Training & Education

Festo Didactic inspires competency-based learning with reconfigurable MPS Transfer Factory

April 2014 Training & Education

Festo Didactic, the training arm of automation technology supplier Festo, has introduced the innovative MPS Transfer Factory to its suite of training platforms in South Africa and across the world. A selection of similar MPS production modules, where students are taught advanced courses in mechatronics, robotics and automation technology, is available at Festo headquarters in Johannesburg.

As with other training platforms, the MPS Transfer Factory cells are also available to universities, FET Colleges, industrial training centres and other higher learning institutions.

According to Festo Didactic Training Manager, Hugo van Niekerk, a system is easily and quickly reconfigured to provide for a range of production scenarios. “The MPS Transfer Factory is a convertible factory that can be reconfigured in minutes from a simple, straight production line into branched or corner arrangements (90°) as required for the learning situation. Presenting different scenarios inspires competency-based learning where students are encouraged to contribute to the training.”

The MPS Transfer Factory was specifically developed to provide training in mechatronics, robotics and automation technology, together with principles of lean production and reconfigurable factories. It can be configured for a wide range of production scenarios, including:

* Energy monitoring using the latest wireless sensors.

* Robot diagnostics via smartphone.

* Integrated spare parts ordering by the machine.

* RFID (the factory keeps a record of its production history).

* Asset management: QR code links components with their service information.

All the cells in the learning factory are on rollers, which enables them to be freely positioned in the laboratory without tools or pallet trucks. Rewiring, fitting new tubing, or additional installations are not required when changing the layout, which saves valuable training time, and the laboratory remains free of additional supply ducts and trip hazards.

The cells are double-sided to provide for different scenarios for group and individual work. Each cell and functional module is equipped with the latest industrial technology including radio frequency identification technology, robot interfacing, intelligent networking, energy efficiency and condition monitoring.

When the MPS Transfer Factory is used for training by third-party education institutions, Festo Didactic’s experienced technicians and engineers work with the customer to develop factories precisely tailored to meet the training needs.

During seminars, situations are simulated and customised concepts are developed with the participants. “We don’t just offer a standard lab layout or training programme; we enable employees, teachers, researchers and specialists to develop their own concepts so that they can react appropriately to future problems and market developments,” concludes van Niekerk.

For more information contact Tracey Swart, Festo, 086 003 3786,,


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