Lecture Series on Sustainable Production
With the impact of the Corona pandemic hitting many manufacturing companies and changing the global economy for the long term, new questions arose at AWK’21 around the future of manufacturing technology:
- What value does the variety of recorded data have for manufacturing companies today?
- How can algorithms and analyses be used to make reliable forecasts in order to produce more efficiently and sustainably in the future?
- How can data acquisition and machine learning be used to achieve rapid, error-free improvements in (series) production in order to become more resilient in the face of crises?
- How do successful companies emerge stronger from the crisis and quickly return to profitability?
As the most important enabler of a production turnaround, the production engineers from Aachen focused on the Internet of Production: the end-to-end digitization and networking of machines and plants within the production and value chain. How it can work in industrial practice, was shown by speakers who have already successfully taken part of this path with their companies. With technical and keynote presentations as well as in additional plenary lectures from science and practice, various approaches and strategies to the Internet of Production as well as to current issues of Industry 4.0 were presented. The four sessions each comprised several presentations on the topics »Architecture of Networked, Adaptive Production«, »The Digital Twin in the Production Cycle«, »Data Sciences in Production« and »Sustainable Productivity«.
»We are facing a production turnaround: How, where and what will we be producing in the future?« was how Professor Thomas Bergs, Head of the Chair of Manufacturing Technology at the WZL of RWTH Aachen University and member of the Board of Directors at the Fraunhofer IPT, summarized the new central questions in production. Both the Aachen researchers and the speakers saw possible solutions in digital technologies for networking such as edge cloud and 5G mobile technology, in Artificial Intelligence and the digital twin of product and production.
Institute Tour and Industrial Exhibition
As a special highlight, AWK’21 for the first time offered tours of the machine halls of the WZL of RWTH Aachen and the Fraunhofer IPT, which were structured according to topics and linked the visions presented in the lectures with the future already realized at demonstrators. A strict hygiene concept made it possible on-site at the institutes to show the participants what the Aachen scientists are already working on today. A special highlight for many visitors was the tour of the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering’s new 2,400-square-meter Machine Hall, which was finally occupied this year with more than 70 test benches after the devastating fire in February 2016. A total number of 800 participants followed the digital program live on the screens and were also able to navigate through the machine halls of the two hosting institutes in the world’s largest virtual institute tour.
At the industry exhibition in the Aachen Eurogress, leading German and European companies from industry and business presented their innovations on the topic of »Internet of Production – Turning Data into Sustainability« on an exhibition area of approx. 3,000 m². At the same time, the digital event platform brought the trade show experience of the live event home.