WZL - Modern Production Engineering Through Applied Research


Across the world and for many decades now the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University has stood for successful and forward-thinking research in the area of production engineering. In eight different work areas, research activities not only relate to fundamental theories and findings but also to the application of findings in an industrial context. Furthermore, practical solutions are worked out for the purposes of rationalising production.

From the goal of wishing to cover the entire spectrum of production technology from one source, we have a broad working field which focuses on the business areas of development and design, quality management, organisation, work preparation, production and assembly as well as control and automation.

The Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering is headed by four Professors: Christian Brecher (Machine Tools, Assembly Technology, Excellence Cluster, Gear Engineering), Thomas Bergs (Manufacturing Technology, Gear Technology), Robert Schmitt (Production Metrology and Quality Management) and Günther Schuh (Production Engineering). The managing director of the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering changes on a rotational basis every three years.


The research carried out at the WZL is characterised by close collaboration between the various disciplines as well as a balanced mix of pure research and applied development. Research is generally carried out together with various industrial companies. This ensures that the research results find rapid application in an industrial context. On 1 April 2008, an additional Chair was set up at RWTH Aachen University and located at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering. It is the Chair for Assembly Technology under Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Müller. The work of this research area is marked in particular by the close and intensive cooperation with national and international industrial companies from various production areas.

The intensive analysis of different aspects of production engineering carried out in the specialist departments of the WZL results in our ability to handle entire process chains and interdisciplinary topics in a competent manner. The business area "Aachener Werkzeugbauakademie" (tool and diemaking), for example, offers customised solutions from a single source.

As an university institute, the second most important task for the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering is the applied teaching of highly qualified young engineers in the area of production engineering. Insights gained from research activities flow directly into university teaching, thus ensuring that studies are always up-to-date. RWTH Aachen University, as one of largest European universities, offers an outstanding environment for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary course of studies.