Since 2014 a learning factory, called LEAD Factory, is operated at the Institute of Innovation and Industrial Management. A learning factory is a learning environment in which processes and technologies can be experienced close to industrial reality. Learning factories are based on a didactic concept focusing on experimental and problem-based learning. The LEAD Factory is a small industrial production site with an assembly line for the production of a market-available product, a scooter. Research and education is focused on lean management, energy efficiency, agility and digitization. During the LEAD Factory workshops, participants learn how to turn an inefficient production process into a leaner, digitized, more energy efficient and agile process. The lecture “Learning Factory” at the IIM is mainly held by Dr. Markus Hammer, Senior Manager of Global Operations Learning at McKinsey&Company.
Since 2010, the international Conference on Learning Factories (CLF) has been held annually.
The CLF is the most important event in the field of learning factories for science and industry to inform and discuss about the latest developments and research results.
This year the conference took place at TU Braunschweig and was organized by the Institute for Machine Tools and Manufacturing Technology and the Conference Chair Prof. Christoph Herrmann. An exciting simulation game by BeSu.Solutions introduced the conference. Meanwhile, the General Assembly of the International Association of Learning Factories (IALF), of which LEAD Factory has been a member since 2018, took place. The latest projects, such as inter-university student courses, new developments in learning factories and new members of the IALF were presented. Interesting workshops focusing on collaborative robotics, lean management, augmented reality, data analytics and data mining were held on the second day of the conference. In the course of the paper sessions, the scientific staff and PhD canditates of the IIM Elias Auberger, Matthias Eder, Maria Hulla, Hugo Karre and Matthias Wolf presented their latest publications in the field of learning factories to the 120 participants of the conference. The topics presented in the papers mainly covered teaching concepts and the latest technological developments, such as a smart milk run in the LEAD Factory. The publications were published open-access in a special volume of Procedia Manufacturing by Elsevier.
The CIRP sponsored 10th Conference on Learning Factories is organized by IIM and will take place from the 15th to the 17th of April, 2020 at Graz University of Technology.
At this CLF the participants can expect exciting scientific discussions, a business game, interesting presentation and workshops and a 10-year-CLF-special. Workshops will be held at the LEAD Factory, the Schumpeter Laboratory for Innovation, the smartfactory@tugraz and the Institute of Materials Science, Joining and Forming. Full papers need to be submitted by the 15th of December (max. 6 pages). Further information on the conference can be found on the conference website.