Sweden has a strong and successful manufacturing/industrial engineering sector that accounts for roughly 20 percent of the country’s GDP or $117 billion, with advanced manufacturing accounting for approximately $40 billion of the total. The sector accounts for 75 percent of Swedish exports and creates over one million jobs. The most important sub-sectors are traditional industries, such as steel, automotive, chemical and forestry, but also industrial machinery and equipment, automation and food processing equipment.
The Swedish government is encouraging the modernization of the manufacturing industry through digitalization, sustainable and resource-efficient production, talent creation, and innovation. The measures identified in the Roadmap to Smarter Industry include automation and robotics programs for SMEs, national test labs for electric vehicle production, and zero emission programs and incentives for energy intensive industries. The sector transformation is enabled by sufficient public and private sector investment in both R&D and innovation. Currently the industries’ annual R&D investments are around $10 billion.
While the pandemic slowed production down, mainly due to supply chain issues, it also prompted many companies to look for digitalization and other streamlined solutions with new disruptive technologies that allow complete autonomy and remote operations/monitoring and enable social distancing.
Sweden has strong Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and industrial internet sectors, which combined with its high level of education and ability to cooperate effectively across industries, academia, and government, makes Sweden an attractive market for new technologies.
U.S. market share of the Swedish advanced manufacturing market is about six percent, and the main
competitors are other EU countries and Asia.
Additive Manufacturing: Swedish manufacturers were early adopters of 3D printing techniques. Both component and tool manufacturers have been eager to test new manufacturing methods and materials alongside traditional tooling and machining. To advance the full potential of additive manufacturing, Swedish industrial research group RISE has established an Application Center for Additive Manufacturing (www.rise.se) to develop and test technologies, materials, and knowledge.
Digital Manufacturing: To remain globally competitive, Swedish manufacturers are in the process of digitalizing their production, their services, and in many cases their products. Use of the Industrial IoT solutions, system integration, digital thread, intelligent machining, CAD, and CAM modeling and advanced analytics varies from industry to industry.
The Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova, invests over $280 million annually on fostering innovation by co-funding projects for companies, academia and organizations. When it comes to advanced manufacturing, the projects range from connected industries, advanced digitalization and new materials to machine learning, applied AI and industrial gamification. A majority of the projects are available for international participants, as long as the project is conducted in Sweden. The projects are funded as public-private partnerships (PPP) and, in some cases, additional funding is available through EU programs, such as Horizon 2020.
Government Office of Sweden (www.government.se)
Swedish Engineering Companies (www.teknikforetagen.se)
Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova (www.vinnova.se)
Scanautomatic & Process technology, Oct 8 – 10, 2024, Gothenburg
Two parallel trade shows on new industrial automation technologies, business models, and knowledge transfer
Local Commercial Specialist: Tuula Ahlstrom, Tuula.Ahlstrom@trade.gov