World unique development centre planned in Jönköping

Ingrid Wadskog, Managing Director and Dean at the School of Engineering, Jönköping University.

Ingrid Wadskog, Managing Director and Dean at the School of Engineering, Jönköping University.

RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) has written a letter of intent together with Volvo Cars, the Volvo Group, and Scania for the planning of a new development centre for sustainable casting in Jönköping.

“Together with other partners, this will further strengthen our competences in this high-tech area,” says Ingrid Wadskog, Dean at the School of Engineering (JTH) at Jönköping University (JU).

The global automotive industry is facing a major transition and the technology level in the field of die casting needs to be raised. In 2023, RISE led a preliminary study together with Volvo Cars, Chalmers University of Technology and JTH to investigate the possibilities and conditions for establishing a national centre for sustainable casting in Jönköping.

Through the letter of intent, the next step in the process has been taken. The centre is intended to be established in Jönköping in close proximity to foundries, the RISE foundry in Jönköping, JTH, and the Swedish Foundry Association. One of the goals is to develop and strengthen Sweden's manufacturing industry through casting and work to lead the Swedish foundry industry towards circular manufacturing with zero emissions. The investment is also about being able to evaluate and verify new sustainable materials, processes and products as well as strengthening the supply of skills for the industry.

“Crucial investment”

“This initiative is crucial for the Swedish manufacturing industry to maintain its leading position in the world. The fact that industry and academia are joining forces with us at RISE shows the importance of the competitiveness of Swedish companies and the development of a more sustainable industry,” says Malin Frenning, CEO of RISE.

Ingrid Wadskog takes a very positive view of such an establishment in Jönköping as the industry is developing rapidly and the demands for circularity and recycling are becoming increasingly tough.

“We have world-leading research in cast metals and advanced foundry techniques and processes, which has certainly had an impact on the choice of location. It would be very exciting for us and the entire region to have this development centre in Jönköping,” says Ingrid Wadskog.

“The initiative means that some of Sweden’s greatest industrial companies could be linked to Jönköping and JU. This would bring more visitors to Jönköping, which would also benefit the hotel and restaurant industry in the region and certainly open up opportunities for Science Park Jönköping,” says Ingrid Wadskog.

“Great importance for research”

The development centre will have a special focus on aluminium and the casting of light metals, which are critical to the electrification of transport and central to the sustainable transition. Anders Jarfors, Professor of Materials and Manufacturing – Casting at JTH, points out that Jönköping has long been a nationally leading centre for casting, with JU and RISE as standard bearers.

“The fact that this is further strengthened is only gratifying. This will be of great importance for the Swedish manufacturing industry and for research in manufacturing processes at JU,” says Anders Jarfors.

“Close co-operation with the School of Engineering”

Volvo Cars, the Volvo Group and Scania see several opportunities with a new development centre for sustainable casting in Jönköping.

“For many years, Scania has worked closely with both the School of Engineering in Jönköping and RISE. We look forward to working in a broad collaboration with Sweden’s producers and users of castings and through this investment contribute to strengthening the research and education environments for a sustainable knowledge building and technology development in the area,” says Jessica Elfsberg, specialist in cast materials for heavy vehicles, Scania.

“Will create uniquely favourable conditions”

Both Region Jönköping County and Jönköping Municipality are very positive that the next step, the planning for the centre, is now starting in Jönköping.

“The facility would create the conditions to maintain an internationally strong competitiveness for large Swedish industrial companies and create uniquely good conditions for the regional business community to develop,” says Sven Rydell, head of business in Jönköping municipality.

Read more about the Development Centre for Sustainable Casting here (in Swedish only)

Die-cast component

The image shows a die-cast component and Pernilla Walkenström, Division Manager Materials and Production at RISE.