Sustainable development: German students win international Dassault Systèmes hackathon

What does tomorrow's production look like? How can man, nature and production be linked together in the best possible way? And what can sustainable business concepts look like? These questions were explored and concepts developed during an international hackathon during the Manufacturing in the Age of Experience by Dassault Systèmes - and all this in only 48 hours. The winners included two German students who convinced the jury with an integrative shared economy concept.

Linus Collin (ESB Business School of Reutlingen University) and Sascha Ballardt (Trier University of Applied Sciences) were part of a five-member international team of students that prevailed over three other teams. Other participants in the hackathon came from countries such as Australia, France and China. "Right from the beginning, we had a real team spirit," says Ballardt. This was also noticeable in the way the winning team worked: Ideas were exchanged, discussed and a concept was quickly developed.

In order to pursue the guiding theme of sustainability in production, the team around Collin and Ballardt developed a shared economy concept in which different companies benefit from a shared location. The aim was also to ensure that the facilities were operated as energy-neutral as possible, with a focus on renewable energies. The concept finally presented consisted of several clusters of an industrial park, which can be jointly used by several companies. Thus, several manufacturers can access a central warehouse to keep transport routes short. A joint canteen was conceived as a knowledge-sharing place to promote synergies among the employees. Waste products such as excess heat, which typically accumulates in manufacturing companies, can also be used in production to heat premises. The jury was impressed by the winning team's concept due to its multi-faceted approach and integrative implementation.

The students were provided with the Dassault Systèmes product portfolio to create their concept. On the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, they use the 3D Lean application to gather initial ideas, CATIA to create the building structures and 3DEXCITE to achieve a spatial visualisation of the entire facility. This enabled effective planning and implementation in every step of the process, which - especially due to the tight schedule - made it possible to realize the concept.

The productive and target-oriented implementation based on Dassault Systèmes solutions also resulted in a positive overall conclusion for the participants. On the one hand, it was shown that the cooperation across language and cultural borders on a digital platform was easily achieved. On the other hand, the participants were also able to gain valuable personal insights from the hackathon. Linus Collin comments: "We quickly realized how international production has to be today. Challenges for tomorrow's production must therefore no longer be solved only on a national but also on an international level - with a special focus on sustainable developments".
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