The Swedish manufacturing industry is becoming increasingly affected by globalisation. Many Swedish manufacturing organisations have, therefore, implemented the concept of core plants, also known as lead factories, in strive for operational excellence and competitive production development. The research project Core Plant Excellence (COPE) aims to increase knowledge on how Swedish manufacturing industry can preserve and strengthen the core plant role.


The role of a core plant holds great potential but entails challenges as well as possibilities. A core plant should act as an intermediary in communicating the organisation’s development of technology, processes and methods of working, and also hold responsibility for coordinating global collaboration, designing strategies for effective knowledge exchange between factories and management.


The purpose of COPE is to increase knowledge on how the Swedish manufacturing industry can preserve and strengthen its role as core plant with undiminished competitive capabilities, in order to compete with excellence. There is representation of core plant issues in literature, however there is as of yet limited insights on what capabilities are required for a core plant to be excellent.

Expected results

The expected main deliverable is a set of tools and contributions that may enable the Swedish manufacturing industry to design their core plants after best practice and in accordance with the prerequisites of the organization in question.

Collaboration partners

  • Alfa Laval
  • AstraZeneca
  • Bombardier
  • Volvo GTO
  • Volvo CE
  • Volvo Cars
  • GKN Aerospace
  • SKF

Project duration and financing

The project is driven in collaboration between Mälardalen University and Jönköping University, with funding from The Knowledge Foundation.

The project runs between 2016 and 2019.

Contact information

If you would like to know more about the project, please contact Carin Rösiö.