Sustainable Factory of the Future

Sustainable Factory of the Future

“There is only one characteristic of the Factory of the Future that is essential: A creative mindset for problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking is key to embracing new technologies—and reaping the rewards.”

We are all consumers. Manufacturing of products will never seize to exist. A never-ending consideration of e.g. sustainable products and production methods is needed. Sustainability considers (in short-short) people, planet and profits. This village aims to be a platform for innovations and ideas with sustainable future outlook.

Illustrative photo sustainable manufacturing

Relevant competence

This village welcomes knowledge from many different subjects – for instance: Sustainable manufacturing, ICT, Design, Human-machine interaction, Health, Ergonomics, Organizations, Information security, Learning and Knowledge, Economy, Logistics, Materials...

About the village

Consumption in a sustainable future outlook is an ever more important and engaging topic. A factory in the future needs to meet sustainability socially, environmentally and economically. More specifically, the factory of the future (FoF) has to deal with areas like sustainability, flexibility, information security, real time learning, zero defect manufacturing, aging work force, knowledge base for utilizing enabling and new technologies. Through the new infrastructure project ManuLab there is a physical learning factory with a smart factory (a.k.a. “industry 4.0”) This means that ideas and cross disciplinary solutions can be tested and verified both in a VR/AR setting as well as in a real-life smart factory. Being pioneers within this concept means that good solutions from the village can be implemented and used in the leaning

“There is only one characteristic of the Factory of the Future that is essential: A creative mindset for problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking is key to embracing new technologies—and reaping the rewards.”

For society and the globe, creating sustainable and climate neutral solutions for manufacturing is crucial, and we are sure that these solutions are about cross disciplinary teamwork. Digitization is transforming how manufacturers need to think about human capital management. The workforce will need greater digital literacy as well as high-tech and collaboration skills. People will also need to be able to work cross functionally as well as with increasingly intelligent machines to bring higher levels of efficiency and productivity to the enterprise. Interdisciplinary competencies are growing in importance, as the factories of the future will, and must be, clean, highly performing, environmentally friendly and socially sustainable.

NTNU in Gjøvik has close collaboration with Raufoss Industral Park, but also other regional, national and international companies which will give a broad scope of possible cases for the teams - 

Previous year students have worked with human-machine interfaces, VR/AR, apps for a sustainable future, product development, analytical work and innovations for an aging workforce. In our labs the projects can be tested both physically and virtually, the potential for this being greatest in our learning factory. In the links already presented in the text above, potential projects and partners are shown, but the students are also encouraged to find external partners if they have candidate suitable for the village scope.

Research questions can be grounded in HSE for workers, flexible work environments; both physically and digital (virtual), more efficient workflow, economical sustainability, recycling/reuse of materials, future challenges and opportunities with IoT, human-machine interaction, information security – i.e. a more digitalised industry sector.

What can a virtual village be?


Course code: TØL4025
Village: Sustainable Factory of the Future
Type: Semester-based, virtual
Language: English
Village manager: Nina Tvenge
Contact information: Nina Tvenge
Semester: Spring 2021
Location: Online

Students must have a computer with camera and microphone.  
In this village there is mandatory attendance to:  

  • The village meetings every Wednesday at 08.00-11.00
  • Weekley group meetings. Each team has a certain flexibility to schedule their meeting time every week  
  • Individual work between village meetings and group meetings 

Important information about EiT

Important information about EiT:

  • The focus on teamwork skills and group processes is the unique feature of Experts in Teamwork (EiT)
  • EiTs teaching methods depend on the contribution and presence of every participant throughout the semester. For this reason, attendance is compulsory on every village day.
  • In contrast to many courses, the first few days are especially important in EiT. During this period, get to know each other and discuss what each individual can contribute. You will also draw up the compulsory cooperation agreement and start preparing a shared research question.
  • For additional information about Experts in Teamwork, see page for students