Festo Didactic SE • A fully automated learning factory prepares for work in an automated environment
Industry of the future will be characterised by an unprecedented flood of data and by a highly complex networking of plant and company areas. This means that it will be more important than ever for employees to be knowledgeable about the structure of digital and fully automated production technologies if the smooth operation of factories is to be ensured. Detailed knowledge of the set-up and programming of digital networks and competences in the inter-related fields of electronics, mechanics and IT will also be in demand.
Festo Didactic's fully integrated learning factory now enables people to be systematically prepared for work in digitalised and complex industrial environments.
Festo Didactic is the world's leading supplier of technical educational institutions and of advisory and educational services for industry. The company forms part of the Festo Group, which operates in the field of factory and process automation and currently provides pneumatic and electronic propulsion technology to over 300,000 customers in 200 branches. Its continuing education subsidiary Festo Didactic has a turnover of around 154 million Euro and is considered to be the market leader in the area of industrial training.
In 2015 alone, Festo Didactic delivered training to 42,000 seminar participants in 60 countries. At the same time, hundreds of teachers received advanced training and obtained certification. Training solutions such as laboratory facilities, learning factories and e-learning products are offered in conjunction with technical, organisational and people-oriented training programmes aimed at schools, universities and companies.
Festo Didactic provides training solutions at three different levels. These range from basic packages to modules for individual industrial processes and also extend to encompass a completely integrated learning factory which involves learners at all stages. This is an overarching solution which enables participants to gain live experience of all aspects of an automated work environment specially prepared for training purposes.
The learning factory makes it clear how production processes which normally run invisibly in the background interact with one another. This allows learners to prepare to deal with plant programming and data management and also facilitates the further development and testing of software solutions. Learning at real production facilities is dangerous and expensive by comparison.
The new learning factory is an open and flexible solution which enables various skills to be acquired and expanded. Employers themselves are able to determine which specific competences individual staff should obtain and can also decide which support and knowledge services they need to learn to use.
Festo has established an integrated learning factory at its own works in Scharnhausen. The learning factory forms part of a training concept and constitutes a permanent learning station for advanced trainees and skilled workers at the company. It is, however, also suitable for beginners and provides an overview of the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0.
Within the scope of the learning factory, skilled workers and management staff are provided with short-cycle and practically related training by internal or external experts in so-called "one-point lessons". Learning contents cover the areas of mechatronics, logistics and process optimisation but also extend to include organisational and people-related training aspects such as interdisciplinary activity, learning skills and ability to embrace change.
Festo Didactic's fully integrated learning factory for Industry 4.0 is breaking new ground, and the company's training concept is attracting considerable international attention. Customers of the learning factory mainly come from countries which are seeking to expand their production sectors, such as the United Kingdom and the USA, or from regions wishing to stabilise production at a high level. The latter include South-East Asia and China.
The learning factory may be deployed in companies, at universities and at technical or vocational schools. Industrial clients are predominantly from the automobile sector. Audi, for example, procured equipment and services from Festo Didactic for use in its Learning Centre with a view to bringing staff at its Mexican works in Puebla up to speed for construction of the new Q5. Customers from the academic world include universities and colleges from everywhere between Denmark and China.
This sucess story was first published in the following iMOVE publication:
Developing Skills for Employability with German Partners • 8 Case Studies from the Sector of E-Learning Solutions and Learning with Digital Media