RTWH Aachen University: Cluster of Excellence "Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries"
How can companies, for instance, achieve a lasting optimisation of their value added processes while avoiding and reducing any kind of preparatory or planning-oriented activities – the non-value added processes – to a minimum? How can they learn to serve increasing varieties of customer preferences and requirements while producing at mass production costs? High-wage countries like Germany urgently require answers to these questions in order to maintain local production activities that create and sustain employment.
A new understanding of products and production is required to address the aforementioned challenges. The Cluster of Excellence “Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries” therefore aims at developing future strategies and theories for production sciences as well as required technology enablers and drivers. RWTH Aachen University’s production scientists have begun to design a comprehensive technology roadmap for future production technology. This roadmap addresses different key research fields with high potentials for organisational and technical innovation, such as individualisation, virtualisation, hybridisation as well as self-optimisation of production. For pursuing research in the depicted domains the cluster has chosen 12 real-world business and industry cases at partner companies encompassing a broad spectrum of industrial production, such as integrated refrigerator panels, automobile rear axles, design-to-cost modularised printing machines or micro lasers.
With the Cluster of Excellence, Aachen University’s research institutes in production engineering created the “Aachen House of Integrative Production Technology” as a virtual competence centre that bundles comprehensive knowledge and experience in the various domains of production available in Aachen. The centre’s aim is the further facilitation of cooperation between industry and research with particular focus on the integration of companies into the cluster. In this way, the cluster will support large and small companies alike in identifying their own future development paths and success factors as well as providing means for increasing efficiency and safeguarding resources.