Cluster of Excellence – Internet of Production

  A man uses his tablet to control a networked production system Copyright: © Dr. Martin Riedel


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The Future of Digitalization in Production "Made in Aachen"


Key Info

Basic Information

01.01.2019 to 31.12.2025
Research Area:
Sociotechnical Systems and Human-Machine Interfaces

Further Information



As part of the third round of the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments to promote cutting-edge research at German universities and research institutes, funding has been approved for the follow-up application of the "Internet of Production (IoP)" Cluster of Excellence at RWTH Aachen University. This follows the first two funding periods (2006 to 2012 and 2013 to 2018), during which IAW – Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft (Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics) – will conduct research in the Cluster of Excellence for a further seven years. In addition, IAW heads the Integrated Use unit.


The motivation for the Cluster of Excellence lies in digitalization, as we are already experiencing it through the Internet of Things. Smart home applications such as Amazon Alexa or digital support for finding free parking spaces in cities are just a few everyday examples. However, these approaches cannot be transferred directly to the world of production, because on the one hand it is very complex and on the other hand data availability is not always guaranteed. The great challenge therefore consists of providing semantically adequate and context-related data from production, upstream development and use in real time as well as adapted granularity by means of the digital shadow as an application-specific data set.


The main goal of the cluster is to make data and data models available and usable across domains, which are currently mainly available and used on an application-specific or domain-specific basis. This should enable both vertical and horizontal integration, which will increase productivity and agility. To this end, scientists from production engineering, computer science, materials science, economics and other disciplines are conducting research in strongly networked sub-research areas linked by common use cases.


The IAW supports the research work in the research teams Assembly of the Future (research area Production Engineering), Long-Term Production Management (research area Production Management) and the Internal User Perspective (research area Integrated Use). As a research focus, IAW is investigating human-robot collaboration (HRC) in the context of assembly of the future. The focus in the design of the work system is on a human-centered design approach as well as safety. In addition to simulation experiments, tests are also planned in the institute's robotics laboratory in order to develop HRC for the working world of the future. Another research focus of the IAW is to transfer the concept of the digital shadow to human actors in production. The aim is to investigate how production employees can be supported by the systematic collection and provision of data.


The project is funded by the DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) in the context of the Excellence Initiative – EXC-2023 Internet of Production (Project number: 390621612).

Project Partners

Chair for Foundry Science and Foundry Institute
Computer Science 3 - Software Engineering
Computer Science 4 - Communication and Distributed Systems
Computer Science 5 - Information Systems & Databases
Computer Science 5 - Knowledge-Based System Group
Computer Science 11 - Embedded Software
Chair of Communication Science
Institute for Plastics Processing
Chair for Laser Technology
Instruction and Research Department for Nonlinear Dynamics of Laser Manufactoring Processes
Chair of Process and Data Science
Technology and Innovation Management
Lehrstuhl für Textilmaschinenbau und Institut für Textiltechnik
Chair Materials Engineering of Metals and Department of Ferrous Metallurgy
Institute of Metal Forming
Chair of Surface Engineering / Surface Engineering Institute
Institute of Automatic Control
Welding and Joining Institute
Chair and Institute for Materials Applications in Mechanical Engineering
Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering - Chair of Production Metrology and Quality Management
Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering - Chair of Production Engineering
Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering - Chair of Manufactoring Technology
Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering - Machine Tools
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