iFactory: Innovative training factory

for advanced Industrial Engineering (aIE).


The Institute of Industrial Manufacturing and Management (IFF) at the Universität Stuttgart and Festo Didactic developped a creative training factory for advanced Industrial Engeineering (aIE).

iff logo.jpg

Creative model factory:

To put together, take apart and re-configure a complete production line comprised of individual modules – that's the iFactory concept.


Production cells such as conveyors, branches, various assembly cells and inspection cells are the modules in the "transformable factory". They include the newest automation technology, such as a wide range of drive technology, assembly robots and vision systems.

The unique interface and modularisation concept enables quick and simple implementation of many different production layouts – the fundamental requirement for effective and creative learning and experimentation.



Already in use for research at the University of Stuttgart's Institute for Industrial Production and Factory Operation (Institut für Industrielle Fertigung und Fabrikbetrieb - IFF):
At the learning factory for Advanced Industrial Engineering, principles of the transformable assembly and production facilities that are fundamentally important in terms of planning, physical and control technology aspects are being implemented.


iff 01.jpg
All production cells are equipped with topology feedback so that the control system – an SQL Server – automatically recognises the production line that has been put together.

Penholder and clock

iff 02.jpg
Depending on the customer's order, different desk sets are produced at the IFF. RFID technology in the pallet deck spacers enables complete tracking of the individual production steps.

About the project:

The IFF and Festo Didactic developed an innovative learning environment for advanced Industrial Engineering (aIE). It forms the solid foundation of excellent post-university basic and further training for industrial engineers coming from the field, i.e. technical managers, planners and designers from production facilities in all industrial sectors.

"In order to secure the existence and ensure competitiveness of companies, it is absolutely necessary that production planners and those responsible for factory organisation learn how they can compensate for market turbulences without interfering with running production", says Prof. Engelbert Westkämper, Director of the IFF at the University of Stuttgart and of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation (IPA - Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung). 

"Industrial engineering" as it has been called up to now, i.e. work and process planning, must be connected in the future with the tools of the digital factory and modular production systems in order to increase transformability. Additional optimisation potentials can be realised with the use of innovative technologies that are a part of the digital, virtual factory. For the production researchers in Stuttgart, this constitutes advanced Industrial Engineering (aIE). The demand to be able to continually optimise factories and production systems is immense. However, the current continuing education and training offerings that focus on aIE and are tailored to the requirements of the field are insufficient. It was for this reason that Prof. Westkämper started the innovative learning factory. IFF Project Director Dr. Vera Hummel created a concept with her team that includes the technical system and the training contents of such a continuing education course.

The combination of teaching skills in a physical model factory, a digital learning island and theoretical modules is an individual and innovative part of this concept. The continuing education concept is currently being accredited with a formal degree.

Per maggiorni informazioni:

e-mail: educationitalia@festo.com





Seleziona nazione

World Skills