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Insights into the work of a logistics consultancy

Steinbeis center introduces itself at the logistics day

This year’s nationwide “Logistics Day” event drew an audience of many interested listeners to the Consulting and Planning Center in Goppingen on April 10. Hosted by the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Logistics and Factory Planning, attendees included production and logistics managers as well as directors form regional companies. Representatives from universities of applied sciences and anyone generally interested in logistics were also in attendance.

Dietmar Ausländer, head of the transfer center, was joined by members of his staff, Marina Grupp and Peter Sturm, to guide guests through the afternoon with up-to-date presentations from specialists. Ralf Bannwarth and Katja Kuemmerle featured as guest speakers from the Alb Fils clinic. All the latest trends were introduced along with developments from the areas of shop floor and supply chain management, intra-logistical planning, the use of IT systems in logistics processes, and even production and factory planning. The Steinbeis value stream tool, winner of the 2013 Innovation Award, was also presented. Each presentation was followed by a Q&A round in which participants could ask questions and engage in deeper discussion with other guests. The event gave the audience of specialists a chance to familiarize themselves with the daily work of logistics experts.

The Steinbeis Transfer Center for Logistics and Factory Planning develops process-oriented systems for the flow of materials, information and value streams within companies. Based on principles of holistic, sustainable and pioneering work, the Steinbeis experts provide innovative solutions and know-how for planning and implementation, including in an international context. Their aim is to help customers quickly achieve effective and sustainable improvements. Key areas include logistics, factory and production planning, in addition to process optimization.

International summer classes for students and engineers

Professional development courses at the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Automotive Engineering in Esslingen

Since 2001 the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Automotive Engineering in Esslingen, Germany, has been offering courses in English to students from the Mexico City campus of ITESM Tec de Monterrey, a private Mexican university. In the years following the launch of the program, the center has expanded its reach to other countries. In 2014, courses were offered to students and engineers from China, India, Mexico and South Africa. With more than 550 participants to date, the numbers confirm the popularity of the summer classes.

Steinbeis experts are currently offering students a class called “Selected Topics in Automotive Engineering.” Some 30 participants from China, India, Mexico and South Africa are expected to attend. And a course in “Basic & Advanced Automotive Engineering” is planned for international engineers. Since it is being offered in cooperation with a partner institution in India, most participants will come from that country. Following a week-long introductory class in India, the engineers will come to Esslingen for advanced modules.

In addition to theoretical instruction at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, the courses each include field trips to automotive companies in the Stuttgart area. The participants’ performance is assessed at the end of every course, with students receiving a certificate from Steinbeis University Berlin listing their grades.

Industry 4.0 – Opportunities and challenges for rural areas

12th Business Day held at the Technology and Startup Center in Schmalkalden

Forming networks is one of the most important instruments available for promoting municipal businesses. In the states of former East Germany, the southwestern part of Thuringia has the highest numbers of industrial jobs, but the region‘s structure is defined by small companies which are frequently owner-operated. As a result, it is even more important to organize the right kind of networking structures which offer participants a tangible added value. This is why a Business Day is regularly held at the Technology and Startup Center (TGF Schmalkalden). The Steinbeis Consulting Center for Land-Use Planning and Structure Development helped coordinate the event held in April.

The event focused on „Industry 4.0” – a topic which comes up in countless discussions and publications, and yet the opportunities and challenges it presents are still more or less unfamiliar to businesspeople in largely rural areas.

Business Day is designed for entrepreneurs from the southwestern Thuringian area as well as regional economic-development agencies. Thuringia‘s minister of economics, Uwe Hohn, came to Schmalkalden to open the event with a presentation on the economic policy strategies for the districts in Thuringia, which tend to be more rural in character. His speech was followed by the technical part of the event program, beginning with Dr. Sebastian Schlund (Fraunhofer IAO), who discussed a study entitled „Production work of the future – Industry 4.0.” Many participants learned more about the potential that changes in production processes can offer. Lorenz Schmid (BMW AG) addressed things from a hands-on perspective, discussing the features of the lightweight construction used for the new BMW i3. Dr. Martin Schilling (3-D-Schilling GmbH) held a vivid presentation on industrial applications.

Around 150 participants then had a chance to discuss topics with one another and the speakers. The collaborative nature of the event was evident in the fact that it was jointly organized by TGF Schmalkalden, the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district‘s economic development authority and Meiningen‘s Steinbeis Consulting Center – striking a balance between technology promotion, administration and knowledge transfer.

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