Industry 4.0 learning factory didactic design parameters for industrial engineering education in South Africa

20 Oct 2017

To manage the impact of Industry 4.0 on industrial engineering (IE) education curriculum requirements, realistic teaching and learning infrastructure such as a learning factory are required. This paper scans the literature to determine Industry 4.0's principles and interactions with IE and a learning factory, surveys relevant universities by questionnaire to determine its current status and practices, and formulates didactic design parameters for an Industry 4.0 learning factory to support IE education in South Africa, making use of existing models of cyber-physical systems and learning factory morphology. In other results, the technical universities are discovered to be more positively disposed, in general terms, to developing an Industry 4.0 learning factory than are the traditional programmes which, with one exception, prefer computational facilities. Of ten universities that offer IE, only one - a traditional programme - has made significant progress towards creating an Industry 4.0 learning factory.