The Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Quality Management Department at its Institute for Machine Tools and Factory Management (IWF). In his speech at today’s celebratory colloquium, Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, Managing Director for Technology and Environment at the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), announced that a new chair in “Quality Strategy and Quality Competence” at the TU Berlin would be created with sponsorship from the VDA’s Quality Management Center (VDA QMC) in the spring of 2014. “The selection process is already underway. The newly endowed chair approved by the VDA’s Managing Board should enhance the overall competence of the university in the area of quality and facilitate use of the material by the private sector. One major focus will be quality issues in the automotive industry. The professorship is an important step in the ever closer links between academia and industry as a driver of innovation and growth,” Dr Eichhorn said.
For a quarter of a century now the Production Technology Center Berlin, with its quality management department, has stood for forward-looking research, Dr Eichhorn stated, adding: “During these 25 years the institute’s inter-disciplinary co-operation has achieved an excellent standing in the field of quality management.”
Frank Tuch, chairman of the VDA’s quality managers committee (QMA) and head of Group quality assurance at Volkswagen AG, explained that the area the chair would cover from spring 2014 onwards included the development and application of methods for designing future-proof quality strategies. The department will also focus on their implementation in appropriate quality processes and organisational structures. This will require elaboration of innovative concepts for shaping processes, organisation and competencies, and the development of methods and software tools for supporting practical implementation in an international context. Innovations for developing strategies and skills relate not only to the manufacturing processes for products, but also to the planning, controlling and monitoring processes in the entire product life cycle, with consideration given to economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects.
Dr Eichhorn drew attention to the high speed of innovation in the German automotive industry, saying: “The German automotive industry delivers quality for which we have to work hard, day by day. Every year we invest over 20 billion euro in research and development, and therefore account for more than one third of all industrial research activity. Supporting the Quality Management Department with the new chair is an important component in the competition to enhance Germany’s international position as a research and development location. The requirements placed on the German automotive industry are becoming more and more demanding. So it is all the more necessary to have even closer connections between business and science, and the Quality Management Department at the TU Berlin is a shining example.”