This year at the Hanover trade fair from 23 to 27 April, turn-key training factories and lab solutions for future-oriented teaching of mechatronics and automation technology are at the top of the programme for Festo Didactic. The focus is on a very topical subject: adaptable factories of the future. It is taking place in the context of the joint project WaProTek (change-promoting process architectures), which will help make companies adaptable. As a supplier of industrial education, Festo Didactic is supporting the development of decision-making competence.
As part of the WaProTek project, Festo Didactic's learning factories and business games offering a solution module to empower and prepare businesses and their employees to adapt to the constantly changing requirements of the market.
Dr. Theodor Niehaus, general manager of Festo Didactic, explains: "The production trade sets the pace of economic development. That's why it's crucial to be able to adapt quickly to the ever changing market conditions. For companies, that means permanent product innovation, a wide choice of variants, unpredictable customer requirements, shorter product life cycles and enormous fluctuations in sales figures. This is where the guiding principle of adaptability of production systems comes into play and acts as a strategic success factor for industry. With WaProTek, Festo Didactic uses business games, workshops and the appropriate equipment to support the empowerment and training of skilled personnel to enable companies to quickly adapt their organisation and technology to changing market conditions." After all, technology, logistics, organisation and employees must be perfectly in synch with each other so that the necessary individual actions can be successful.
Promoting adaptability with training factories
"Changeability means having the potential to make organisational, technical and logistical changes as needed – even outside the predefined flexibility of a system. This makes change possible in a short time and with little investment," Dr. Theodor Niehaus says. Typical skills are sensitivity to change signals, determination, perseverance, willingness to take risks, systematic and complex thinking, ability to learn and being a team player. These are the skills that Festo Didactic teaches. During the seminars, situations are simulated and customised concepts are developed with the participants. The company doesn't just offer a solution, but enables employees and specialists to develop their own concepts so that they can react appropriately to future problems and market developments.
"Simulating training factories and business game formats from Festo Didactic are eminently suitable to achieving this goal. The participants there learn the necessity and importance of adaptability through practical examples. Different scenarios inspire competency-based learning; the participant is encouraged to actively contribute to the training and to succeed, Dr. Theodor Niehaus emphasies. Imparting this ability to change is the task that Festo Didactic has set for itself, making it a pioneer in conveying skills.
State-of-the-art training factories
Many of the details of an MPS® Transfer Factory reflect those of modular learning factories. All cells and functional modules are equipped with the very latest industrial technology. The concept and equipment demonstrate our highly innovative approach. This means each training factory can be reconfigured in minutes, making it very adaptable. This means that a range of very different group scenarios can be selected and represented. Thus it is possible to cover all areas of mechatronics and automation technology, and customer requests can be met exactly. New trends like radio frequency identification technology, intelligent networking, energy efficiency and condition monitoring are also taught clearly and descriptively.
Background: Project WaProTek
The project WaProTek is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the framework concept "Research for tomorrow's production" and is managed by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA), Dresden branch.
The goal of this joint project and the participating partners is to enable companies to change. This is done by harmonising the change-promoting process architectures of their technical, logistical, organisational and human resources. In the context of this project, Festo Didactic helps companies to empower their employees and conveys skills through training factories, business games and seminars.