Digitalization is revolutionizing not just the work that takes place in production halls, but the processes and services that are indirectly connected with it as well. New technologies bring with them new questions: Where is work headed? Will it be smart machines dictating what is to be done? Or will it be people in charge, supported by smart systems? We are seeing whole new forms of work organization that go far beyond the division of labor to encompass scenarios such as when shift workers are able to spontaneously schedule their working hours via app and smartphone, as already implemented in the prize-winning “KapaflexCy” project.
Companies also need new ways with which to qualify their employees for digital working and implement new technologies to maximum effect. It is a chance to boost manufacturing efficiency, but also often brings with it disruptive innovations that transform existing processes and structures. If a company is to thrive long term in this dynamic market environment, it must adopt a systematic approach to innovation processes and embed them within its strategy.
That is why, under the auspices of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, we chose to found the Future Work Lab on the research campus in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. The Future Work Lab is an innovation lab geared towards work, people and technology. It pools our expertise in all aspects of Industrie 4.0 and is designed to provide you as a manufacturing company with a place that you can come with any questions you might have about the digitalization of the industrial value creation chain.
This research and development project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the Program “Innovations for Tomorrow’s Production, Services, and Work” and managed by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA).