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Enabling Distance Learning and Remote Collaboration in Layout and Process Planning

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Focusing on layout and process planning in collaborative environments, the development of infrastructure and didactic content for hands-on courses has been in progress for years at SZTAKI, with the inclusion of two sites in Budapest and Győr, respectively. Since 2019, a summer school program has been in preparation involving the Pilot Factory in Vienna, maintained by Fraunhofer Austria and TU Wien. While the pandemic has forced on-site education to be postponed, it also raised a lasting need for enabling distance learning and remote collaboration for a learning factory infrastructure which has hitherto been developed for on-site, hands-on activities as the primary consideration. The paper presents extensions addressing these needs in three different dimensions: tailoring task complexity by adequate shaping of free decision spaces, improving transferability of the problems to virtual or off-site solution platforms, and reorganization of work and cross-site collaboration. The concepts are illustrated by the example of a summer school course in layout and process planning for collaborative assembly stations, planned to take place in July/August 2021.