The IIM LeanLab


“Demographic change, shortage of skilled workers, increasing complexity of work contents or steady need for productivity increase are only some of the examples that companies nowadays have to deal with. Especially in high cost regions like Europe where productivity and efficiency […] have to be as high as possible in order to stay competitive, new ways for handling those rising challenges are needed. Education and training play a central role within this problem space. And this is where universities have to bring tremendous value to industry.”

- Mario Kleindienst, Manager of the IIM LeanLab

© Lunghammer - TU Graz

The IIM LeanLab is a miniature industrial enterprise situated on 55 square meters at the Graz University of Technology which contains several workplaces for different steps of a product assembly.

Efficient work involves employing the right methods – either on a small scale or on a large one. Therefore the Institute of Innovation and Industrial Management (IIM) established this real-world learning factory for the assembly of “scooters” and provides interested parties with knowledge concerning sustainable improvements on energy efficiency, logistics, ergonomics and productivity through Lean Production.

Hands-on experience is the central focus behind those ideas and for this reason “learning by doing” has become the slogan of the IIM LeanLab, where not only university and school students but also companies of every size and direction can learn to turn an inefficient production process into a “leaner” process with the help of lean methods.

© IIM - TU Graz

IBL LeanLab in teaching – Hands-on Training in the learning factory

By assembling the IBL scooter in a non-optimized initial state of the learning factory, the students analyze the assembly process and detect first improvements. After short theoretical sessions where the basics of industrial engineering, logistics management, lean production and industrial energy efficiency are taught, students directly return to the IBL LeanLab and implement what they have learned. The aim is then to build up an optimized state of space organization and immediately experience the impact of the different methods. Based on the principle of learning by doing the students gather newand sustainable knowledge and can transfer this knowledge much easier to real life situations afterwards.

© IIM - TU Graz

IIM LeanLab for businesses

Besides practice-oriented training the IIM LeanLab also serves as a research platform for advanced manufacturing technologies. As it is a realistic mockup of an assembly area, like it is set up in every manufacturing company, it is predestined to serve as a testbed for state of the art technologies. The direct impact of such technologies can be experienced in the IIM LeanLab and companies can then discuss the implications and transferability of these technologies to their own facilities. Therefore the LeanLab is also thought to be kind of a hub for companies in the future. Active experience of modern technologies and methods in a real life manufacturing environment coupled with discussions and an exchange of perceptions and examples among different companies and industries with academia are the aim of the IIM LeanLab.

© IIM - TU Graz

The Mobile Factory – IIM LeanLab on travel

Trainings, especially for industrial companies, have to be very effective. They have to compensate the time, during which workers are on trainings. Therefore efficiency training sessions in the IIM LeanLab can also be carried out at companies by transporting the IIM LeanLab equipment on-site. Manufacturing as well as non-manufacturing companies benefit from the new view of unseen potentials after understanding and creating a lean assembly process.

© Lunghammer - TU Graz

For more information see following articles: WINGbusiness 3/2013, WINGbusiness 4/2014, TU-Graz-Research 2/2014

Nach oben


Was ist das IIM LeanLab?

Das IIM LeanLab ist eine kleinmaßstäbliche Lernfabrik, in der realitätsnah praktische Erfahrung gesammelt werden kann.

Wer nutzt das IIM LeanLab?

Studenten sammeln im IIM LeanLab wertvolle Erfahrung für ihr zukünftiges Berufsleben während Firmen von den effektiven Trainings profitieren.

Was sind die Vorteile von Lean Production?

Erhöhte Produktivität, stabile Prozessabläufe, Kundenorientiertheit und Flexibilität im Change Management sind nur einige der vielen Vorteile, die Sie hier gewinnen können.

Für mehr Informationen lesen Sie in:

WINGbusiness 3/2013

WINGbusiness 4/2014

TU-Graz-Research 2/2014