Product development

Product development

The research area has mechanical engineering as scientific foundation and drive product development capability for innovation in a sustainable society as a comprehensive focus.

Perspective areas are within digital product development where engineering design methodology, simulation-driven design, and model-based development is the focus. This requires methods and tools that enable product developers to efficiently, and in as early stage as possible, be able to predict, describe, assess, and improve product characteristics. Digital design, development, analysis and simulation methods are needed for the prediction of technical product properties as a function of different combinations of design variables of the product life cycle. Broad or specialized engineering skills in a number of disciplines, and simulation is needed for the prediction of technical product properties as a function of different combinations of design variables as well as for the prediction of economic and socio-ecological impact of product life cycle.

An overarching objective is that when needed, be able to integrate all the relevant methods and tools for product development capability in business leaders and product developers ordinary working environment. Advanced digitalized tools, for example, analysis, modeling, simulation, visualization and optimization, together with experimental methods are characteristic of the research.

Examples of special areas currently being studied and used for product improvements are value-driven development models, knowledge engineering methods, mechanical and mechatronic systems in marine engineering; structural dynamics; material dynamics, material characterization and fracture mechanics.

Research in product development is mainly conducted at the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


Research Specialisation

Within the technological research field mechanical engineering you find the following research aspects:

  • Innovation engineering
  • Design automation
  • Creative concept generation
  • Lean product development
  • Product-Service systems and innovation
  • Product development methods and tools
  • Simulation driven product development
  • Structural analysis
  • Value driven development

The research group PDRL – Product Development Research Lab, led by Professor Tobias Larsson, is using a strategy of creative problem solving at an early stage and digital computer simulations to generate ideas, create, appreciate, model and drive the development of product-service innovations in an industrial context, hence we call this simulation-driven design (SDD) Product Innovation (PI ) with a focus on product-service systems (PSS). The research helps companies meet the complex challenges when moving towards a situation where they need to develop greener products and services to be sustainable. This places new demands on the engineers involved in product development. They get more and more aspects and options to consider all the time, sustainability is one of the factors.

The research group Structural Mechanics Research Lab is led by Professor Sharon Kao Walter and focus structural mechanics of material and designs.

The research group Material Dynamics Research Lab is led by Professor Claes Hedberg and focus non-destructive methods and material dynamics.

Our study programmes are given in close collaboration with our research and our collaboration companies to ensure that “the engineer’s desktop” is up-to-date and updated with tools and methods.

The goal is to conduct research on, develop and implement this updated “Engineering Toolbox 2.0” for the future of engineer, and to support collaborative companies to take advantage of, and implement the results.

Examples of public funding:
KKS, VINNOVA, the EU, Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth – (Tillväxtverket) and Blekinge Centre of Competence.

Examples of partners:
GKN Aerospace Engine Systems, Volvo Construction Equipment, Kockums, DIAB, TetraPak och Dynapac.

Read more about our research/education/collaboration efforts within the scope of Mechanical Engineering:

Quote from a partner

Our collaboration with BTH is a real win/win partnership. –Our company is in a very exciting transformational phase which gives BTH good examples for their research. Since BTH collaborates with other industries that have already done their shifts from products to services, for example, we can gain knowledge about proven methods instead of inventing everything ourselves.”

Jenny Elfsberg, Director of Emerging Technologies at Volvo Construction Equipment.

Examples of projects

Model Driven Development and Decision Support

Model Driven Development and Decision Support

This research profile will in co-production mode develop, disseminate, and integrate relevant, user-friendly and efficient support methods and tools for sustainable product-service system innovation into business leaders’, business developers’ and product developers’ working environments that enable and inspire industry to thrive in the changing global context.

Read more about the project

Applied fracture mechanics in package openings

One goal of the project is to create a better understanding of the characterisation of the functional behaviour of packaging and materials – e.g. technical parameters and continuum mechanics of material properties – through experimentation and simulation. With a better understanding of the fracture mechanics of packaging, new and better packaging can be developed.

Partner/funder: Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions AB
Contact person: Sharon Kao Walter


MD3S – Model-driven development and decision support

The project aims to support the development of an internationally competitive research environment focusing on improving the competitiveness of the industry through model-driven development of products and services that promote a sustainable development of society. The project combines the areas of strategic sustainable development, mechanical engineering, management, innovation, decision support systems and visualisation.

The project is one of the key projects of the Swedish Knowledge Foundation (KKS).

Partners/funders: KKS, BTH, and the companies Aura Light International, Avalon Innovation, Dynapac Compaction Equipment, Holje International Group, Industrigruppen Karlskrona, Tech Network, Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions AB, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems, and Volvo Construction Equipment.
Budget: SEK 110 million (SEK 36 million from the Knowledge Foundation; the rest from companies and BTH) for the period 2013–2018.
Contact person: Tobias Larsson
More information

BESST – Breakthrough in European Ship and Shipbuilding Technologies

The strategic goal of BESST is to secure and improve the competitive situation of European shipyards in a sustainable way.

Given the relatively high cost of labour in Europe, the goal is to increase competitiveness through reduced life-cycle costs, greatly reduced environmental impact and improved safety.

Project owner: Fincantieri
Funder: The research that is to lead to these results is funded by the EU’s seventh framework programme for research and innovation (FP7 2007–2013).
Contact person: Claes Hedberg
More information


Sånätt – Collaboration as Enabler for Light Weight Vehicles

The goal of Sånätt is to increase collaboration in the chain of supply to create new products and services which will lead to increased competitiveness. It will also allow organisations to effectively integrate research in innovation and technology (focusing on lightweight constructions) into the development of new solutions in the chain of supply of the automotive industry.

Funder: VINNOVA’s FFI programme (Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation) and project partners.
Academic partners: KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Chalmers, Luleå University of Technology, Linköping University, University of Skövde and University West.
Partners within the industry: Volvo Cars, Vinnova, The Scandinavian Automotive Supplier Association, Innovatum, and others. For a complete list of partners, please see under ‘Read more’.
Contact person: Tobias Larsson
More information

PrimCareIT – Tele-conferencing to fight social and professional isolation

The goal of the project is to provide a cost-effective development of e-health services and products, with particular focus on over-the-phone advice. The aim is to the increase interest within primary care to use telecommunications in sparsely populated areas.

Funder: EU Baltic Sea Region Programme
Partners: South Ostrobothnian Health Care District (FI), Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (FI), Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia (FI), eHealth Institute, Linnaeus University (SE), Region Västerbotten (SE) and Flensburg University of Applied Sciences (DE). For a complete list of partners, please see under ‘Read more’.
Contact person: Tobias Larsson
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Quality of sandwich composites and composite-steel joints

The project builds on BTH’s knowledge of sensitive nonlinear techniques for materials characterisation and corporate expertise in composite manufacturing and composite structure design.

Kockums AB manufactures ships, and is in need of quality control of its manufacturing process and its ability to provide condition monitoring of operating ships.

DIAB manufactures composites for marine, wind energy and aerospace markets and is in need of quality and process control of its production.

Baltic Engineering AB is a specialist in the development of new products and devices, and supports the project in the design of electrical and electronic prototypes.

Funder: The Swedish Knowledge Foundation (KKS)
Collaborative partners: Kockums AB, DIAB and Baltic Engineering AB
Contact person: Claes Hedberg
More information