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Introduction
NCE Raufoss is an industrial cluster with the role as the national competence center for light weight materials and automated production in Norway. The cluster has 17 company partners and and the established network of collaborating aluminium related companies named TotAl-gruppen as a partner. In total the cluster counts some 5000 employees, approximately 700 million euro in turnover with an export ratio of more than 80 %.

The main markets for the clusters companies are the global automotive industry, the defence markets and B-B electronics, and strong niches within water&gas distribution, gass tanks, aluminium profiles, mobility aids etc.

The joint R&D company SINTEF Raufoss Manufacturing AS is project manager for the NCE-project and acts as a technology and development hub for the industry. The NCE-program started in 2006 and will continue until 2016 with support from regional and national governments.

Based on solid traditions
More than one hundred years of experience with international industrial development forms the background for the Raufoss industrial cluster, NCE Raufoss. The cluster’s core area of activity is the manufacturing of products in lightweight materials by automated production, and the goal is to develop a national resource centre for manufacturing industries. The industrial cluster at and around Raufoss currently consists of over 40 companies with more than 5,000 employees.

The history of the Raufoss industry goes back to late 19th century and the production of matches. In 1896 the Norwegian Government decided to place the ammunition production in Raufoss, well protected behind Norways largest lake Mjøsa. This was the real start of more than one hundred years of industry adventure. The military defence industry has always played an important role in the Raufoss industry, today it is represented by Nammo. However, in the second half of the 20th century the civilian industry started to grow steadily, especially the automotive industry. Raufoss soon became an important manufacturer and supplier to the European market, and later to the US and Asian automotive industry. The core competence in the Raufoss industry developed to be manufacturing of lightweight materials by automated production. In 2006 the cluster got the status as Norwegian Centre of Expertise based on the cluster’s knowledge within these fields and the cluster’s ability to innovate continuously and develop and market new products. Today NCE Raufoss is a supplier to a wide range of industries. This has created a good foundation to let the Raufoss industry adventure continue.
Mustad has been a key industrial developer in the region since the 1830’s, with production of fishing hooks and automated longline fishing machinery as the main products, and with a leading role in these markets globally. Mustad Longline is an active partner in NCE Raufoss today and this way the industry in the region teams up to increase its competitiveness.

Research and Development
One of the main pillars of NCE Raufoss is innovation through research and development. This has been a key building stone in the history of the regional industry and has got an even greater importance in NCE Raufoss. SINTEF    Raufoss Manufacturing AS plays an essential part in this work. Besides being the manager of NCE Raufoss the company has grown to be a substantial supplier of research to the Norwegian manufacturing industry. NCE Raufoss has built a portfolio of research projects which involve both the manufacturing industry and academia to help the industry cluster innovate continuously.

The competence of tomorrow
NCE Raufoss concentrates on the future challenges. This is the reason why the industry cluster has started cooperating with educational institutions to be sure they get the future competence they need. Both in Gjøvik University College and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology there have been developed bachelor and master programs in cooperation with NCE Raufoss. This is also in the interest of the academic institutions as they in a better way get to know the challenges in the manufacturing industry.

 


 

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