Open Innovation: Best practices for raw material companies13 Dec 2018
Adopting a collaborative approach to innovation can greatly benefit companies in the raw material industry. Th...
The industry-driven PPP, public-private partnership programme, FIMECC DEMAPP has created a unique competence platform and a variety of concrete energy, materials and cost-effective solutions boosting the competitiveness of the metals, engineering and cleantech industries. Focusing on need-based, application-driven R&D of advanced materials for extreme service conditions the programme has provided great results, both in terms of scientific novelty and high industrial impact, which were presented in the final seminar in September 30, 2014 at Kino Tapiola, Espoo, Finland.
The FIMECC DEMAPP program (Demanding Applications 2009-2014) has focused on tackling the most critical challenges related to friction, wear, different corrosion conditions, extreme temperatures and heavy cyclic loading to develop novel breakthrough materials solutions and manufacturing technologies for the demanding applications in e.g. the process, energy and engineering industry. Special emphasis has been put on sustainability, life-cycle performance and material and energy efficiency. DEMAPP gathered together 26 companies, 5 research institutes, and its budget was ca. 37 million euros funded by the participating companies and Tekes.
The systematic application-driven material and process development made in the DEMAPP programme has produced a significant amount of great results, both in terms of new science and practical applications. The approach has been to understand the critical challenges of applications and to solve the right research questions with the help of well-focused experimental and theoretical research. Versatile modelling has been crucial part in this. “We have managed to combine different skills and create novel multidisciplinary technical and scientific know-how – and a strong team spirit. DEMAPP is actually very intensive research community of over 100 experts which has shown its ability to transfer the laboratory results quickly to pilot and factory scale and practical applications. This is possible thanks to our highly committed companies”, says the Programme Manager, Dr. Markku Heino from Spinverse.
The final report ”Breakthrough Materials for Demanding Applications – from Science to Solutions” published in the seminar, presents the results of the FIMECC DEMAPP programme’s five research themes and 18 projects emphasizing result highlights with industrial impact. On the other hand, this true industry-academia research co-operation has generated also one university spin-off company, about 150 scientific publications, 16 Doctoral theses and 31 Master’s theses. International research co-operation has also been very active: over 200 person months of research exchange which corresponds approximately 17 years of active world class development of research expertise.
DEMAPP research has enabled already now a variety of significant new developments in demanding industrial applications.
New steel grades manufactured by the direct-quenching method at SSAB Europe Raahe steelworks (former Ruukki Metals) have been launched into the Optim, Raex and Ramor product families. These steel grades can be categorized into ultra-high-strength steels (Optim), wear-resistant steels (Raex), and protection steels (Ramor). Tens of new products, such as new protection steels, thinner wear-resistant steels and thicker abrasion-resistant steels, have been developed based on the results of the DEMAPP co-operation already now. The thin grades were developed mainly for lightweight products improving energy efficiency and reducing fuel consumption in transportation industry. The thick grades in turn increase the wear-resistance and extend the lifespan of machinery operating in demanding applications (e.g. crushers, conveyors, excavator buckets). “The role of direct-quenched steels is significant in SSAB’s special product strategy and the importance will increase even more in the future”, says Dr. Jukka Kömi, Product Development Director from SSAB Europe.
Outokumpu has utilized the results of the DEMAPP programme to develop novel corrosion resistant ferritic nickel-free stainless steels for demanding applications. The most significant result is the development of a novel high-chromium ferritic grade (EN 1.4622) with improved product properties, especially corrosion resistance, formability and weldability compared to traditional ferritic steels. Moreover, independent of the high and fluctuating price of nickel these novel high-chromium ferritic stainless steels provide cost-efficient alternative to current austenitic grades as well.
“The NGF-project (New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels) which was started in 2009 as a part of FIMECC DEMAPP program is an important part of the development of ferritic steels in Outokumpu. The promising scientific results achieved in the project together with the university partners have been systematically transfered via pilot-scale and full production scale tests into market-driven products”, says Dr. Niilo Suutala, SVP – Technology from Outokumpu.
Further examples of scientific results based on DEMAPP co-operation which have been rapidly implemented into practice include, e.g. new cast aluminium alloys (by Alteams) with 50% better thermal conductivity over the state-of-the-art, wear resistant elastomers (Teknikum), corrosion and temperature resistant solutions for demanding exhaust applications (Wärtsilä, Ecocat, Iittala, OSTP) and for process and energy industry (Savcor, Andritz, Fortum, Telatek), and new coatings with high wear resistance and/or tailored friction (e.g. Metso, Valmet, Moventas, Nurmi Hydraulics, Kone, Konecranes), etc.
FIMECC DEMAPP program is a good example of an impactful industry-driven co-operation, PPP (Public-Private-Partnership), capable of tackling the ambitious industry relevant problems with using the leading scientific capabilities. The program has provided a variety of impactful results, and the most promising results have already been transferred to business by the participating companies. The program has been able to publish these achievements already throughout the program lifecycle. “These success stories would not have been possible without the significant efforts made by the top-notch researchers and their intensive cooperation with the companies”, points out Dr. Kalle Kantola, CTO from FIMECC. In addition to the great, impactful results, the DEMAPP program has been in a salient role in creating new practices, culture and ecosystems to the field. “The practices, culture and ecosystems created will live on beyond the program. This forms an excellent base to aim towards more challenging research questions”, says Kantola.
Markku Heino, Program Manager, Spinverse Oy, tel. +358407191221, markku.heino(at)spinverse.com
Kalle Kantola, CTO, FIMECC, tel. +358408406427, kalle.kantola(at)fimecc.com
Jukka Kömi, SSAB Europe, tel. +358405490311, jukka.komi(at)ssab.com
Niilo Suutala, Outokumpu, tel. +358407341767, niilo.suutala(at)outokumpu.com
FIMECC Ltd. (Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster) is an open innovation R&D company. The aim of FIMECC is to increase and deepen the cooperation between companies, universities and research institutes in R&D. The FIMECC research programs function with a public-private-partnership model to enable co-creation of knowledge through strategic pre-competitive research. Companies contribute approximately half of the funding and the other half is funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.
Spinverse Ltd is a leader in technology consulting, specialized in innovation management and boosting technology-based business. We take technology further and offer innovative and tailor-made solutions to our clients, e.g. in the materials, chemicals, energy, electronics, life-science or forest industry sectors.