The valuable innovations that push Scania forward
16 FEBRUARY 2022
Each year, Scania registers hundreds of new patents for technologies that are a result of the innovative daily work of its many employees. One of those innovators is Per Arnelöf, an Expert Engineer at Scania R&D.
As an R&D engineer Per Arnelöf’s main focus – and the product for which he has come up with his greatest ideas and patents for Scania – is the gearbox, in particular the oil system.
“I construct and develop the traditional gearbox. I am lucky to have the exciting job of drafting the gearbox design, deciding on what it will look like, the number of gears it will have, the design, what kind of oil system it will have.” Hence, the innovations are a result of the work he and his colleagues do on a daily basis.
A long history at Scania
Arnelöf knows Scania well. When attending the company’s own high school, he used to work at the gearbox manufacturing line. Later on, he took summer jobs at Scania, and it’s not hard to guess where he did his master thesis when it was time to graduate from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
“I looked at locating the sources of energy losses in, well, gearboxes…,” he says. His thesis has been of great value to the work he has conducted ever since. “All along, I’ve built on ideas and had a vision about what you can do on a future platform, and then it turned into a possibility.”
A dedicated team
Nowadays, Arnelöf is product owner for a value creation team. “I am responsible for ensuring that the capacity of our products is according to plan, with great efficiency and low losses.”
The way the team works has also come a long way. “We have built an ’oil team’, where we learn from each other. We reach solutions quicker, we can simulate and test at earlier stages, and we work with several products simultaneously.”
The rapid electrification that the transport industry is undergoing doesn’t change much for Arnelöf, even though the electric engine works differently and a lot is yet to be discovered.
“The basis is still the same. The oil still needs to cool and grease, and there’s still a gearbox in our electric products.” What he and the team lack is prior knowledge of the electric motor. The solution is to engage in simulation and testing as early as possible. “It’s not like working with a well-known, long-established technology. It is exciting but also challenging with this unknown territory, when we are often working to a tight deadline.”
The best there is
Arnelöf adds it is great to try ideas, to try whole concepts, and most of all to work together with his colleagues.
“To see things you have constructed come to life on the assembly line is amazing. That these products, that I have been a part in creating, are on their way to customers… But it is also nerve-wrecking. We have done all possible tests, but did we miss something?”
What Arnelöf and his team do now, is to keep on looking to the horizon. To find new innovations and inspirations for future solutions. However, the goal is the same: “To make the gearbox as great as it possibly can be.”
What will the future of transport look like? Scania’s research and development organisation develops products, services and solutions providing optimal levels of quality, efficiency and customer profitability. Innovations are largely focused on low-carbon transport, electrification and autonomous transport solutions.