SenseAir AB invests in a future of hi-tech volume productionJun 21, 2012 02:48 EDT
The participants in the project cover the whole range of production and product development, from materials and components (KTH, Silex) via subsystems and sensor modules (SenseAir) to complete system solutions for important societal problems in the areas of traffic safety, energy/environment and medical care/healthcare. The system companies involved all have in common the development of products for analysis of exhaled air which contribute in different ways to a more sustainable society. The sensors’ area of application covers, for example, noncontact alcolocks for a safer traffic environment (Autoliv), alcohol sensors for emergency treatment (Hök), NO sensors in patient worn devices for optimal asthma treatment (Aerocrine), oxygen sensors (Maquet) and carbon dioxide sensors (Hök) in life-support apparatus for real-time monitoring. If companies are to maintain and develop their positions as world leaders, there must be continuous pressure on product prices through increased efficiency and lower manufacturing costs. In order to reach their targets the manufacturing companies will cooperate with KTH in introducing developable production systems in the area of sensor manufacture, and smart building techniques. They will also demonstrate the next generation of miniaturized, MEMS-based (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) gas sensors.
− We need to strengthen and coordinate our efforts in order to maintain competitive production of hi-tech products in Sweden and lead future developments in flexible automation and scalable production processes. Sweden is uniquely placed to lead this development, says Hans Martin, founder and head of research at SenseAir.
The project as a whole is worth 31 million SEK and receives a state research grant from VINNOVA. VINNOVA’s research programme “Challenge-driven innovation – social challenges as potential for growth” is behind the financial support. The aim of the research programme is to contribute to increased sustainable growth through new products, services and processes, thereby contributing to renewal and global competitiveness for Swedish business and society.
VINNOVA’s decision to support the development of an efficient production process facilitates SenseAir’s big plans for the future. Since 2006 SenseAir has collaborated with Autoliv Development and Hök Instrument on the development of the next generation of alcolocks, where the actual sensor part is intended to be produced by SenseAir. The Delsbo company is therefore at the start of a potentially strong expansion, moving into the role of subcontractor to the motor industry. SenseAir’s plans for the future include new recruitment of qualified personnel on a large scale. Finding suitable recruits is a problem
common to most of the expansion-oriented companies in the region. A process has been initiated with, among others, the municipalities of Ljusdal and Hudiksvall, and Gävleborg Region, through which SenseAir’s project can be the driving force behind a new form of collaboration between businesses and the community. The aim is to make it easier for companies to attract the necessary know-how. So far during 2012 the number of employees at SenseAir has increased by more than ten.
– The aim is to keep production and R&D in Delsbo, as this is good for the company and contributes to growth in Sweden and the local community. One of the challenges in achieving this aim, however, is to
succeed in recruiting the experts and leaders that SenseAir now needs, says Hans Martin.
– We in the municipality have begun cooperating closely with among others Region Gävleborg, the county Administrative Board and Fiber Optic Valley in order to support this initiative in different ways, says
Bengt Friberg, Municipal Director.