20. July 2018

Robotics for the building industry

Liebherr, KUKA and Autodesk join with RWTH institutes in the Center Construction Robotics to research the automation of construction

Press release

Liebherr, with the division Tower Cranes, KUKA as provider for automation solutions, the software developer Autodesk and RWTH Aachen University with three of its chairs (Individualized Production in Architecture, Lightweight Metal Construction, Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) I Production Metrology and Quality Management) have announced their collaboration in the area of robotics for construction today. The industry consortium will conduct research in collaboration with the interdisciplinary research team of the newly founded Center Construction Robotics on RWTH Aachen Campus. The center is under the scientific direction of Professor Sigrid Brell-Cokcan (Chair of Individualized Production in Architecture), Professor Robert Schmitt (Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) I Production Metrology and Quality Management) and Professor Markus Kuhnhenne (Institute of Steel Construction | Chair for Lightweight Metal Construction).

The construction sector has great potential in terms of robot-based automation. Using the example of large scale and complex facade elements and their production, a previously non-existent continuous digital chain from planning to manufacture and subsequent installation will demonstrated. The declared objective of the Center Construction Robotics is to develop the construction site of the future by way of digitalization: from preproduction to a common value creation chain, all the way to a partially automated construction site. “We identify disruptive processes at the Center Construction Robotics and will then also develop new matching business models. Here we collaborate closely with market-leading platform and technology enablers”, explains Professor Sigrid Brell-Cokcan, Chair of Individualized Production in Architecture at RWTH Aachen.

Dominique Tasch, Managing Director for Technology & Development, Liebherr-Werk Biberach GmbH, comments about the involvement of his company in the newly founded center on RWTH Aachen Campus:  “In Aachen and in the idea of the Center Construction Robotics we have found a very promising environment that allows all participants to take on a shaping role in the development of the digital construction site. Given the renowned collaborators Liebherr sees a good chance to make  the vision of the construction site of the future a reality.”

KUKA and Autodesk share this enthusiastic view of the collaboration. “A new age is dawning. Increasing digitalization is changing the business world – also on construction sites. The past ten years have seen hardly any increase in productivity in the German construction sector. Completely new approaches in the construction and manufacture of buildings offer the unique possibility of introducing high-performance, flexible and digital fabrication methods directly to the construction site by way of robot-based automation”, says Alois Buchstab, Vice President Advanced Robotic Applications, KUKA. Ralf Moser, Leader BIM Transformation, AEC Digital Expert Group, Autodesk GmbH, adds: “We want to identify BIM use cases for construction robotics as part of our syndicated research at RWTH. With Autodesk FORGE, we offer a technology platform that allows the integration of BIM and robotics and which is also open to all companies in the construction sector that create digital value.”

Press release (PDF)

Center Construction Robotics

(f. l. t. r. Stefan Strauch, Managing Director Liebherr-Werk Biberach GmbH; Stéfanie Wohlfahrt, Member of the Administrative Board of Liebherr-International AG; Uwe Rechtsteiner, Managing Director Liebherr-International AG; Dominique Tasch, Managing Director Liebherr-Werk Biberach GmbH; Daniel Haarhoff, Managing Director Center Construction Robotics; Alois Buchstab, Vice President Advanced Robotic Applications KUKA Group; Prof. Sigrid Brell-Cokcan, Chair of Individualized Production in Architecture; Ralf Mosler, Leader BIM Transformation AEC Digital Expert Group Autodesk GmbH; Prof. Markus Kuhnhenne, Chair for Lightweight Metal Construction; Prof. Robert Schmitt, Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen; Philipp Müller, Program Manager AEC EMEA Autodesk GmbH)

Quotes

Center Construction Robotics

Center Construction Robotics

Center Construction Robotics

Center Construction Robotics

Center Construction Robotics

WZL research hall of the Chair of Production Metrology and Quality Management,
RWTH Aachen

Center Construction Robotics

New large robotics hall of the Chair of Individualized Production in Architecture, RWTH Aachen University

Center Construction Robotics

Wind tunnel in the steel construction hall of the Chair of Steel Construction (Prof. Feldmann), RWTH Aachen University