Researchers operate a robotic arm Copyright: © Mario Irrmischer  

Development of an Innovative Solution for Advanced Systems Engineering of Computer-Aided Process Planning of the Future


Key Info

Basic Information

01.10.2020 to 30.09.2023
Research Area:
Work Scientific Support of Change and Transformation Processes



Susanne Mütze-Niewöhner

Head of Work Organization Department


+49 241 80-99451




The project "CAM2030" aims to develop an innovative solution for the Advanced Systems Engineering (ASE) of Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) of the future. Within an interdisciplinary environment consisting of the research fields of computer science, engineering, work science, sociology and business administration, a new generation of CAM systems is being developed. It is intended to enable users to carry out process planning for the manufacture of highly complex components quickly, efficiently and safely. The IAW Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft (Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics) at RWTH Aachen University is investigating the effects of the new generation of CAM systems on work organization and users. In addition, IAW is developing suitable introduction and utilization strategies for such CAM systems.


In many manufacturing companies, process planning for the production of complex components is carried out with the help of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). In the wake of Industry 4.0, increasing market competition, shorter innovation cycles, and greater product differentiation present companies with the challenge of the increasing complexity of products and CAM systems. CAM systems require a high degree of user interaction, making them difficult for users to handle. Many of the CAM user interfaces are extremely complex, which often results in poor learnability, a high level of required experiential knowledge, and users being overwhelmed by process planning tasks.


The goal of the "CAM2030" project is to support users of computer-aided process planning through the application-centered enrichment of the socio-technical working environment with innovative digital optimization tools. The result is a new generation of CAM systems that is characterized by reduced planning effort, technology-optimized process planning, and long-term knowledge acquisition and retention.

The IAW supports the development of the new generation of CAM systems by scientifically investigating the expected effects of the system on work organization and users. Existing research gaps in the fields of modeling, analysis and work organization design of hybrid and highly digitized work systems are to be closed in a scientific and application-oriented manner. Due to the novelty of the CAM system, adequate strategies and procedures are to be developed to ensure the successful introduction and application of the corresponding technologies in companies.


The development of an innovative CAM system is carried out by integrating and coupling extensive simulation models as well as evolutionary algorithms, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
The IAW supports the approach in particular by researching organizational work design and developing implementation strategies. Process and work analyses of the CAM planning process will be carried out, evaluated and processed using suitable methods. Based on these results, scenarios for the future development of the work system of the affected employees will be developed together with the project partners and designed and evaluated with regard to the work organization. Scenario-based, participative implementation strategies will be derived. Furthermore, IAW supports the design of human-machine interaction, the integration and optimization of the overall CAM system as well as the development, testing and evaluation of training concepts.


As part of the research and development project, an intelligent extension of a CAM system has been created by integrating innovative technologies and optimization tools. Through work and process analyses carried out by the IAW at the beginning of the project, strengths and weaknesses of the existing CAM planning work system could be identified and used for further development. Based on the results, scenarios for the future development of work in CAM planning were designed together with the interdisciplinary consortium of research institutions and development and application partners from industry as well as evaluated with regard to their effects on the work organization. In order to support the implementation of intelligent CAM systems, suitable participative strategies and procedures were derived and the fit of training content was evaluated. A further work analysis at the end of the project revealed changes to the work system as a result of the intelligent extension.

Project Partners
3WIN Maschinenbau GmbH, Aachen
EXAPT Systemtechnik GmbH, Aachen
Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI, Sankt Augustin
Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, Aachen
German Edge Cloud, Eschborn
Human-Computer Interaction Center, Aachen
KEX Knowledge Exchange AG, Aachen
Merantix AG, Berlin
ModuleWorks GmbH, Aachen
MTU Aero Engines, München


This research and development project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the “Innovations for Tomorrow’s Production, Services, and Work” Program (funding number: 02J19B081) and implemented by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The author is responsible for the content of this publication.