Serious Gaming Supporting Competence Development in Sustainable Manufacturing

Serious Gaming Supporting Competence Development in Sustainable Manufacturing

Heiko Duin (BIBA – Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH, Germany), Gregor Cerinšek (Institute for Innovation and Development of University of Ljubljana (IRI UL), Slovenia), Manuel Fradinho (The Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (SINTEF), Norway) and Marco Taisch (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0149-9.ch003


Becoming a sustainable global manufacturing enterprise is a challenge for almost every manufacturing organization in the world because of its multidimensional nature. Sustainability combines environmental, economic, and social dimensions and is considered to be a complex and hard to learn subject needing a lot of experience and competences. Traditional ways to create such experience and develop competences like role playing and simulations tend to take a lot of time and are expensive. On the other hand, serious gaming has proven to support learners in acquiring new and complex knowledge and is ideally suited to support problem based learning by creating engaging experiences around a contextual problem where users must apply competences to solve these presented challenges. This chapter introduces a new learning environment which is build around a gaming engine supporting the development of competences in specific subject areas. Selected competences in sustainable global manufacturing lead to the definition of scenarios, which then can be executed by a game engine, thus creating experience within the user. A knowledge ecology space allows the user to interact and reflect on learning outcomes with other participants. The subject of sustainable global manufacturing is the application case presented in this chapter showing how specific competences in this area have been identified and how a game scenario has been developed. Finally, its implementation and evaluation is discussed.
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Why There Is A Need For Serious Gaming In Sgm

Manufacturing industries account for a significant part of the world’s consumption of resources and generation of waste. Worldwide, the energy consumption of manufacturing industries grew by 61% from 1971 to 2004 and accounts for nearly a third of today’s global energy use. Likewise, they are responsible for 36% of global carbon dioxide emissions (IEA 2007).

Manufacturing industries nevertheless have the potential to become a driving force for the creation of a sustainable society. They can design and implement integrated sustainable practices and develop products and services that contribute to better environmental performance. This requires a shift in the perception and understanding of industrial production and the adoption of a more holistic approach to conducting business (Maxwell, Sheate et al. 2006).

Sustainable Manufacturing is part of a larger concept of sustainable development, which emerged in the early 1980’s in response to increased awareness and concern over the environmental and social impact of economic growth and global expansion of business and trade.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Competence: Within the TARGET project, a competence is defined as a specific, definable and measurable knowledge, skill, ability and/or other deployment-related characteristic (e.g. attitude, behavior, physical ability) which a human resource may possess and which is necessary for the performance of an activity within a work context. An overview of definitions of competences is available in Sampson and Fytros (2008).

Sustainable Manufacturing: Sustainable manufacturing deals with the application of sustainable development in the manufacturing sector. Commonly agreed measures in sustainable manufacturing include e.g. reduction of energy and raw material use, substitution of toxic and non-renewable materials, reduction of unwanted outputs (pollution, waste), reuse (recycling) of outputs, change structures of ownership in global manufacturing.

Sustainable Development: Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need (Brundtland, 1987).

Serious Gaming: Serious games are computer and/or video games used beside entertaining goals for educational technology. Serious games can be of any genre and many of them can be considered a kind of edutainment. Computer based serious games are an e-Learning methodology (Thoben et al, 2005)

Life Cycle Analysis: Is a “cradle-to-grave” approach for assessing industrial systems. “Cradle-to-grave” begins with the gathering of raw materials from the earth to create the product and ends at the point when all materials are returned to the earth. LCA evaluates all stages of a product’s life from the perspective that they are interdependent, meaning that one operation leads to the next. LCA enables the estimation of the cumulative environmental impacts resulting from all stages in the product life cycle, often including impacts not considered in more traditional analyses (e.g., raw material extraction, material transportation, ultimate product disposal, etc.) (Curran, 2006).

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