Siemens has recently launched an online game called Plantville, which is
designed to simulate the experience of running a manufacturing plant. In fact,
players of the game don't just manage one plant -- they manage 3 plants --
Bewell Vitamin Company, the Hopon Train Co. and Quenchco Bottling Co.
Every decisions made by players, from hiring additional employees to purchasing new equipment, to performing maintenance, comes with costs that are deducted from budget. Available capital is increased by accepting new orders as they arrive. All in all, this virtual game very closely simulates most of the aspects involved in managing a plant.
Two other areas of the game, Pete's Puzzlers and Plantville Cafe, offer extended learning environments. Pete's Puzzlers are a series of brain teasers that provide tips on how to better play the game through enhancement of plant performance. In the Plantville Cafe, chat sessions with Pete cover topics such as process control, energy efficiency and industrial networking.
Of course, a principal goal of this game is to help spread the word about Siemens products and its role in industry. "Driving preference for our company by illustrating how Siemens can be America's partner for infrastructure and industry is only part of what we hope to accomplish with Plantville," said Daryl Dulaney, president and CEO, Siemens Industry Inc. "We also designed the game to educate our current and future employees about the breadth of Siemens portfolio and to strengthen our position as an employer of choice."
You can access the game at: http://www.plantville.com
To see my review of the game and what value I think is in it for design engineers, see my blog post about Plantville.