Established in 2007, as the first European learning center, the Center for Industrial Productivity (CiP) is an innovative educational and research facility jointly funded by the Technical University of Darmstadt. At the core of the CiP concept are lean techniques, lean management and application of lean principles in quality assurance and maintenance, expanded to include all Industry 4.0 aspects relevant for production. 

Industry 4.0 in production 

Many companies are currently faced with the question of how to address the many requirements brought about by Industry 4.0. What will it mean for my industry? Which new technologies are really relevant for my business? What potential can digitization offer me – and what are the challenges? Answers to all of these questions can be found by participating in CiP workshops, which as of the beginning of 2016, are focused primarily on Industry 4.0 topics.

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The main content of the newly designed workshops includes questions archiving of status data for a production process.

  • How can product and process data be compared/combined in order to identify deviations and improve processes?
  • What technical efforts are necessary to do this and what are the economic benefits?
  • How can the product steer the process and thus, support the workers?

As in all previous lean production workshops, the focus is on interactive learning through implementation and improvement. 

Understanding the lean management journey

Producing a real pneumatic cylinder

During training at the CiP, participants learn to apply lean principles to an assembly and manufacturing process, producing a real pneumatic cylinder. The production process begins with the intake of raw materials, continues through assembly and manufacturing, and ends with quality testing and packaging.

CiP Darmstadt

Since there are various types of machines involved, including large, fully automated computer-numerical-control (CNC) and turning machines used for large-batch production and small machines used for single-piece flow, participants can apply lean tools and techniques in different situations and see the results of their efforts first-hand. The entire physical setup can be operated in four different stages, from non-optimized batch production to optimized lean operations with aspects of low-cost automation

Quality control station

The CiP includes a quality-control station with a computer-aided measurement system. It allows participants to gain experience with all types of lean quality methods and tools. The whole process, including incoming, in-process, and outgoing control can be taught.

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The manufacturing area also serves as an excellent base for all types of lean maintenance training. Experiential training on maintenance effectiveness (strategic, preventive, and autonomous maintenance) as well as maintenance efficiency (for example, scheduling) can be executed.

CiP training can benefit both new and experienced managers

During production, as many as nine operators are working at machines or engaging in other tasks. The operators act according to role plays for different situations, and managers will be asked to oversee their activities and receive training on lean management techniques, such as Kamishibai process confirmation, Gemba problem solving, performance review, giving feedback, and coaching.

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Technical University of Darmstadt, Building L1/07
Jovanka-Bontschits Strasse 10
64287 Darmstadt