The Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, Germany, will offer a new sustainability degree program starting in the winter semester 2021/22. The bachelor's degree program Sustainable Engineering - Sustainable Products and Processes is a study offer that combines engineering training combined with the topic of sustainability. The university is thereby responding to the increasing demand for specialists with this profile and at the same time to the interest of prospective students in this subject. The focus of the degree program is on product and process development and addresses the issue of sustainability along the entire supply chain. A holistic view of the product development process enables students to consider ecological, economical, technical and social aspects holistically, to harmonize them with each other and to implement them in the industrial environment. The sustainability subjects are lectured in English and accompanied by language courses in the elementary studies. In the main study period, students choose one of the 3 specializations: Textile and Clothing Technology, Mechanical Engineering or Materials and Process Technology. The program is completed with a Bachelor of Engineering degree.
Future of digital development
Importance of digital design: The advantages of digital development and design of 3D clothing are obvious: Prototypes can be adapted quickly and misunderstandings between designer, developer and producer can be reduced significantly. The data can be shared easily for example via the cloud. Different colors, patterns and structures can be tested nearly effortlessly. Additionally, the garments can be visualized in detail. Fitting with human models might lose weight, as simulation programs can visualize body distances and other technical parameters, which helps to digitally assess fit. Cost and CO2 emissions can be saved by digital communication as the reduction of physical prototypes saves money, resources, space and leads to less waste. Furthermore, 3D presentation concepts are getting more and more important. Photoshoots can be replaced by renderings and sales samples can be reduced by digital showrooms, and high-end 3D visualization. Special tools like augmented reality and interactive storefronts lead to special shopping experiences: it might soon even be possible to see the virtual garment on your personal avatar. Students learn this approach and other latest technologies during their textile and clothing technology or textile and clothing management studies at the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences, Germany.
Potentials of Microfactory concepts
Events such as world and European championships in soccer or other types of sport, e.g. the Olympics, etc. are good examples to demonstrate that prediction of customers ‘demand’ is nearly impossible. This literally shows that in our fast-moving world, restocking of retail stores needs to be fast and responsive as well as established principles of production have to be put to the test. Here, production close to the sales market offers new perspectives. One can react faster, if necessary re-produce, and ultimately have lower depreciation. This allows, depending on the market situation, to run production economically successful with significantly higher CMT [cut, make and trim] cost. Especially scaled production approaches with large runs made in the traditional manufacturing markets and Microfactories close to the customer market enable brands and manufacturers to better align lot sizes to current demand. On the one hand, this reduces environmental pollution and material consumption, and on the other hand it shortens delivery times.
Basic conditions to successfully run Microfactory concepts are at least 2-fold:
Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, Germany, understands that Industry 4.0 and the issue of sustainability in engineering and process design strongly affects industry’s requirements for employees and in consequence teaching. Thus, current curricula in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs were evaluated and transformed to more interdisciplinary and process driven approaches. Furthermore, raising students’ awareness on the importance of sustainability and equipping them with suitable methodological approaches to assess product and process impacts will be future challenges.