Launching a new chapter with Sugar

Launching a new chapter with Sugar

Having run 11 projects in ME310, the PDRL Global Engineering student project will explore innovation opportunities in South America and Sweden this year. A team of four BTH students will collaborate with three students from USP in São Paulo and Volvo Construction Equipment in Sweden and Curitiba, Brazil. 

Team in front of a Volvo CE Hauler in Braås

The Product Development Research Lab (PDRL) at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) commences an exciting new venture under the Global Engineering student project series. This year marks a significant shift as the focus moves towards innovation opportunities in South America, particularly Brazil, alongside Sweden. This initiative, framed in the Sugar Network, is in collaboration with the University of São Paulo (USP) and Volvo Construction Equipment, with activities spanning Sweden and Curitiba, Brazil.

The cross-continental team comprises four BTH students and three USP, São Paulo students. The BTH contingent brings diverse skills, with four MSc students specializing in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Management, Computer Science, and AI/Machine Learning. These students are doing their final global capstone project as part of their master’s thesis. Conversely, the USP team is well-versed in Computer Science, Mechatronics, and Design.

The challenge presented by Volvo CE reflects their eagerness to delve into the continuous evaluation of actual through-life customer needs, aiming to enhance the sales of site solutions that consistently deliver high value throughout the lifecycle of construction equipment. The vision involves exploring a construction equipment Product-Service System that leverages historical and real-time data to cater to evolving customer needs fully. The core objective for the students is to explore enabling technologies within the context of construction machinery. This includes the application of IoT, AI, and Machine Learning to create a Digital Twin to support the through-life management of customers’ construction fleets. Additionally, the students will investigate technologies capable of updating legacy and competitor machines to integrate them into a comprehensive site-wide solution.

This project not only promises to elevate the practical learning experiences of the students but also aims to pioneer advancements in the predictive maintenance of construction equipment.

“We are truly excited to enter this new phase of our journey of global student capstone projects and explore new learnings in a new market with new collaborators at USP,” says Christian Johansson Askling, project leader at BTH.