Industrial projects

An industrial project is a form of teaching/learning during which you develop and apply technical and business knowledge to real-world problems. The stages of the industrial project correspond to the value chain of a mass-produced product. This ranges from the identification of potential, to product design, through to the preparation of series production.

As part of industrial projects, students work closely, over the course of five semesters, with companies from the industrial sector. In small groups, the students develop solutions and decision-making foundations that extend from determining potential over product design, technical design, prototype construction and testing down to the planning and preparation of serial production.

Lecturers help the students to apply different theoretical approaches to these tasks. However, the goal of this support it not to prevent the students from making mistakes but rather to encourage them to try out new things, to fail again and again and, in this way, to acquire knowledge and experience which will make them fit for working life.

1st semester: Identification of potential

Which new customer requirements should the company satisfy with suitable solutions in 5-15 years? The students research the market, the environment and the activities of the industrial partner. They record long-term opportunities and risks, and they look for specific new business areas or products that will be needed in the future.

2nd semester: Product design

How can a formulated customer requirement be satisfied by the company? What are the specific solutions and business models? From a specific but still very loosely defined task, the students come up with new products and solutions.

3rd semester: Technical design

Which factors influence product development and how must the product development be documented? From a specific but still very loosely defined product idea, the students develop a product and create a technical design for a go or no-go decision.

4th semester: Prototype

Which factors influence the prototype development and how does the prototype production have to be documented? How can the product being developed be checked at an early stage? On the basis of the designs, the students then prepare all documents that are needed for producing the prototype in accordance with the designs. They also define the test phases.

5th semester: Series production

How is a prototype presented? How can it be made fit for series production? The prototype is then fabricated, assembled, tested and adapted using the prepared production documents. Optimisations for series production are developed in addition.

The partner companies do not have to pay for the industrial projects. The time required depends greatly on the type of project. Further information about the industrial projects can be found in the brochure ‘Denker und Macher der Zukunft’ (Thinkers and Doers of the Future) or in the film (in German).