Learn, understand and do! At the iLearningFactory 4.0
Around 1,000 students attend the Tettnang Electronics College. They receive basic and further training in automation technology, electrical engineering and information technology. This degree of specialization is unique to Germany. So it is no coincidence that many electrical engineering companies have popped up around the college. Many companies have recruited talented young engineers from Tettnang. Some students attend the electronics school full time, others attend part time which is a component of the integrated study program: work during the day and go to school in the evenings and on the weekends. Because this type of educational environment is unique, the college is keen to make study as attractive as possible for the students. This applies to the teaching times, close cooperation with companies, and the material, which strives to fascinate, inspire and motivate students.
Recently, Tettnang Electronics College applied to the State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Construction (in Baden-Württemberg) to establish training factories at vocational colleges. These training factories would focus on the practical education of skilled workers and young professionals to meet the requirements of the digital age. The electronics college won the call for the laboratory and received funding from the state and Lace Constance regional government. The investment totals €1.1 million. It was then up to the electronics college to seek industrial partners in for the project. However, the idea was not to collect checks, but to ask companies for products and components, their time and know-how to get the iLearningFactory 4.0 up and running. The laboratory was officially inaugurated at an opening ceremony in October 2018.
The production lab includes automation components from many manufacturers, which is ideal, says teacher Christian Schick: “We want the students to see and understand how different components interact.” The installation consists of six modules with numerous sensors and actuators. They operate on a cooperative basis and pack plastic chips into containers – based on an order entered via web interface. Operations are highly varied, with containers of different shapes, sizes and colors, requiring a high level of flexibility from the automation solution.