The digitalization of business and society is placing new demands on production and the specialists in factories. Following in the footsteps of the steam engine, production line, electronics and IT, "smart factories" are playing a defining role in the fourth industrial revolution. State-of-the-art IT and communications technologies are incorporated into conventional production.
People, machines, equipment and products communicate and cooperate directly with each other. The technical foundation on which all of this is based are digitally networked systems that can be used to allow production to organize itself for the most part. This enables smart value added chains to be created that incorporate all phases of a product's life cycle, from the idea and development to assembly, usage and maintenance all the way through to recycling.
Employees and future generations need to be well prepared for this transformation of the world of work. Due to the complexity of processes, it makes sense to train specialists in learning environments that are as close to real-life conditions as possible.
In order to train specialists and talented young people accordingly, the Ministry of Finance and Economics is promoting the creation of "Learning Factories 4.0" at vocational schools. This is tied to the condition, however, that the school boards and industry assume at least 60 percent of the investment costs.
As part of its involvement in society, Daimler is promoting the creation of a Learning Factory 4.0 at the Werner-Siemens, Robert-Bosch and Max-Eyth schools in Stuttgart. These three schools submitted a project application for a Learning Factory 4.0 together in order to be able to implement the components to be procured, virtually and in real life. In this way, Daimler is supporting the forward-looking qualification of specialists in Baden-Württemberg.