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Increased automation means great opportunities for Swedish industry. It is primarily an opportunity for all small and medium-sized companies. They account for the majority of industry’s sales in Sweden and their continued profitability is key to the future.

“Economic sustainability for industry is largely a matter of becoming more efficient and connected to social sustainability – it is important to have a viable industry so that there are plenty of work opportunities in the future,” says Anders Skoogh, researcher and teacher at the graduate school of Product and Production Development at Chalmers.

According to Business Sweden  automation is one way of keeping and expanding manufacturing in a high-wage country like Sweden.

With increased automation, labour costs as a percentage of the total costs for manufacturing decrease while industry precision, quality and delivery volumes increase.

Research from the University of Gävle shows that 40 per cent of the Swedish technology companies that moved out production before 2010, now choose to run parts of it under their own direction here at home. For many industries, the period between new models and updates is getting shorter, and it is therefore a great advantage to keep production together with the research and development department, for example.

A prophecy that is often repeated is that a certain number of jobs will disappear as a result of increased connectivity and automation. Anders Skoogh at Chalmers does not share that view.

“I’m not sure that a lot of jobs will be lost. In an increasingly automated production environment it becomes all the more important that everything works as it should, with minimal downtime. One possible scenario is that less personnel will be required for operation, and more involved in development and maintenance.”

Bild på Anders Skoogh

Anders Skoogh, researcher and teacher in the  graduate school of Product and Production Development at Chalmers.

According to Anders Skoogh, if anything we are faced with the opposite problem. Many experienced industrial workers are retiring and industry-oriented young people are not signing up to the extent necessary. In order to maintain the life and competitiveness of Swedish industry, increasing automation may be one of the answers.

 

40% av svensk industri flyttar hem jobben

choose to move parts of their production back to Sweden again

 

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