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Projects for Today, Ideas for Tomorrow

Final presentations of the MSc Operations Management took place on campus again

Project group Lumitronix

Project group iFakt

Project group Hailo

Project group Tenthpin

Project group Bosch

Project group City Logistics

Project group BEEmedic

Project group Werk150

On 7 July  2022, the students of the MSc Operations Management presented the results of their final projects. In the master's project, the students dealt with issues including sustainable and smart city logistics, the development of new target groups and the benefits of digitalization and artificial intelligence for companies. This summer, the presentations returned to campus after two years of Coronavirus restrictions.

BEE Medic GmbH - Recommendation for the implementation of a new ERP system at a medium-sized medical technology company

BEE Medic GmbH develops and distributes high-end systems for non-invasive neurotherapy and diagnostics. The company uses an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to store a lot of data relevant to its operations. However, the current system has weaknesses in several areas. The nine-member project team therefore developed a recommended course of action for implementing a new ERP system. To this end, the students first modelled the company's actual processes in order to clearly depict interfaces and responsibilities. Based on this, the team worked with the company in workshops and individual meetings to define requirements that a new ERP system should fulfil. The requirements catalogue thus compiled formed the basis for the specifications. After an extensive market analysis, the students compared the services of various ERP system providers with the company’s required specifications. Using a short list and a benchmark, the students were able to recommend the most suitable ERP system providers.

Robert Bosch GmbH - Digitalization and automation in sensor production

The global megatrends of digitization and automation are playing an increasingly important role in the future viability and competitiveness of companies. The six-member project team worked together with the backend of semiconductor manufacturing at Robert Bosch GmbH to develop and evaluate the potential for digitization and automation in this area. The students worked in small teams on various projects with different content focuses. The projects aimed to increase process transparency and reduce manual effort by fully automated reporting for those responsible in production. To implement the digitization projects, the teams’ work included carrying out data evaluations using SQL and Python, and analysing and optimizing various processes using visualization tools.

Hailo-Werk Rudolf Loh GmbH & Co. KG - Development of a strategy for entering the B2B market

The stability and development of any business today depends not only on products, but also to a large extent on customer loyalty. Addressing new customer groups is an exciting challenge that requires a wide variety of analyses and measures. For the medium-sized family business Hailo-Werk Rudolf Loh GmbH & Co. KG, the eight students created a strategic concept to develop a new target group. The students' goal here is to gain a deeper understanding of potential customers, their needs, lifestyles and buying motives. Using various tools such as a survey and comprehensive market analyses, they investigate and evaluate the current situation. They then develop recommendations for further action to enable a successful entry into the new market segment.

Conceptual design of city logistics

Poor air quality, congested city centres and a steadily growing volume of parcels - these were the problems addressed by the six-member project team led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Echelmeyer. The goal was to design a future-oriented city logistics system. Based on research, scientific methods and the experience of logistics experts from the deliveRT project already underway at ESB Business School and Böblingen-based pakadoo GmbH, the students developed a business plan. This included, among other things, the dimensioning of a micro-hub located in the city centre, parcel delivery for the last mile, and the installation of parcel lockers for customers. For this, the team determined the costs involved and thought about potential revenue opportunities. In the project, the students developed innovative ideas and new approaches from which cities with the appropriate conditions can benefit.

iFAKT GmbH and Fraunhofer IPA - Development of a physical demonstrator for real-time-oriented value stream mapping

What does "real-time oriented value stream analysis" actually mean and how can we succeed in transparently recording current data in the value stream? This was the question addressed by six students in collaboration with iFAKT GmbH and Fraunhofer IPA as part of the ECOWERT research project. The project focuses on building a physical mobile demonstrator that serves as a proof-of-concept for digital value stream mapping. The demonstrator simulates the three production processes of casting, milling and turning. Due to an integrated rotary table, it continuously collects data from a wide range of sensors and displays them with an integrated interface in the VSM 4.0 software. In addition, it is possible to assign specific events to individual process steps and to continuously update resulting key figures. The unique selling point of the demonstrator is that it is constructed in modules from various Lego components, which ensures easy transport to customers and trade shows.

LUMITRONIX® LED-Technik GmbH - Developing a market launch strategy for LumProtect©

Due to their sensitivity, many flexible electronic assemblies require special protection to withstand environmental influences such as moisture an mechanical stress. Until now, conventional coating or resin dispensing methods have been used for this purpose. At the end of the year, the Hechingen-based company LUMITRONIX will launch LumProtect®, an innovative lamination technology for flexible electronic assemblies that combines the advantages of conventional protection mechanisms. The six-member project team developed a suitable market launch strategy for a successful market entry. To this end, the students identified the requirements of potential customers in order to check the technology’s market readiness. They also conducted a market analysis and designed initial marketing measures. The students relied on qualitative customer interviews, quantitative surveys, market analysis tools and marketing management building blocks. The market launch strategy is to be implemented in the last quarter of 2022.

Tenthpin Management Consultants AG - Development of a reference model of the digital cell-and-gene therapy supply chain

The ultimate goal of cell-and-gene therapy (CGT) is to get to the origin of diseases in order to prevent them in the future. This requires a well-connected, rapid supply chain. Particular challenges here include maintaining certain temperatures, a shortened life cycle, and guaranteed traceability. In cooperation with the life science consulting company Tenthpin, the six-member student project team therefore developed a digital reference model that is to serve as a standard for the pharmaceutical industry. Building on the results, process and data mining can be used to generate individual solutions for Tenthpin's customers and achieve a continuous improvement process based on BPMN 2.0.

Werk 150 - Developing hybrid human-machine work systems

Under the project management of Professor Vera Hummel and working with staff at the campus factory Werk150, the team of students developed two demonstrators of hybrid work systems to investigate and demonstrate both the possibilities and the limits of human-robot collaboration. The Fashion Retail Assistance demonstrator is designed to take over time-intensive work processes in clothing stores, especially walking routes. Using optical recognition technology and machine learning, the collaborative robotic system with integrated automated guided vehicle system is able to perform garment collection and retrieval autonomously. This leaves more time for person-to-person consultations, resulting in an improved customer experience.

The ESBakery scenario presents a potential collaboration between humans and robots in the service area of bakeries. Here, the robot helps prepare and serve coffee and pastries, allowing the service staff to devote their full attention to the customer. A stationary robot is used here, which is ideally suited for joint work by humans and robots in a confined space, thanks to a capacitive sensor skin.