About Us

  Research hall photo Copyright: © Martin Braun  

In the Smart Automation Lab (SAL) of the Machine Tool Laboratory WZL of RWTH Aachen University, we are dedicated to the most important questions around digitalization and Industry 4.0!

We, that is the Department of Automation and Control Engineering of the Chair of Machine Tools, consisting of 13 scientific staff members, 3 employees and 24 student assistants. In our department, experts from the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science and industrial engineering work hand in hand.

The goal of our research, which is always closely oriented to industrial needs, is the continuous improvement of production processes to increase productivity, increase flexibility and reduce resource consumption. In doing so, we combine information technology and automation technology to realize our vision of the Internet of Productions: A cross-domain network within production technology in which production systems make decisions autonomously and can thus react flexibly to changes. In doing so, the focus remains on humans, as our skills (dexterity, creativity, abstract thinking) complement the technical system.

Both in the processing of research projects and in the context of services, the current challenges of our partners form the basis of our questions. Cooperations include, for example, contract research or project-related services on the following topics:

  • Automationconsulting - From process and potential analysis to selection discussions with potential suppliers, we accompany your project!
  • Edge-Powered Data Acquisition - From edge-level hardware selection to configuring the platform that makes sense for you - AWS, Predix, Mindsphere or others - to app development, our automation experts can support you in all aspects.
  • If you're facing the challenges of digitizing your production technology as part of a new acquisition or retrofit, we can help.
  • New technologies enable fundamentally different forms of HMI/HTI, what makes sense for your company, where are potentials?