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Center for Industrial Productivity (CiP) Darmstadt

The Center for Industrial Productivity (CiP) is an innovative educational and research facility funded jointly by the Technical University of Darmstadt and McKinsey & Company. This first European learning center was established back in 2007 and, as the first Capability Center, also served as the blueprint for all subsequently established facilities in McKinsey's Capability Center network. At the core of the CiP concept lie lean techniques, lean management, and application of lean principles in quality assurance and maintenance. The content of all workshops is customized to meet the needs of the respective participants – from both a content and scope perspective and with regard to event timing.

Industry 4.0 in production 

Many companies are currently faced with the question of how to address the many requirements emerging in relation to Industry 4.0. What will it mean for my industry? Which new technologies are really relevant for my business? What potential can digitization offer me – and what are the challenges? Answers to all of these questions can be found in CiP workshops.

The newly designed workshops set out to answer key questions, including: How can status data for a production process be entered and archived? How can product and process data be compared and combined in order to identify deviations and improve processes? What technical efforts are necessary and what are the economic benefits? How can the product determine the process and thereby support workers? 

Variability analysis in assembly

Real-time quality control 


Understanding the lean management journey

During training at the CiP, participants learn to apply lean principles to an assembly and manufacturing process for producing a real pneumatic cylinder. The production process begins with the intake of raw materials, continues through assembly and manufacturing, and ends with quality testing and packaging. The shop floor is equipped with a variety of machines, including large, fully automated computer-numerical-control (CNC) and turning machines used for large-batch production and small machines used for single-piece flow, so that participants can apply lean tools and techniques in different situations and see the results of their efforts first-hand.

The entire physical set-up can be operated in four different stages, from non-optimized batch production to optimized lean operations with aspects of low-cost automation. In addition to mastering lean techniques, participants improve their problem-solving skills and develop a radically new understanding of the value of lean.

The CiP includes a quality-control station with a computer-aided measurement system. It allows participants to gain experience with all types of lean quality methods and tools, and get a feel for the whole process – from incoming to in-process and outgoing control.

The manufacturing area also serves as an excellent training ground for all types of lean maintenance training. Experiential training will be offered on maintenance effectiveness (strategic, preventive, and autonomous maintenance) as well as maintenance efficiency (for example, scheduling).

CiP training can benefit both new and experienced managers. During production, as many as nine operators work at machines or engage in other tasks. The operators act according to role plays simulating different situations, and managers will be asked to oversee their activities and will receive training on lean management techniques, such as Kamishibai process confirmation, Gemba problem-solving, performance review, giving feedback, and coaching.