"Learning factory 4.0" cooperation agreement signed

The City of Mannheim, the Werner von Siemens School (WvSS) and the Friedrich List School create a joint working basis for the implementation of a "learning factory 4.0" in Mannheim.

The City of Mannheim has concluded a cooperation agreement with the Friedrich List and the Werner von Siemens Schools for the implementation of the project "Establishment of a learning factory 4.0 at vocational schools in Mannheim". The agreement was signed at a working meeting attended by Lutz Jahre, Head of the Education Department at Mannheim City Council, and the two school principals - Albert Weiß from Werner von Siemens and Peter Bischoff of the Friedrich List School.

Information from the City of Mannheim

"Supporting the establishment of a learning factory 4.0 will equip our vocational school system for the future and strengthen it in a sustainable way"” said a delighted Dr. Ulrike Freundlieb, Mannheim's City Council Cabinet Member in charge of education and training. "And Mannheim is a production location which will be able to access a supply of skilled workers who have undergone future-proof training and have the right competences in place."

"The vocational school system is seeking to prepare trainees for the requirements of trade and industry that lie ahead," explained Mr. Jahre. "The setting up of a learning factory 4.0 is an important building block in terms of providing Mannheim with digital vocational school facilities."

He went on to say that the cooperation agreement would create a joint working basis for the coming project process and also set out the areas of responsibility, duties, and roles for future cooperation.

Mr. Weiß also expressed his confidence. "The signing of this cooperation agreement creates a formal basis and thus constitutes the next major step in realising this pioneering project, which we are seeking to use as a vehicle to drive forward digitalisation 4.0 in vocational education and training." The aim is that funding from the State of Baden-Württemberg and from trade and industry and the resources provided by the City of Mannheim itself will enable the "learning factory 4.0", which will be based at the Werner von Siemens School, to be ready for joint use by 2021.

The aim is that small and medium-sized companies will also benefit from the facility alongside apprentices and participants in continuing training programmes. Workshops will be staged to offer the companies clear and practically related insights into Industry 4.0 solutions. Such an approach means that the "learning factory 4.0" will aid the sustainable further development of both the vocational school system and Mannheim as a manufacturing area.

The background to "learning factories 4.0"

Pupils begin by familiarising themselves with the individual parts of a production process on the basis of modules which present the basic principles involved. Amalgamation of the modules to form a linked and digitally networked plant system then allows a complex production chain to be mapped. This enables both the pupils and participants in continuing training programmes to be prepared in the best possible way for the transformation of a world of work which will be increasingly characterised by networking and by digitalisation. As well as being deployed in vocational training and continuing education, the intention is that the learning factory 4.0 will also serve as a demonstration centre for Industry 4.0 solutions within the region.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs of the State of Baden-Württemberg is investing around €162,000 in the establishment of a learning factory 4.0 at vocational schools in Mannheim as part of its digital@bw strategy. The City of Mannheim is investing €200,000, and regional trade and industry are supporting the project by providing a further €40,000.

Source: rheinneckarblog.de (news blog of the Rhein-Neckar region in Germany), revised by iMOVE, September 2019