About us

The assembly process of parts and products is experiencing fundamental changes due to new technologies from Industry 4.0. The Center XL Assembly offers a platform for the transfer of ideas regarding changable and flexible assembly systems and its automation. XL Assembly acts as a matchmaker between industrial needs and academic knowledge.
Model of an XL Assembly line

WZL

Vision

  • Future assembly is line-less, mobile and autonomous.
  • Resilience is a result of changeability.

Future assembly is directed towards resilient production of individualized products. All required resources, such as mobile robots, automated guided vehicles and employees move freely around the factory. On-demand, they autonomously reorganize themselves to carry out global objectives and assembly processes in real-time. Assembly processes are no longer realized by rigidly linked lines but along optimal job routes between mobile assembly stations. Networked resources provide all information for the digital twin of the assembly systems. Based on the digital twin, automated production planning and control systems analyzes possible system configurations and provides the goals for autonomous resource agents. Automation of automation ensures that automated resources can be deployed successfully down to lot size one. We call this approach Line-less Assembly Systems (LAS) and Line-less Mobile Assembly Systems (LMAS).

These paradigms are the blueprint for future, resilient and sustainable industrial assembly.

Mission

  • Our Mission is to research, build and improve the future assembly for our customers‘ smart factories.
  • New technologies and latest research results are implemented in our resilient applications.

In collaboration with our partners and domain experts, we develop innovative automation solutions, organizational concepts and implement algorithms for the assembly of demanding products from batch size 1 to mass production across all industries.

Considering our RWTH Aachen University network, we combine an entrepreneurial perception of production and scientific expertise in automation, mobile robotics, measurement technology, control engineering as well as artificial intelligence. The holistic perspective on industrial assembly from individual processes to distributed productions sites is an inherent part of our approach.

Strategy

As a center we provide a joint research, communication and work platform for users, system integrators and manufacturers. Automation technology and customized demonstrator implementation is executed in the Living Lab. This comprehensive infrastructure for rapid prototyping and testing of cutting-edge technologies offers the freedom for conducting scientific experiments in the realm of collaborative research activities.

Our research focus:

  • Planning and Design of Line-less and Matrix-like Assembly Systems
  • Smart Data Interpretation for Management and Assembly Workers
  • Metrology-Assisted Production Chains
  • Cyber-Physical Production Systems
  • Autonomy of Process Actors
  • Control of Automated Cooperating Robots

WZL

WZL

Team

In close cooperation with the Machine Tool Laboratory WZL of RWTH Aachen University, our team covers the necessary range to transfer the consortial pre-competitive research results into systems in the field respecting customer-oriented adaptations. The responsibilities are divided as follows:
Consortial Research
M.Sc. M.Sc.
Armin Buckhorst
Center Director & Managing Director
Consulting
Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.Ing.
Guido Hüttemann
Managing Director
Systems Engineering
Dr.-Ing.
Walter Kimmelmann
Managing Director

Initiators

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Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL)

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 and innovation in the area of production engineering. In six 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 rationalizing production.

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Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT)

The Fraunhofer IPT combines knowledge and experience in all fields of production technology. In the areas of process technology, production machines, production metrology and quality as well as technology management, it offers partners and customers tailor-made solutions and immediately actionable results for a connected, adaptive production.