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Learning Factory

Learning Environment:
The Production Hall of the ETA-Factory

The ETA-Factory as a large-scale research device not only provides the opportunity for excellent opportunities in research, but also serves as a learning environment in which the gained expertise can be transferred to the industry and teaching. Especially for our training offers, we make use of this environment in order to support the theoretical part of teaching with practical use cases.

There are two entire value chains in the production hall of the ETA-Factory, where market-ready products can be manufactured on a small scale.

Greenfield-Process-Chain of the Project ETA-Factory

The third picture in the slider shows the production hall. The left side shows the first part of the two value chains. It was developed within the program „ETA-Factory“. Here a control disk for hydraulic pumps is manufactured – a product just as it is manufactured and distributed at Bosch Rexroth.

The production machines integrated into the process chain are state-of-the-art in terms of energy efficiency standards and have emerged from the research project „ETA-Factory“ or have been modified as research demonstrators in the same. The process chain essentially comprises:

  • Two cutting machines by EMAG,
  • Two wet cleaning machines by MAFAC and
  • A gas nitriding retort oven by IVA.

Further information on the stated machines can be found here. There you get an overview of other machines in the production hall and the building services of the ETA-Factory, which includes heat accumulators, an absorption chiller as well as a thermally activated building facade.

The machinery and the building services are supplemented with posters imparting learning content to create an interactive learning course. Not only basics on the topic of energy and energy efficiency are explained, but also detailed descriptions of the innovations in the ETA-Process-Chain and the remaining part of the factory building. A teaser demonstrator (touch screen with integrated software solution) is also part of the learning course. It allows an easy approach to the field of energy efficiency, using the Greenfield-Process-Chain of the ETA-Factory as an example.

Brownfield-Process-Chain of the Learning Factory for Energy Productivity

The right side of the third picture in the slider shows the second part of the two value chains. It is part of the Learning Factory for Energy Productivity (LEP), which was integrated into the production hall of the ETA-Factory as part of the cooperation between the PTW and McKinsey & Company. Different gear-shaft-combinations for different kinds of transmissions can be manufactured in the process chain of the LEP. After the final assembly with additionally purchased case parts, the transmissions are ready to be shipped for various applications.

The process chain of the LEP is representative for discrete, mechanical manufacturing businesses and comprises:

  • A cutting machine,
  • A steam cleaning machine including a steam generator,
  • Two robots,
  • A continuous heat-treating oven,
  • A shrink oven,
  • Two decentralized air compressors and
  • Multiple assembly processes.

The distinctive feature of the LEP process chain is the possibility to convert it from an inefficient to an efficient configuration in a matter of minutes. This conversion illustrates the energetic optimization of an existing Brownfield-System. Within the training courses, participants can understand the inefficient configuration the energy flows of the processes, identify existing sources for wastes of energy within the process chain and deduce possible improvement measures.