6. July 2022
As the ninth center in the Production Engineering Cluster on RWTH Aachen Campus, XL Assembly will in future build up an industrial consortium that will jointly design, test and experience innovative technologies for the industrial assembly of the future. The center combines industrial requirements with university research approaches for the development of a versatile, scalable, configurable and completely adaptable assembly system. The focus is on the assembly of large components for the aerospace industry, wind turbine construction and manufacturers of commercial vehicles, among others. To this end, a multitude of disciplines from industry and research are bundled to develop and test practical solutions in agile projects: from workplace design and automation to production control and organization.
The Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University initiated the center XL Assembly. So far, it is mainly companies from the healthcare and automotive industries that have decided to take advantage of future cooperation with the center. Joint solutions serve to compensate for market-related uncertainties and sales fluctuations as well as the increasing product variance, an ageing society and growing wage cost pressure to achieve resilience and sustainability. To this end, the center and its members from industry use the unique research infrastructure at the RWTH Aachen Campus to test large components in practical environments. Industrial competitors come together on the campus to conduct joint research on a single topic. The centers current flagship project is the “Line-less Mobile Assembly Demonstrator”, in which, together with the WZL, the assembly of the future is being tested based on truck frame assembly.
Center XL Assembly

XL Assembly

Center XL Assembly Mobile Manipulator
Prof. Wolfgang Boos, member of the management of the Production Engineering Cluster, says: “We are pleased that with XL Assembly another center has been initiated and is now starting work in our cluster. With its focus, the XL Assembly center complements the existing focal points in the Production Engineering Cluster on the assembly of the future.”

For Center Director Dr. Guido Hüttemann, the flexibility of assembly systems is of particular relevance: “The continued existence of existing production sites depends on whether future assembly systems can contribute to the flexibility and sustainability of production. For us, the assembly of the future is characterized by three terms: lineless, mobile and autonomous.”

A vision for the assembly of the future is currently being developed with 12 companies in an ongoing consortium study. The in-depth analysis of the needs as well as the necessary and available technologies form the basis for further discussion of the topic.

A networking event with presentations and workshops on the topic of “Assembly of the Future” will take place on 26 August 2022. Interested companies will receive further information on the event from mid-July at www.xl-assembly.com.