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Manufacturing in the City?

03-06-2014 06:43 PM CET | Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Press release from: Fraunhofer IAO

The Urban Factory, © Fraunhofer IAO

The Urban Factory, © Fraunhofer IAO

Urban manufacturing is not just good for companies

What strategies and concepts are required to ensure city-based manufacturing gives all its stakeholders added value? The Urban Production innovation network brings Fraunhofer IAO together with partners to develop new approaches for urban manufacturing.

Global trends such as the world’s growing population, ongoing urbanization and our increasing awareness that raw materials are a finite resource are forcing us to find ways to make how we live and work in future more sustainable. Achieving this will not be easy, but if the challenges involved can be overcome, every stakeholder stands to gain – from companies and their employees to cities and their inhabitants. New technologies are creating opportunities for new manufacturing concepts, even in our cities.

Companies that base themselves in an urban environment enjoy a host of advantages: access to a qualified workforce, increased flexibility in manufacturing capacity, shorter distances, cluster effects, and proximity to a pool of creative ideas. Urban manufacturing processes must be as efficient and emissions-free as possible – and this pressure to be lean, clean and green gives competitiveness a major boost. Moving manufacturing into the city can also be good for employees, since shorter commutes mean more scope for flexible working. This not only includes new part-time systems and arrangements that relax the boundaries between workspace and home environment, but also allows employees to take a more integrated approach to managing their work and private lives, for example when it comes to raising children, caring for dependents, or organizing leisure time.

Establishing a symbiosis between manufacturing companies and urban environments can lead to added value for all. A new innovation network, Urban Production, seeks to determine which strategies, concepts, processes and technologies will achieve this. In collaboration with industrial partners and local and regional bodies, Fraunhofer IAO is developing feasible action plans for urban manufacturing as well as solutions for how to successfully work up and implement these ideas. Companies and organizations interested in the project can join as partners at any time to benefit from its results and to share expertise with the other members.

Contact
Joachim Lentes
Digital Engineering
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2285
Email joachim.lentes@iao.fraunhofer.de

Nikolas Zimmermann
Digital Engineering
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2140
Email nikolas.zimmermann@iao.fraunhofer.de

More Information
www.iao.fraunhofer.de/lang-en/business-areas/engineering-systems/1087-manufacturing-in-the-city

The basis for all work undertaken at the Fraunhofer IAO is a deep conviction that business success in a globalised arena is contingent on an ability to profitably leverage new high-tech potentials. In order to optimally exploit these opportunities, companies must be capable of developing and implementing customer and employee-oriented technologies faster than their competitors. Work organisation concepts must be simultaneously innovative and anthropocentric. A systematic design, in other words, is the outcome of pooled management and technical expertise. This holistic perspective when it comes to project processing ensures that equal consideration is given to commercial success, employees' interests and social consequences.

Through its close cooperation with the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT) of the University of Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IAO unites basic university research with applied science and business practice.

Fraunhofer IAO
Public Relations
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart

Phone +49 711 970-2124
Fax +49 711 970-2299

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