The versatile production

Acatech study: Employees are a success factor

 

At the Hanover Fair, Acatech, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Leibniz Universität Hannover, presented a study to show how companies can increase their adaptability. A central success factor here are the employees.

 

Ever more demanding customer requirements, short product lifecycles, and the ongoing digitalization: Producing

Companies must constantly adapt to a dynamic environment. If you can change quickly, you have a competitive advantage. But how can the adaptability of companies be increased? A joint study by Acatech, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH), is dedicated to this question.

 

Examples and possible courses of action

“The networking of production processes to industry 4.0 brings the adaptabilities of producing companies to a completely new level. If Industry 4.0 is used correctly, products and the associated processes can be adapted to customer requirements and changing market conditions. Nevertheless, many companies are reluctant to get involved with Industry 4.0 – not least because they lack successful examples. We are now presenting such examples and corresponding possibilities for action,” explains project manager and Acatech member Gisela Lanza from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). 

 

The study outlines development paths towards a versatile factory and identifies fields of action. In many cases, the employees play a decisive role in this. “Technical solutionsalone are not enough. The networking of things, devices and machines must be accompanied by new forms of cooperation between people. This begins with the qualification of employees, continues with the organization of cooperation within the company and extends to the corporate culture,” says Lanza.

 

Use of learning factories

In the area of employee qualification, project leaders Gisela Lanza, Peter Nyhuis and their co-authors propose the increased use of ‘learning factories’, in which work tasks can be simulated and contents conveyed in a practical manner. On the basis of various aspects from the areas of corporate strategy, organization as well as transparency and decision support, the measures that can be taken to increase the ability to change are shown in an exemplary fashion. The authors cite Google as an example of corporate culture. There, employees define their goals independently and are able to deal openly with errors.

 

 

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