Exporting blended vocational education and training for industrial process design and optimisation into the Mexican automotive sector

The objective of the E-Mas joint project is to develop and export offerings for further education for and into the Mexican automotive industry. Mexican employees will be taught skills in the areas of workplace learning, productivity management, tool-and-die making and lean management. Thus, they will be prepared for industrial challenges due to digitisation. By achieving this, the project will support further growth of the Mexican automotive industry. In addition to that, service design for vocational education and training offerings for the export will be addressed and transferred into a digital planning tool.

Within the project E-Mas the partners FIR e. V. at the RWTH Aachen (FIR), Deutsche MTM Vereinigung e. V. (DMTMV), WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie GmbH (WBA) and Lean Enterprise Institut GmbH (LEI) will develop and export in cooperation with the local partner Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) an innovative continuing education program for professionals, operative managers and personnel developers in the Mexican automotive industry.

The partners will realize a comprehensive and certified educational offering in the field of tactic and operative production management for the Mexican employees. Whilst doing so, the consortium’s initiative takes into account the current industrial change due to digitalization and the introduction of Industrie 4.0 thereby preventing proactively potential future competence deficits.

The concept’s focus on tactical and operative production management is what makes E-Mas so promising for the automotive industry: Tactical and operative tasks in the industry are usually carried out from employees holding positions on a middle management level – which is exactly the level that is currently characterized by a substantial lack of qualified personnel in Mexico. The continuous growth of the Mexican automotive industry requires an increasing number of professionals and nowadays many companies experience difficulties finding qualified personnel.

By training employees specifically in this field of expertise and providing them with in-depth knowledge on the topics of workplace learning, productivity management, tool-and-die making and lean management, E-Mas supports the development of necessary competencies and reduces the lack of sufficiently qualified employees. By doing so, the E-Mas continuing education offering provides employees as well as companies of the Mexican Automotive Sector with high class training to achieve the following main objectives of production management:

  1. productivity
  2. adaptability of technical systems
  3. continuous process innovations
  4. employee well-being

These objectives will be realized by the different course offerings within the E-Mas continuing education program. The FIR covers in its course the topic of workplace innovation for the Industrie 4.0 whereas DMTMV is responsible for a course on the topic of productivity management and industrial engineering. The main focus of WBA’s course offering is tool-and-die making and its management aspects and at last the LEI will offer a course concerning Lean-Management for the Industrie 4.0.

In addition to this the FIR will also address the higher-level topic of service design – specifically developing vocational training and education for export purposes. Consequently, a guideline as well as a digital planning tool for designing blended-learning offerings of further education to be exported will be created. In the process the development of the E-Mas program will be integrated as an essential use case.

The FIR course addresses the subject of work-based and technology enhanced learning in the Industrie 4.0. It is the overall aim to create operational managers’ awareness for the benefits of implementing technology-based as well as classic work based learning solutions. Additionally, the course will be of interest for personnel developers and human resource managers. The previously mentioned lack of professionals in the Mexican automotive sector as well as the rising demand for highly trained professionals due to the current implementation of Industrie 4.0 concepts both could ameliorated by integrating learning opportunities into work processes. Companies will benefit from the FIR offering since course participants will be qualified in designing and implementing learning enhancing work environments. As a result, not only the individual competence development of employees but also organizational learning processes will be supported. The acquisition of competencies in the fields of implementing of work based and technology enhanced learning will contribute to the production management objectives productivity, continuous process innovations and employee well-being.

Within the E-Mas program DMTMV aims to adapt its MTM practitioner course to the specific requirements of the Mexican automotive sector. In the process DMTMV intends to offer the well-established DMTMV further education offerings in the fields of productivity management and industrial engineering with lower costs, increased flexibility and higher quality in Mexico. Although nowadays the MTM practitioner training constitutes an international standard for the automotive production, the Mexican automotive sector still exhibits a substantial backlog concerning qualifications in productivity management and industrial engineering. This is reflected by the fact, that DMTMV currently reaches a rate of only 2 % in Mexico in relation to the courses taught in Germany, in spite of a nowadays comparable size of the automotive sector in terms of employees and exports. Consequently, the intended DMTMV offering could answer a huge demand for further education in in the previously mentioned fields. Thus DMTMV will refine and adapt its course offerings for the Mexican automotive industry in order to increase the number of trained persons and consequently to improve productivity and health of employees in Mexico. This is achieved, in particular, by the innovative methods of scientific based personnel allocation and capacity calculation as well as ergonomic work design.

The WBA´s course offering includes the core elements of industrial tool-and-die-making and teaches participants concepts and methods which enable traditional tool-and die producers to become modern, industrial producers of international standard. The need for this arises due to the importance of the tool-making sector for the local production in Mexico, especially for the highly industrialized international automotive producers and suppliers. Since until now neither OEMs, suppliers nor specialized tool-and-die producers are able to cover the continuously growing demand for complex and high-tech tools, the WBA’s course will address one of the central deficits of the Mexican automotive sector. In addition to this it will encounter the lack of knowledge concerning maintenance and repair of tool-and die equipment. By improving the local knowledge base in this field and thereby increasing the local availability of tools the WBA course offering will contribute to the overall productivity and the adaptability of technical systems in the Mexican automotive sector.

The LEI will develop a course on the topic of Lean Management which is adapted on the local requirements and future needs. The LEI’s intention is to train employees of Mexican automotive producers and suppliers in effective and sustainable lean methods. Generally lean management can be considered one of the of the cornerstones of operative production management in the automotive industry which can also be underlined by the current proliferation of lean methods in the international automotive industry. However, the industry’s transformation towards Industrie 4.0 will most probably be progressively evolutionary and, accordingly, require a further development of the already existing Lean methods, which can only be ensured by can only be achieved by means of proven expertise from an established supplier such as the LEI. The overall targets of production management, which will be addressed with the LEI course adaptability of technical system, productivity, and continuous process innovation.

By offering the E-Mas program – which consist of of the previously described courses - the conjoint partners FIR, DMTMV, WBA and LEI as well as the local cooperating partner ITESM provide a comprehensive blended-learning further education program in Spanish for the Mexican automotive sector’s production management, which already takes into account the foreseeable industrial changes due to the implementation of Industrie 4.0. Together, the partners aim to provide unique, innovative and demand-oriented training programs for producers and suppliers of the Mexican automotive industry.

Further Links

UdZ Article: "FIR Exports Its Professional Training Program for the Automotive Sector to Mexico"

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  • Smart Mobility

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