Building the ESB-LOGISTICS-LEARNING-FACTORY
With BeeWaTec GmbH, our industrial partner from Pfullingen.
Bustling activities and exciting discussions are spreading through the research rooms of the ESB-Logistics-Learning-Factory. Students studying in the second semester of the “Operations Management” master program (Jonathan Avenell, Gabriela Blessing, Katrin Greiner, Theodor Hörmansperger, Judith Lambrecht, Christine Maurer, Moritz Neininger, Michael Rühl, Johanna Van der Merwe and Benedikt Zimmermann) are participating in the project group “Detailed physical Planning and Implementation of the Logistics-Learning-Factory”. They are responsible for the planning and arranging of the ESB-Logistics-Learning-Factory, which had just started its testing phase during this semester.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Vera Hummel and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jochen Orso are leading this project on the side of the professorate. In addition, the students are constantly getting an active support from the research associates Jörg Bauer, Fabian Ranz and Jan Schuhmacher. The framework of this strategic activity is built around the group of ESB Business School professors (Harald Augustin, Wolfgang Echelmeyer, Manfred Estler, Rainer Kämpf, Peter Kleine-Möllhoff, Jochen Orso, Albrecht Öhler, Daniel Palm, Volker Reichenberger and Andreas Taschner), who all support this project with their expertise in logistics and organizational management.
The ESB-Logistics-Learning-Factory represents an innovative and practice-oriented foundation for interdisciplinary and future-oriented infrastructure, which can be used not only for education and training but also for research and industrial projects. The factory represents a logistic company with an entire adding value chain and changeable product and service portfolio.
Above all, the processes like stock-reception, stocking goods, commissioning, production, assembly and distribution are digitally and physically recreated and completely explored and examined.
“In the context of the ESB-Logistics-Learning-Factory the requirements and influences of the future-oriented project of the federal government “Industry 4.0” are being researched and communicated in a practically-oriented way in education and science” Prof. Dr. Vera Hummel explains the idea of the Learning-Factory.
The central industrial partner for this project is BeeWaTec GmbH, a regional mid-sized company from Pfullingen. As a company that offers versatile working and logistic systems, BeeWaTec GmbH supports this idea with its innovative products such as pipe-racking-system.
In this system it comes to the field of work equipment design related to the ergonomic design of the assembly and logistics jobs. It is complemented by a driving Guided Vehicles (SPURMEISE and trace CARRIER) including appropriate carrier or trailer systems.
Students and research associates are getting applicable knowledge, practical skills and all other tips and tricks directly from the practice – during workshops – specialized experts from BeeWaTec are teaching the students how to use those already mentioned systems.
Students attended the “BeeWaTec-Pipe-Racking-System”-Workshop on the 20th of March 2014, where they learned the practical- and application-related background for independent planning and construction of the pipe racking system in terms of requirements and demands of the ESB-Logistics-Learning-Factory.
Eight days later, the students went to visit the BeeWaTec factory, where they participated in the “Automatic-Guided-Vehicle (AGV)”-Workshop. Master students acquired essential knowledge in this field of logistics and learned how to handle a SPURMEISE – not only in theory but in practice as well. They had the possibility to set the code and program the AGV, so that the vehicle could not only move independently and on the planned route but also to pick up pallets and bring them to another part of the factory.
To bring it down to a common denominator – the ESB-Logistics-Learning-Factory brings students the possibility for observational learning. A versatile and adaptable logistic and working system should arise here. Vera Hummel explained it scientifically: “The interdisciplinary-, scientifically-, implementation- and research-oriented infrastructure (ESB-Logistics-Learning-Factory) has two tasks and goals. First of all, it will provide the “State of the Art Demonstrators” for the education of the students. Second of all, all questions and possible issues of the applied research are going to be answered, new methods, tools, technologies and controlling systems developed and tested. The results of those tests will be ongoing used in the classrooms, so that the lectures and topics are technically and scientifically up-to-date at any point of time.”
Along the lines of “from the region, for the region”, many companies from different industries should benefit from this project. This idea should not bring any competition issues, but enable development and progress. For these reasons this project is also being actively supported by the City of Reutlingen: patroness Barbara Bosch, Major of Reutlingen: “The Logistics-Learning-Factory is going to help the sustainable reinforcement of the excellent reputation Reutlingen University already has.”