New Center in the Production Technology Cluster: XL Assembly

05/07/2022

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As the ninth center in the Production Technology Cluster on the RWTH Aachen Campus, XL Assembly will in future build an industrial consortium that will jointly design, test, integrate and experience innovative technologies for the industrial assembly of the future. The center combines industrial requirements with university research approaches for the development of a versatile, scalable, configurable and fully adaptable assembly system. The focus is on the assembly of large components, including those for the aerospace industry, wind turbine construction and manufacturers of commercial vehicles. To this end, a variety of disciplines from industry and research are bundled to develop and test practical solutions in agile projects: from workplace design and automation to production control and organization.

The Center XL Assembly was initiated by the Machine Tool Laboratory WZL at RWTH Aachen University. So far, it is mainly companies from the healthcare and automotive industries that have decided to take advantage of future collaboration with the Center. Joint solution approaches serve to compensate for market-related uncertainties and sales fluctuations as well as increasing product variance, an aging society and growing wage cost pressure in order to achieve resilience and sustainability. To this end, the Center and its industry members use the unique research infrastructure at the RWTH Aachen Campus to test large-scale components in real-world environments. Industrial competitors come together on the campus to conduct joint research on a single topic. The center's current lighthouse project is the "Line-less Mobile Assembly Demonstrator", in which, together with the WZL, the assembly of the future is being tested on the basis of truck frame assembly.

The member of the management of the Production Technology Cluster, Prof. Wolfgang Boos, says:

"We are pleased that with XL Assembly another center has been initiated and is now starting its work in our cluster. With its focus, the XL Assembly center complements the existing focal points in the Production Technology cluster on the assembly of the future."

For Center Director Dr. Guido Hüttemann, the flexibility of assembly systems is of particular relevance: "The continued existence of existing production sites depends on whether future assembly systems can make their contribution to the flexibility and sustainability of production. For us, the assembly of the future is characterized by three terms: lineless, mobile and autonomous."

A vision for the assembly of the future is currently being developed with 12 companies in an ongoing consortium study. The in-depth analysis of the requirements as well as the necessary and available technologies form the content-related basis for the further examination of the topic.

A networking event with presentations and workshops on the topic of "Assembly of the Future" will take place on August 26, 2022. Interested companies can obtain further information on the event from mid-July at www.xl-assembly.com.