project will beable to solve this problem and many others.“SåNätt’s strength lies in the cross-ferti-lization of its participants. Subcontractorsare also included in the process and can addtheir opinions about things that they haven’thad chance to before,”says Daniel Nordin.“This allows technology to be shared betweencompanies.”The entire SåNätt project is set up tostrengthen the Swedish automotive industryand improve the expertise of all participants.Companies learn from one another and newcompanies can form, resulting from collabo-ration.Anders Holmkvist and Lars-Göran Dande-bo agree that SåNätt’s strength lies in uniquecollaboration. Instead of auto manufacturersdeciding what a part should look like and thenordering from a subcontractor, the subcon-tractor is part of the process from the startand collaborates with other subcontractors.This is a unique way of collaborating.Researchers are also involved in the project.Social Psychologist Anni Tysk from SkövdeUniversity is working with group dynamicswith all groups. She documents workflow andcan intervene when conflicts arise, explainingwhy it has arisen.ACADEMIC PARTICIPATION is an important part ofSåNätt. Apart from Skövde University there aresix other universities involved in the project.StefanBanérTitle:DesignengineerOffice:Semcon,GöteborgDesignersfromSemconareused toillustrateanumberofrealisticproposals tostart thecreativeprocessin thevariousworkgroups,inorder toshow that it’snot a traditionalcarthat’sbeingdesigned.Lotsofideasarefused together.Somearediscardedalong thewayand theideas that remainwillbeusedtocreategoodlightweight combinations.Noideashavebeenfullydecidedonyet and theones that thegroupshavecomefurthest witharecloselyguardedsecrets,but herearesomeoftheideas that havebeenusedduring thecreativeprocess.Illustrations:DanielNordinandAnnikaLarsson4 visions of the futureAcarseat currentlyweighsaround60kg.Thisishowalightweight seat might look.Theimageisanexampleofalength/height adjustment solution.1FOCUS:LIGHTWEIGHT“SåNätt’s strength lies inthe cross-fertilizationof its participants.Subcontractors are alsoincluded in the processand can add theiropinions.”Daniel Nordin, designer, Semcon
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 21Their task is to implement research re-sults in two areas: the facility group workson creating commercially viable lightweightconcepts and the technical group works onimplementing technical research results tostrengthen the lightweight concept.Academic partners are involved to spreadtheir research results, but also to identify fu-ture areas of research.“Many of the suppliers have very little ex-perience of working with academic partners.The project provides an excellent platformfrom which to work,”says Anders Holmkvist.Semcon is involved as one of the project’sconsultancy firms.“It’s unique to have a company with com-plete car knowledge and that isn’t an OEM,”says Anders.“Many companies know a lotabout components and systems, but few canintegrate the various parts like Semcon.”“We’re constantly noticing a rise in ourlevels of expertise,”says Stefan Banér.“We’reworking with lightweight solutions in manyareas, on lots of different projects. When help-ing a customer on a new project we’re startingfrom a high level. We’ve done this kind of thingbefore and are keenly aware of the problemsthat can arise and how to deal with them.”SÅNÄTT WILL terminate in mid-2013 and it’shoped that a number of creative lightweightsolutions will have emerged from the col-laboration and can begin being manufac-tured, possibly through new companies beingformed when the various suppliers’expertisehave been mixed together. 1DanielNordinTitle:Designer/Concept engineerOffice:Semcon,GöteborgHere the teamislookingat creatinga teardrop-shapedbody tocut downonwind-resistance.Tokeepit asa5-seater theideais toplaceoneseat in thecentreofthecar.Theworkgroupcall thisimageSofavision–avisionof thedirectiondevelopmentsmight lead.Theaimoftheimageisalso toget thegroupparticipants to thinkfreelyandfeelas thoughanythingispossible.Here thedesignerborroweda tablefromanaircraftseat andcreateda tunnelforskisin themiddle.It’salsoconceivable toremove/swap themiddleseat in thebackor touse thesameseatsin thefront asin theback.2 3 4
THE SOLUTIONHOW SEMCON SOLVED THE CUSTOMER’S PROBLEMTHE ASSIGNMENT: Entrepreneur Gunnar Drougge atErgoption wanted it done once and for all. Create theperfect ergonomic computer mouse. One that didn’t causemouse elbow, pain or other stress injuries. He took hisideas to Semcon in Stockholm.THE SOLUTION: Semcon used a lump of clay and shapedit to the human hand. It would be turned into the world’sfirst high-tech, adjustable, computer mouse, which couldbe gripped both vertically and horizontally. The inspirationcame from an unexpected source: a deckchair’s simple cogmechanism.THE RESULT: The Oyster Mouse was launched after anautumn of intensive product development and was acompletely new type of vertical mouse with five differentsettings. The same year – December 2011 – Oyster Mousewon an award for best product at the major ergonomicstrade fair in Las Vegas.TEXT STEFAN SJÖDIN PHOTO ERGOPTIONAdjustablemousegivesbettergrip22 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012
GOOD-LOOKING– BUT FUNCTION FIRSTOysterMouseisanergonomicpioneer,themouseof thefuture–andit shows.But designwasnot thepriority.Theusershouldintuitivelyunderstandhowit shouldbegrippedandworks.QUICK COMMANDS FOR THEMOST COMMON FUNCTIONSApart from thescrollwheel themousehassixbuttonswith themostcommonquickcommands,likecopy,cut andpaste,right andleft click.Thebuttonsoneachsideof themouseareinfunctionorout offunction,dependingwhetherit isusedright-handedorleft-handed.OPENS LIKE AN OYSTERErgonomistsandoccupational therapistshavebeenlookingforsolutions tomouseelbow,painandstiff-nessaffectingofficeworkersforyears.OysterMousegot part ofitsinspirationfrom thecogmechanismfoundindeckchairs.It tiltsfromitsrestingposi-tion toanotherfourpositions(in thefifth,the topposition,it foldsbackdownagain).Thismeans thateveryonecanfind theiroptimalwrist angle.Theusercanalsovary theangleduring theday.ThesolutiongaveOysterMouse theawardfor thebest productat theergonomics tradefairinLasVegas.AMBIDEXTROUSTheoriginalideawasforamouseforright-handedpeople,but Semcon’sdevelopersfoundawayofmaking theOysterMousesymmetrical,soit wouldsuit bothright-handedandleft-handedpeople.Themouseisgrippedusing the thumbandlittlefinger,while theotherfingersrest aboveit.HAND IN GLOVEScalingdown this typeofcogmechanism,foundindeckchairsandheadrestsinsomecars,toaformat that fitsamouseisobvi-ouslyachallenge.Duringdevelopment,therackandhingeeitherendedup toonear theinnerpart of thecasing,or toonear the tech-nologyinside themouse.Carefullyshapingandchangingangleswasaconstant part oftheprocess.MOBILITYComputermice that canbeusedat variousangleshavebeenaroundforawhile,but theyhavebeenfixed.OysterMouseis thefirst mobilemousewithsuchadjustabilityinorder toavoidstressinjuries.Thecustomer,Ergoption,isnowworkingon thefirstcordlessversionofOysterMouse.FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 23
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 25Ahappycowisaproductivecow.SomethingthatDeLavalhasbecomeworld-leaderat.Buttounderstandandmaintaintheincreasinglyadvancedmachinesrequiresclear,updatedaftermarketinformation.TodothisDeLavalaskedSemconanditsflexiblenetworktohelp.TEXTEVAWREDE PHOTO SAMIR SOUDAH DELAVALSATIS-FACTIONATTHEDAIRY
26 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012When Gustaf de Lavalapplied for a patentfor his centrifugeseparator in 1878 heprobably couldn’timagine that his in-vention would lay the foundation for today’sglobal DeLaval Group. Nearly everything amodern dairy farmer needs is included inDeLaval’s product range, from simple dishbrushes to high-tech milking machines, cool-ers and feed stations. The well-establishedSwedish company has grown to become aglobal player with operations in over 100countries and a multitude of innovations overthe years, including a system for voluntarymilking, which revolutionized milking whenit was introduced in 1998.Old products were updated as new prod-ucts were launched. The company’s productportfolio today includes around 550 products.Each needs documenting, in text and pic-tures. From that perspective it’s possibly notso strange that the Memo Group, DeLaval’sinternal documentation group of ten or sowriters and illustrators, sometimes needs ad-ditional help. Things heat up at least twice ayear at DeLaval’s aftermarket information de-partment. Lots of material needs producing inultra-quick time. Panic? Not at all. The heavyworkload is effectively managed by Semcon’sflexible“back office”network, which supplieswhat’s needed, when it’s needed.EFFECTIVE IS A WORD often used by ThomasFunck as he describes his collaboration withSemcon. Because that’s what it’s all about.“Howbest to use the resources available,”he says.As manager of DeLaval BA Shared SupportServices he’s providing end-customers andservice personnel with the information theyneed to use and maintain DeLaval’s productsoptimally. In concrete terms it’s about gath-ering and creating text and pictures that arethen put together to create manuals and otherdocuments.When Thomas came to DeLaval almost fiveyears ago, he had a background as a consult-ant and purchaser of consultancy services. Healready knew therefore both sides’needs andwork methods and knew from the start howhe wanted to set out the project.“When I arrived DeLaval employed theservices of consultants from lots of differ-ent companies, which were coordinated byDeLaval. I instead chose to work more closelywith one partner, both for strategic and costreasons,”he says, and continues:“It’s easier to organize working with oneconsultant than with lots of consultants, andThomasFunckTitle:ManagerofDeLavalBASharedSupport ServicesOffice:DeLaval’sheadofficeinTumba
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 27you can more easily negotiate costs when out-sourcing to just one consultancy partner.”He didn’t need to search too far amongpossible candidates to make his choice:“DeLaval is active throughout the worldand we need a partner that’s bigger than mostSwedish consultancy companies. Semconbeing a globally-established company was acrucial factor when we were deciding who tochoose.”The heaviest workload at the aftermar-ket information department comes whenlots of new products need launching at thesame time, which happens twice a year. Oneof these occasions occurred in August 2011,which unfortunately coincided with the holi-day period. We also had a part-delivery of amajor development project, DeLaval automat-ic milking rotary AMR.“We were dealing with huge volumes thatneeded producing and we had such a lot to do.Without Semcon I would have never managedto get hold of the resources that were requiredin such a short amount of time,”he says.ROGER CAREW, Team Manager Graphics atSemcon remembers the episode very well. Hehad just returned from a short holiday when, inhis own words,“the s--t hit the fan.”Semcon’sillustrators produced 991 illustrations in onemonth.“We had to quickly muster up all the re-sources we had, and succeeded in deliveringon time. Semcon usually has 8 people workingwith DeLaval, but during periods of heavyworkload we might need an extra two to four.”A PREREQUISITE for flexibility and sometimesstretching resources is a working modelwith a “front office” and “back office”, FOBO.The model is built on most of Semcon’sdirect customer contacts being supported bya few key people,“front office”. In this casethe front office is made up of Roger Carew,who is the project manager and based inGöteborg, and Sofhia Josborg, coordinator atthe Stockholm office.To support them they have a“back office”,DeLavalDeLaval makes lots of different products usedby dairy farmers,everything from dish brushesto complex milking and feeding systems.Thecompany was founded by Gustaf de Laval,whose inventions include the separator,themilking machine and the steam turbine.DeLaval today has its head office inTumba andoperates in around 100 markets throughoutthe world with a total of 4,500 employees.RogerCarewTitle:TeamManagerGraphicsOffice:SemconGöteborg“We were dealing withhuge volumes thatneeded producing andwe had such a lot todo. Without SemconI would have nevermanaged to get hold ofthe resources that wererequired in such a shortamount of time.”Thomas Funck, Manager of DeLaval BA Shared Support Services.
28 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012which is a network of various experts spreadthroughout Semcon’s offices in Sweden, theUK and Hungary.“It’s the perfect solution. It gives customersthe option of outsourcing certain tasks, whichcan in principle be carried out anywhere,while concentrating themselves on whatneeds doing on site and what needs follow upfrom day-to-day,”Roger Carew explains, andThomas Funck agrees:“It makes things simpler for me. Workvolumes can fluctuate over time without meneeding to juggle around with manning, that’sSemcon’s responsibility.”ROGER CAREW SPENDS three days a week atDeLaval’s head office in Tumba and the othertwo in Göteborg. An estimated 85 per cent ofall the work Semcon does for DeLaval is doneoff-site. This off-site work is possible thanksto the consultants, via VPN connection, work-ing in the same workflow system and collect-ing the same data from the same PDM system,as the personnel in DeLaval’s Memo Group.“We received invaluable help from Rogerin specifying the requirements of our newcontent management system, CMS, when weneeded to change our publication tool. Mainlyin terms of illustration handling,”says Thomas.At the end of last year, when the new pub-lication tool was to be implemented, Semconwas also responsible for the Memo Groupreceiving the XML training required.DeLaval and Semcon have together createda joint digital platform to work from.PART OF DELAVAL’S after market informationconsists of instruction manuals to end cus-tomers. But the majority are service docu-ments used by DeLaval’s retailers and servicetechnicians.The most visible result of Semcon’s and theMemo Group’s collaboration is the content ofMemo+, a digital info bank that all DeLaval’sretailers and service technicians can use toprint documents.“We don’t produce printed material centrally,but produce everything we need locally in PDFs.The benefit of course is that you automaticallyget the latest updates,”Thomas explains.As with all communication, the most dif-ficult thing is knowing whether the informa-tion will be understood by the people using it.Reference group meetings are held regularlyto listen to and learn from the market compa-nies about how the material can be improved.“The common reaction is that there istoo much information rather than too little.But the more complex products become, thegreater the demand for more in-depth infor-mation,”he says.IN THE HUNT to become more efficient theMemo Group also works with compiling thebasic material required to write the documen-tation.1DeLavalprovidesdataabout thecompany’sproduct toSemcon’sprojectmanagerwhoisonsiteinTumba(front office).2Workdutiesareassigned tocolleaguesinGöteborg,Budapest andKineton(backoffice).Thematerialisedited,addedtoandcompiled.3SemcondeliversacompletemanualtoDeLaval.4Thedocument isproofreadandapprovedbypersonnelat DeLaval.5Themanualispublishedon theMemo+applicationandis therebyavailable toretailersandservicetechnicians.How a complete manual is producedDeLaval’s automatic milking rotary AMR,isone of the biggest projects Semcon has beeninvolved in documenting.searchfor“semcon”inappstoreExtramaterialon iPadKINETONGÖTEBORGTUMBABUDAPEST
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 29The data supplied by the subcontractorsand DeLaval’s own employees today, includ-ing specifications, photos and illustrations,is often inadequate. Semcon has helped withdefining the requirements and created a tem-plate for what this data must include.“I would like to go even further and forexample demand that all technical drawingsare submitted in 3D-CAD, but we’re not quitethere yet,”says Roger.THE POINT of getting better, more uniformlystructured material from the start is that itmakes it easier for technical writers and il-lustrators to do a good job further along theproduction process.“Our vision is to have really detailed, fullyfunctioning“templates”, so that technicalwriters and illustrators working with the ma-terial off-site can do their jobs without havingdirect contact with the people submitting thedata,”Roger explains.Thomas and Roger visited Semcon’s officein Budapest for two days last spring.“As a customer it’s important to personallyform an opinion about the expertise of differ-ent employees and if they are providing theright prerequisites for doing a good job. It’salso good to meet sometimes the individu-als that we have almost daily contact withon various matters,”says Thomas, who wasfavourably impressed:“There is a high level of expertise and as Isee it there’s no reason why more work can’tbe outsourced to the office in Hungary.”Anders Johnson, department manager atthe Informatic business area, joined them inHungary. He was happy, but hardly surprisedby Thomas’positive opinion:“The cost-effective aspects are often high-lighted when talking about“back office”, butit’s also important to show that we are proudof the expertise throughout the company,such as in Budapest,”says Anders, and adds:“All of Semcon’s different business areascollaborate well together and always concen-trate on providing the best solution for ourrespective customers.”EUROPE is currently DeLaval’s biggest market,but it’s in the BRIC countries, Brazil, Rus-sia, India and China that they are seeing thegreatest expansion for the company.Semcon having an office in China is a majorbenefit according to Thomas as he looks tothe future. Discussing future solutions andjointly developing various tools, thereby tyingin Semcon closer to the organization is notsomething he would back away from.“I can’t see any drawbacks. What’s inter-esting for us is creating an effective workprocess and it’s important then to developit together with those who will be workingwith it. It’s a win-win situation, which inthe end reflects in results, but also the finalinvoice.” 1
30 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012QA LINA BERTLING TJERNBERGSMART GRIDS EXPERTA lot of solar and wind power andgrowing fleets of electric vehiclesplaces completely new demands onelectricity grids. By making themboth smart and flexible, LinaBertlingTjernbergwants to pave the way fora sustainable energy system.e take electricity for granted inthe developed world. We expectour lights to come on when weflick the switch and our mobilephones to charge when we plugthem in the socket. Electricity isavailable when we need it.But for a sustainable futurethe energy system needs tochange. The huge coal and nu-clear power stations need to bephased out for new renewableenergy sources, and we need to manage and useour energy more efficiently. Without consumersbeing negatively affected. These are the targetsin Lina Bertling Tjernberg’s sights. She becamea professor of sustainable electricity systems atthe age of 35 and is now also on the board of theIEEE – Institute of Electrical and ElectronicsEngineers. Using smart electrical grids she wantsto provide consumers with reliable electricitysupplies from renewable energy sources and helpthem achieve good energy housekeeping.What does a smart grid actually mean?“A smart grid provides and receives electric-ity. If you have a surplus of electricity from solarpanels you can sell it back to the electricity grid.Small producers can be linked up to the grid,but only in a limited scope. Historically, largevolumes like nuclear power and hydro-electricpower have been profitable and effective, and ourpresent grids are customized to large-scale elec-tricity production. A smart grid has clever detailsand is controllable in order to handle lots of smallelectricity producers.”Why do we need smart grids?“It’s part of a sustainable energy system. Weneed more electricity from wind power, solarenergy and hydro-electric sources. But theseenergy sources are intermittent – the electricitywe get varies enormously over short periods oftime. This places new demands on the electricitygrid. Electric vehicles need charging, but can alsostore energy in their batteries and can give it backto the grid when necessary. This also places newdemands on the grid. Another reason is that weTEXT INGELA ROOSPHOTO ANDERS DEROSW
QA LINA BERTLING TJERNBERGEXPERT PÅ SMARTA ELNÄTwant to start using more direct current, DC.”How long has the idea of smart electricitybeen around?“I first heard about it back in 2008. The fol-lowing year Obama spoke of a“smart grid”ina speech and the IEEE produced a new scien-tific magazine called Transactions on SmartGrid Technologies. It’s been established sincethen. Many people call the new refinementsin distribution and at customers“smart net-works”. But I would prefer to lift the conceptto system level, with sights clearly on sus-tainable energy. There is a risk otherwise thatwe develop something that’s fun, but doesn’tlead where we want to be.”How can smart grids help us better utilizerenewable energy sources?“Electricity cannot be put on hold or savedother than in batteries. The generation anduse of electricity must therefore always bebalanced. Lots of wind power means it’s dif-ficult to hold a balance because productionvaries so much. This is a challenge that weneed to handle cleverly.”“A new law was introduced in Sweden a fewyears ago for new electricity meters for allconsumers. We now know hour-by-hour howmuch is produced and used. In Göteborg themeters installed were more advanced than thelaw required. We’ve just initiated a researchproject to investigate how to use them mostefficiently. One function is to simplify prior-ity to electricity customers. Top of the listcome societal functions like hospitals, but wepossibly don’t need 50 Hz at home when weare at work. Letting users help with this bal-ance over the electricity network is an impor-tant solution for the energy system.”What significance will smart electricity havefor society,regionally and globally?“It’s important for the transition to asustainable society. Smart grids are being de-veloped globally. It differs of course depend-ing on where a country is in terms of societaldevelopment and what resources are available.How can smart grids help consumers useelectricity in a smarter way?32 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012Lina BertlingTjernbergTitle: Professor of sustainable electricalenergy systems at Chalmers University ofTechnology.Qualifications:Civilengineeringdegreeincraft technology,universitylectureranddoctor’sdegreeinelectricalenergysystems.Lives in:In Göteborg and StockholmHobbies:Travelling,photography,writingand reading (often linked to work).Favourite gadget: AppleTV – it’s excellentfor looking at photos on,has a beauti-ful slideshow function that you can addmusic to.Last book read: Prefer biographies.Re-cently about Steve Jobs,Percy Barnevik,theObama family and Ernest Hemingway.
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 33“Using smart electricity meters gives usmore understanding of what we consume.But I don’t believe that individual consum-ers in general want to follow electricity pricedevelopments and plan their electricity use indetail. We need automatic controls to governhow we use electricity.”“I believe that energy issues for compa-nies are a follow-on from environmentalissues. I believe that energy issues will be anincreasingly strategic issue, just like whencompanies started appointing environmentalmanagers in management groups. This is alsosomething that needs a system perspec-tive to maximize the use of available energyresources. Many industries generate wasteheat – use it! I also believe that it will be-come more common to have solar panels onbuildings.”Is reducing electricity use an importantpart of the future energy puzzle,or is it justa matter of controlling energy use?“The central issue is to cut energy use.This could lead to a total increase in theamount of electricity available. As electric-ity has proven, in part, it is one of the mostenergy-efficient ways of transporting en-ergy and could be a way of reducing the useof fossil fuels. We should however continueworking to cut losses when converting andtransmitting energy and making the systemmore efficient. The most suitable form ofenergy should always be used. Heat pumpsand solar panels are excellent solutions forheating and electricity can complementthese.”What’s the biggest challenge for develop-ing smart grids?“At the highest level it’s political incen-tive. We need joint incentives betweencountries and more coordination in Europefor example. It should be long-term withclear goals, otherwise industries won’t riskdeveloping new products.”“From a technical perspective IT securitywill be a more key issue as we now have moredetailed information concerning electricityconsumption. It will be a matter of customerintegrity. How should we store this vastamount of information?”“Another challenge is to find cost-effectivesolutions, and even energy-efficient solu-tions in terms of production. Wind power iswell developed, but there is still technologi-cal development needed for solar and wavepower. For solar power it’s mainly a questionof material development and for wave powerit’s a question of stable technologies in orderto turn the mechanical energy from the wavesinto electricity.”What’s the timeframe – when will we havesmart grids?“We’re already partly there, most of thetechnology already exists. Demonstrationprojects are important for creating under-standing about the technology. The finalstages of a demonstration project in the USwill be completed this year. We have investedin a bigger demonstration project here inSweden, one in Stockholm and one inMalmö. Many smart grid solutionscan appear over just a few years. Ifcustomers tell us what they wantand put demands on us then we’lldeliver!”“Electrical transmission infra-structures are being strengthenedin Sweden. DC in Southern Swe-den is being connected to the ACnetwork using new technology forhigh-voltage DC. The introductionof DC for both high-voltage andlow-voltage levels means that weneed to review our standards.”“From a more visionary perspec-tive I believe that we’ll be using solarpower to a greater extent and I alsobelieve that within ten years we’ll beseeing many new solar energy solu-tions like the shift we saw with theintroduction of wind power.”What’s keeping you interested inthis sector?“That I have the best job in theworld. It’s important and mor-ally right. The solutions are in thepeople. We need to combine know-how and find the ultimate systemsolutions required to cut energyuse of fossil fuels.”1“I want to lift theconcept to system level,with sights clearly onsustainable energy.”Lina Bertling Tjernberg, smart grids expert1HANDLE VARIATIONSSmart gridswillbeable tohandlerapidvariations–knownasintermittence–inelectricityproduc-tionwithout electricalqualitybeingaffected.Weatherdramaticallyaffects theamount ofenergyproducedfromsolarandwindpower,whichiscurrentlycausingproblems.2FLEXIBLE ACCESSFuturegridswillbeflexible,bothin termsofloadandstorage.Electricvehicleswillbeable toplugineverywhere,both tocharge theirbatteriesand todischargestoredelectricity.Thisissomethingcompletelynew that willrequireahugeamount ofinformationandcommunication technology.3COMBINE CURRENTSThereareadvantagesofusingmoreDCthanwedotoday.Oneexampleislesslossduringelectri-caltransfer.Ithasbeendifficultinthepast tomakenewconnectionstoDClines,butwenowhavethetechnologytodoit.Tomorrow’sgridswillusebothACandDC.thingssmartgridscandointhefuture3
34 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012TherightshoescanmeanthedifferencebetweengoldandfourthplaceforcyclistGustavLarsson.TogetherwithSemconhehasdevelopedashoethatmakeshimconsiderablyfaster.TEXTMARCUS OLSSON PHOTO REBECCA MARSHALLcuttingtimesTime trials in cycling areover 50km with a con-stant fight for hundredthsof a second. Practitionersof the sport are constantlylooking at ways of impro-ving their equipment.Gustav Larsson had already wonmedals at the Olympics and WorldChampionships. But he wanted to bequicker. After winning silver at theOlympics in Beijing in 2008 he wantedto do something about it.Semcon and Larsson have now de-veloped shoes that make him around30 seconds faster.“I had seen the stats that showedwhere the aerodynamic problem areaswere on the bicycle and in movement.The old shoes weren’t optimal. Thiswas an area that I knew I could im-prove upon,”he says.SEMCON WAS CONTACTED in the springof 2009.“Time trial teams have worked hardat finding solutions on improvingequipment. But it’s mainly been abouthow to improve the bicycle, what can beremoved and what can be swapped. It’sbecome increasingly important in timetrials because there’s so much time thatcan be gained by using smart aerodyna-mic solutions. And the right improve-ments could win races thanks to them.I know that I’m always in with a chanceof achieving good results in time trials.I try to do everything possible to win.”GUSTAV LARSSON HAS always lovedspeed. When he was young and wasn’tcycling around his hometown of Växjöhe liked watching rallies on the TV.Some of the inspiration for the shoesactually came from motor sport.“In motorsport they always work agreat deal with technology and aero-dynamics. It’s logical. And it should beequally logical in cycling.”Larsson and Semcon started theproject in a joint workshop and thenas close, active communication fromboth parties.THERE HAVE BEEN many challenges.The International Cyclists’ Unionforbids any kind of purely aerody-namic improvements. Any changes
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 35to equipment must be mechanical, forsafety or functional reasons.“That could then include aerodynamicimprovements. The mechanical change inthis case is the fasteners being moved to theback of the foot, similar to ski boots. Andthe positive effect was that the shoe becamemore aerodynamic,”says Andreas Daniels-son, who works with technical equipmentfor Sweden’s Olympic Committee.THE FIRST VERSION was ready in autumn 2010and has since gone through lots of toughtests. The present version was handed overlast summer. The result is a pair of light,stiff shoes that are mainly made of carbonfibre. The shoes are made from plaster castsof Gustav’s feet. This provides a perfect fitand pressure on the feet when cycling. Theshoes have been made narrower and longerthan before. The length has also meant animproved aerodynamic end to the shoes.Indents have been made in the sole of theshoes for the pedal.Using a Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD) program and wind tunnel test we areable to see what aerodynamic improvementshave been achieved. Gustav is now quicker.“The result achieved is shoes that are flaton top and aerodynamic, both at the rearand on the sole. It’s light and stiff and thetransfer of energy achieved from the shoesis better,”says Sam Fredriksson, aerodyna-micist and project manager at Semcon.“It’s been a really fun project. We were gi-ven a distinctly clear picture and an interes-ting problem. We also got to work with lotsof different departments throughout Semcon.We’ve worked with construction, calculationsand prototypes to complete this project.”Gustav Larsson says:“It was really fun to be included so clo-sely throughout the process. I was able toprovide my own input and affected deci-sions throughout. It was fun to be given theopportunity of conveying my own ideas.”ACCORDING TO ANDREAS DANIELSSON workingon Gustav Larsson’s equipment couldchange how the Swedish Olympic Com-mittee works in future.“I would really like to praise Semcon fortheir hard work on the shoe project. We’renow working closely with a company that canin theory and practice help us from conceptto finished product. Semcon has providedour Olympians with better opportunities tobe competitive at future Olympic Games. 1GustavLarssonTitle:ProfessionalcyclistMerits:OlympicsilverandWorldChampionshipsilverin timetrials.Anumberofstagewinsandpodiumplacesinworldcupcompetitions.AndreasDanielssonTitle:TechnicaldeveloperforSweden’sOlympicCommitteeandeditorofcyclingmagazineKadens.SamFredrikssonTitle:Aerodynamicist andproject managerOffice:SemconGöteborgPerfect fitGustav Larsson’s shoes were custom-fitted to his feet,providing the perfectfit and pressure on his feet whensitting in the saddle.The shoes havebeen made narrower and longer withthe fasteners at the back of the foot.This,along with the length,has alsoprovided a better aerodynamic end tothe shoes.Indents have been made inthe sole of the shoes for the pedal.searchfor“semcon”inappstoreExtramaterialon iPad
36 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012LIGHTLIFTINGTEXTLOTTA RINGDAHL PHOTO RICKARD KILSTRÖM
38 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012olvo’s flags fly in a row in thewind outside Volvo ConstructionEquipment in Eskilstuna. People areworking feverishly behind the scenes,both at their desks and on the factoryfloor, to find new, constructive solu-tions for tomorrow’s wheel loaders. Oneof the areas continually worked on wasin optimizing their wheel loaders to makethem more cost-effective, fuel-efficientand eco-friendly.That was also the case with the G se-ries of wheel loaders, the L110G and L120G,launched in August 2011. These are power-ful, multi-purpose machines with a serviceweight of 18 – 21.6 tons, designed for heavyinfrastructure, rock management and recy-cling. The cranes are 11 and 12 tons respec-tively, but despite the enormous power theengines meet the latest US and EU legislationin terms of emissions.Volvo CE has lots of its own expert engi-neers, but on some development projects, orparts of projects, it also brings in cutting edgeexpertise from outside the company, such asconsultants form Semcon. Semcon’s AnnikaFrössling has been on site as technical projectmanager for the past two years. She startedwith an existing, on-going project, but thenbecame Project Manager Engineering, PME,for the L110G and L120G project, which was atthe time in the Final Development phase. Asproject manager she has been involved withall the various phases of the project.“Work here is very structured, and VolvoCE also has a good project model and amazingresources. I like it here a lot,”she says as sheshows us around the office.When it’s time to describe the improve-Weight is a central factorfor Volvo CE’s constructionequipment. But it’s not justabout making machinery lighter.It is also about redistributing theweight to optimize efficiency.Volvo CE had Semcon’s helpto develop the new G series ofwheel loaders.V Volvo CEVolvo Construction Equipment,VCE,is the leadsupplier of plant machinery around the world.The product range consists of wheel loaders,compact loaders,excavator loaders and dump-ers.VCE has 15,000 employees globally,ofwhich around 2,000 are atVCE in Eskilstuna.
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 39ments done to the new G series AnnikaFrössling and Volvo CE’s project manager LarsSerander show us the workshop. Before enter-ing the workshop we’re given safety shoes andneon yellow vests.THE MIGHTY WHEEL loaders are parked side-by-side in the machinery hall. The L350F, the bigloader, weighs 52 tons and the wheels are sobig that not even Lars, who is 187 cm tall, cansee over them. Close by is the new L220G, awheel loader that received the Red Dot Prod-uct Design Award in Essen, Germany, in thespring of 2011.“It’s great to receive a design award forsomething that’s going to end up in gi-ant gravel pits,”he adds, while he guides usaround these giant machines.Annika Frössling invites us up into the cabof one of the smaller machines, where thewheels are“only”170 cm in diameter. It’s real-ly comfortable. Good all-round visibility, thecontrols are easily accessible and it’s so quiet.The roomy cab – with improved ergonomics,more windows for good visibility and partsmade from plastic, that were once made frommetal – was launched in the F series and theconcept has followed into the latest machines.The entire G series, including the L110G andL120G, has also been redesigned with softerlines than the F series’more angular design.The engine cover and some of the cowl-ings of the G series are now also made fromplastic rather than metal. In addition, thecounterweight has been redesigned, whichhas resulted in cutting overall weight by 40kgon the L110G and by 200kg on the L120G.The counterweight cannot be made too lightbecause the rear weight is a prerequisite forbeing able to fill the bucket with heavy loads.“It’s a matter of not having unnecessaryAnnikaFrösslingTitle:Seniorproject manager(PME/CPM)Office:SemconEskilstunaLarsSeranderTitle:Headof theSwedishproject officeOffice:VolvoConstructionEquipment,Eskilstuna”It’s great to receive a designaward for something that’sgoing to end up in giantgravel pits.”Lars Serander, project manager, Volvo CE
40 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012COUNTERWEIGHT.The counter-weight has been redesigned,making the L110G 40kg lighterand the L120G 200kg lighter.MUDGUARDS. Some of the mudguards of the Gseries are now made from plastic instead of steel.But because there are so many different kinds oftyres mudguards come in plastic and steel.DESIGN.The bright yellow machineshave aVolvo grey line running all theway from the front to the back of themachine.The machines also have softerlines compared with the previous series’more angular design.NEW ENGINE. Volvo’s turbocharged step4i engines meet the latest US and EUemissions legislation.The engine (DeutzD8),transmission,axles,hydraulics andsteering have been developed as a single unitfor optimum performance and maximumreliability.The hydraulics have changed withincreased pressure,which in turn providesmore power.CAB.The cab is really comfortable andsince the launch of the F series has beengiven improved ergonomics and morewindows for improved visibility.ENGINE COVER.The engine coverhas been redesigned,in plastic.It’selectrically operated and opens tothe rear for quick and easy access foreasy maintenance and cleaning.AXLE. A really sturdy axlesupports the weight for optimumtorque,meaning less stress andlonger life.searchfor“semcon”inappstoreExtramaterialon iPadmost important points7ThisishowVolvoCEandSemconhaveworked toget thenewwheelloaders,L110GandL120G,tobemorecost-effective,fuel-efficient andeco-friendly.
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 41weight in the wrong places,”says Lars.“If,for example, you optimize the lifting frame,which is the frame that lifts the bucket, youcan save hundreds of kilos.“It’s all about achieving the best possi-ble performance. And developments havebeen dramatic since the very first machines.The machines of the past were dramaticallyoversized, because the calculation programsat the time were crude. This is somethingthat’s gradually improved since the end of the1980s, in line with improved computer capac-ity, enabling calculation programs to improve.”ANNIKA FRÖSSLING EXPLAINS how, in order toachieve optimum solutions in development,we first look at the actual construction. Wethen find a solution and carry out rigorouscalculations to check that the construction iscorrectly dimensioned for its task.“We calculate loads, where the critical pointsare etc. It’s a matter of redesigning until wemeet the demands and then it’s time for testing.There are lots of different parameters to takeinto account and a lot of hard work,”she says.For a wheel loader to be able to lift reallyheavy loads requires, as previously men-tioned, a huge counterweight at the rear ofthe machine so it doesn’t tip over. The big-gest wheel loader, the L350F, can lift 35 tons(including the bucket, which itself weighs5 tons). This is a lifting force equivalent toaround 25 Volvo cars or 40 football teams,where each player weighs around 80 kg.It’s all just basic mechanics. The greaterthe load at the front the more counterweightis needed at the back. When optimizing youcan choose a somewhat lighter counterweight,but then it needs to be placed further back.And the lower the machine’s centre of gravitythe better and more stable it is. Changing theparts in the cab from steel to plastic for exam-ple improves the machine’s stability – mar-ginally. However, the driver’s safety shouldnever be compromised. All Volvo wheel load-ers therefore have an approved safety cab toprotect the driver if the machine should tipover. The cab is also fitted with a safety roofto protect against falling objects, when work-ing in tunnels for example.Safety and quality characterize Volvo, justas much as caring for the environment. Fuelconsumption has been drastically reducedon both wheel loaders using Volvo’s turbo-charged step 4i engines: an 8 litre, 6 cylinderturbocharged Volvo Advanced CombustionTechnology, V-ACT, with cooled exhaust gasrecirculation and particle filters with ac-tive regeneration. The active diesel particlefilter, temporarily retains particles for latercombustion, further reducing emissions. Thisis all achieved without compromising the ma-chine’s performance or use.“The entire G series is fitted with enginesthat meet step 4i legislation, including a re-treatment system to reduce emissions. Whenintroduced this was new technology, whichalways involves various technical challenges,”says Annika.Semcon and Volvo CE have worked togetherfor many years and Lars Serander is verypleased with Annika’s input.“Semcon has consultants with an exten-sive range of experience of the automotiveindustry and we have both enjoyed a long,rewarding working relationship. Annika has,with her expertise, contributed towards thesuccessful end result very well,”he says.WE FOLLOW THEM OUT through the blue doorsto outside the machine hall. Here we alsosee loaders lined up, all part of various testprojects. On a small hill further away are moreand in the distance there are test tracks andeven piles of gravel and other material to testthe machines, over and over again.“We also have a huge 2,200 m2 tent close tothe track where the machines can be tested inwinter, and a demonstration centre, which wecall the Customer Centre, where the machinesare shown to both external and internal cus-tomers,”he explains, and enjoys taking themfor test drives if he has any spare time.“It’s cool driving into a big pile of rockwaste, giving it some gas and then feeling howthe machine bites into it with the bucket,”hesays with a smile, despite the cloudy day.Unlike Lars, Annika has passed a specialdriving course for wheel loaders at VCE andshe sometimes sits behind the controls andtackles both test pits and the test track.“You get really happy driving a wheel loader,”she says and adds that test-driving from timeto time is also a precondition for being able toproperly carry out development work at a desk.“It’s important that we learn as much aboutthese machines as possible,”she says, justbefore we leave. 1“It’s a matter of nothaving unnecessaryweight in the wrongplaces. If you optimizethe lifting frame thatlifts the bucket, you cansave hundreds of kilos.”Lars Serander, project manager Volvo CE
42 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2010TEXT KATARINA MISIC, MARCUS OLSSON STEFAN SJÖDINPHOTOS CHRISTER EHRLING+SEMCON DESIGN, LARS ARDARVE RICKARD KILSTRÖMSEMCONBRAINS42 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012fernando ocañaTitle:CreativeDirectorHybridquality: Multi-cultural,speaksfivelanguagesyasmin mortazaviTitle:HMIdeveloper/InteractiondesignerHybridquality:Photojournalistjoel hernestålTitle:CGIartistHybridquality:Discjockeypeder bengtssonTitle:GroupManager,HybridDesignStudiosHybridquality:Formeraviationengineer
FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2010 43FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012 43Hybrid Design StudiosCURIOUS about what yourproductswilllooklikeinthefuture?Semcon’srecentlyformedHybridDesignStudioshelpcustomersgenerate,developandvisualizetheirstrategicalignmentssothat thebasicconcept remainsintactthroughout theentireprocessallthewaytomarketingandenduse.“Clearvisualizationat anearlystageallowseveryone toheadin thesamedirection,whichreduces theneedforinterpretation.Weprovidecustomerswith theexpertisere-quired tomeet thischallenge,”saysPederBengtsson,GroupManager,HybridDesignStudios.Thestudioismadeupofdiffer-ent experts:designers,constructionengineers,modellers,CGIartists–allwithdifferent interestslikemusic,ar-chitecture,photographyorfilm,andallcontribute to thecreativeprocess.Theresult of thegroup’sworkcanincludeeverythingfromasimpleim-ageoracomplexanimation toadigi-talorphysicalmodel.JoelHernestålisaCGIartist andiscurrentlywork-ingonvisualizingcontributionssentin toElectroluxDesignLabs.“Ilovebringing things,ideasandvisions tolife.CGIprovidesuswithanuntoldnumberofpossibilitiesbutyoushouldn’t take things toofaroryourisklosing theobserver.”ElizabethPinderisahybriddesignerwho,viaLondonandHongKong,re-centlyarrivedatHybridDesignStudios.“Myjobis tocreatesolutions thatnobodyelsehas thought of.What Ilikeabout HybridDesignStudiosisthat weareallowed toexperimentandreally thinkoutside theboxfirst,before themoreexperiencedpeopletoneit down tosomething that canbesoldwithin three tofiveyears.”semcon göteborgBEHINDTHESCENESATSEMCONBRAINSCuriousabout what goesonat HybridDesignStudios?Meet Peder,JoelandElizabethwhowill tellyouwhat theydo,what challenges theyfaceandwhytheychose toworkforSemcon.elizabeth pinderTitle:HybriddesignerHybridquality:Photographsstarsandreas friedrichTitle:GroupManager,Auto-motiveProduct DesignandSeniorDesignerMFAHybridquality:Danish,architect andformereliteyachtsmanmarie rolof koskiTitle:GeometryengineerHybridquality:Designsjewelleryandcards
44 FUTURE BY SEMCON 2.2012SEMCONBRAINSThe steering expertTHE STEERING EXPERIENCE isoneofthefirst thingsadrivernoticesinacar.Miriam’sjobis toimplement thesoftwareforsteeringVolvo’scars.“It’salways thesmalldetails thatmake thedifference,”shesays.Miriamworkswithelectronicsandsoftwarein thesteeringservosystemon theVolvoS60,V60,V70,S80,XC60,XC70and thenewhybridcar.Herjobis togatherinput tooptimizetheservosteeringsoit useslessfuelandgives thedriver thebest possiblesteeringfeeling.That’sa toughchal-lenge.“Thesteeringexperienceis thefirstthingyounoticewhenyousit inacar,apart from theexteriorandinteriorin-fluences.That makesit veryimportant.Thesteeringneeds toberesponsive.Theautomotiveindustryisconstantlyworkingonmakingcarsfun todrive–but without making them toosportyorboring.”Thehydraulicpump that controlstheflowofoilusesalot ofelectricity.Theuseofelectricityiscut bylimitingtheworkintervallof thepump,therebyreducingfuelconsumption.ThisalsocutsbackonCO2emissions.“Oneof themost important factorsofhavingahybridcarisfuelconsump-tion.It’salwaysamatterof thelittlede-tailshaving thegreatest effect.Andwearealwaysmakingfineadjustments.”DuringimplementationMiriammust takeintoaccount howheavy thecaris,what engineit has,ifit’sfront orrear-wheeldriveandwhat kindofchas-sissettingit has.“The tuningiscarriedout byanen-tire team that onlyworkson thesteer-ing.Theyprovidemewith thevariablestoworkwithandI thenimplement thechanges.Insimple termsit’snumbersthat affect thepump’srevs.Andverysmalladjustmentscanmakeahugedifference,”shesays.miriam stribeck, design engineer, semcon göteborg