30 Auburn students from the USA studied at FHWS in Schweinfurt for six weeks

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 | Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen, Lehre, Praxis, International
The aim was to run a project in cooperation with companies according to the Lean Six Sigma approach

As part of its international activities and the exchange of students and lecturers, the Faculty of Business and Engineering at the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences invited thirty American students from the Auburn University. On the program of the six-week international, interdisciplinary as well as practice-oriented study stay stood apart from the participation of the studying and lecturers in the international week the execution of a project in co-operation with six enterprises after the Lean Six sigma beginning (a management method, which helps enterprises to offer their products and achievements in nearly error-free quality and to fulfill thus the requirements of the customers completely and profitably).

At the beginning, the young academics were introduced to the planned project concept. They then got to know the companies involved, their local contacts and the working environment and were divided into six teams. Team 1 worked together with IFSYS Integrated Feeding Systems GmbH on the topic of "Production in North America". The second team had the company Yaveon AG as cooperation partner and dealt with a predictive maintenance system based on a single board computer and Microsoft Data. Bosch Hausgeräte GmbH commissioned the third student group to develop possibilities for digitizing a plastic injection molding machine.

The fourth team presented its results to its project sponsor, ZF Friedrichshafen AG. This involved benchmarking in which the traditional damper was compared with air damping. Group 5 was developed by Pid GmbH & Co. KG to provide a concrete idea for a practicable inventory management system that can be implemented with Pid. The sixth student team working with the Jopp Group presented its concepts for understanding customer specifications and new ways to communicate directly with customers.

All projects were executed using a Lean Six Sigma approach. After the first few days were used intensively to define the problem exactly, phases of key figure determination and analysis followed. It became creative after the second week during the phase dedicated to improving existing situations. Finally, a step was taken to check the results.

The results were presented in the form of a marketplace. Instead of PowerPoint presentations, the individual groups were available to visitors in the form of exhibition stands. This led to intensive and sometimes long-lasting discussions, which would be difficult to realise in the lecture hall. Afterwards it was possible for the fifteen or so participants from the industry to go to the booths they were interested in in addition to their own project.