More than just a laboratory landscape: The Institut für Fabriklehre und Unternehmensforschung (IFU) of TU Braunschweig has opened its Center of Excellence for Lean Enterprise 4.0 (CoE). The project is based on a unique concept with which the revolutionary potentials of Industry 4.0 can be implemented.
The core of the concept is the integrated approach and definition of the processes in industrial manufacturing companies. The goal is the networking of all components, structures, machines and facilities of a factory and their communication with each other in real time. The commonly called Lean Enterprise is seen as the key to the implementation of this intelligent networking and Industry 4.0. It refers to a company-wide, internally coordinated and low-waste overall system. Such an integrated company system is now being mapped for the first time: In the Center of Excellence for Lean Enterprise 4.0.
Lean Enterprise 4.0 incorporates five important pillars: Digital Factory 4.0, Work 4.0, Lean Development 4.0, Lean Production Systems 4.0 and Lean Service 4.0. In our laboratories, we therefore consider the entire value added chain of an industrial manufacturing company – from factory planning and workstation design to production and through to the increasingly important service offering after the sale of the product. Together with the use of state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 technologies, this approach enables participants to experience learning in an industrial environment. With this concept, we are able to significantly contribute to the training and further education of engineers of the future.
The continuous consideration allows the IFU to develop process-oriented, future-ready solutions for the industry. This enables company-wide recording, target-oriented processing and the use of needs-based information in industrial value added processes. The focus here is on the paradigm shift from functional orientation to process orientation. This consistent process orientation is necessary because it is an essential prerequisite for the implementation of a Lean Enterprise 4.0. Indeed, to-date, this process orientation has not yet been entirely implemented in manufacturing companies, although it had already been included in DIN EN ISO 9001 as a basis for certification in the year 2000.