MTM – Work design productive and safe

Leopold Kostal GmbH is planning an I4.0 training center

“Kostal will not have a factory devoid of human beings with Industry 4.0,” said Christina Hesse, Industrial Engineer at Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG and a speaker at the 2016 MTM German Conference, with a real sense of assurance. However, she added that she was also convinced that the working content in assembly operations would become even more extensive and complex and that learning times would be shorter, the working environment more interdisciplinary and the room to maneuver for decisions greater. She said, “Not only the motor, but also the sensory and associative capabilities of employees will be necessary. And we need to prepare for this.” What exactly this preparation work will look like is the subject of a joint research project involving Kostal and MTM, which started on 1 October 2016.  

The aim of the project entitled “Process and practical workplace learning in assembly operations for forward-looking employee qualifications”, known as PALM4.Q, which is being supported by the European Social Fund, is to set up a training center that maps the assembly work stations of the future and can be used as a learning and development environment.  

Like many other corporations, the KOSTAL Group, which employs about 17,000 people in its automobile, industrial and solar electrical divisions, contact systems and testing technology at 46 business sites in 21 different countries, also faces the challenge of enabling a comparatively high proportion of employees with a migrant background or semi-skilled or untrained workers to cope with adapting to Industry 4.0. The project therefore aims to define human resources development structures, which preserve or enhance assembly skills in the workforce in the medium term and establish skills for Industry 4.0 in the long term. When developing a code of practice for forward-looking qualifications for assembly personnel, Kostal and MTM will be able to make use of the new planning tool for integrating the promotion of learning in work and production systems – this is a result of the ELIAS Project, which also involved Kostal and MTM.

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