New Delhi: McKinsey & Co. is rolling out a capability-building concept for the manufacturing industry called The Model Factory in a Box (MFIB) in India. This ‘portable factory’ will enable businesses to build capabilities and accelerate transformation programmes through experiential learning.

“The Model Factory in a Box is the ideal platform for learning about Industry 4.0 technologies. It features a host of digital modules that quickly convey knowledge about topics ranging from yield energy throughput and predictive maintenance to digital performance management, robotics, advanced analytics, and additive manufacturing," says Dr Olivier Noterdaeme, Partner, McKinsey & Co., Belgium, who is part of the Global MFIB team.

Noterdaeme, who was in India last week was explaining how the factory works at McKinsey’s Capability Center in Gurugram.

He demonstrated how a portable table top model factory is used to produce lemonade in a realistic process manufacturing environment. Set up in a mid-size room, the production line involved a number of steps, from the preparation of raw material to final assembly and testing.

The training is delivered in a series of modules where participants experience the frustration of a bad current state and are then guided through a series of hands-on exercises to improve the production system.

“This fully operational miniature factory demonstrates how to quickly and sustainably build manufacturing capabilities at scale. This is delivered through hands-on experiential learning on a soft drinks production line that puts the students in the place of the operator or the supervisor. They learn first-hand, analyse its operations and implement changes immediately," said Noterdaeme.

MFIB helps to rapidly transfer knowledge and skills through “learning by doing", enables participants to step outside of their day-to-day work environment but use familiar workstations and standard fixtures and fittings, replicates all the operations of a plant—actually producing real products—and demonstrates how small changes to production can deliver big impact. It also helps businesses learn about everything from basic lean awareness to advanced digital tools such as predictive maintenance and advanced analytics and get extensive hands-on practice with them.

What’s more, the MFIB is a uniquely portable solution that brings the factory and the trainers on site. It thus eliminates the need for companies to travel to an external location, saving time and resources. The MFIB fits in a few boxes that can be assembled in a matter of hours in the configuration that is needed. It only needs power, water and sufficient space.

MFIB works for all levels from a factory worker to a CXO. It provides not only an ideal environment for production employees to learn new skills, but can also expose senior executives to the realities of the decisions that operators and engineers have to make every day. In a fast-paced, hands-on workshop, CXOs and top management can experience, first-hand, everything from new 3D printing processes to the impact of lean methods on long-established production set-ups. The training ranges from a half-day awareness workshop to a 1-3 day deep dive training and finally a boot camp for 3-5 days to help understand advanced tools and techniques.

Kunwar Vijayant Singh, Partner, McKinsey India, who leads the India MFIB team says: “Disruptive technologies will change the manufacturing sector between now and 2025 – all of them are covered by the MFIB. In India, the MFIB offers a unique choice of capability building at scale to support companies across all stages of their digital transformation journey."