History of the AWK – Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium
At the time when Professor Herwart Opitz invited to the first AWK – Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium in 1948, no one expected him to lay the foundation for one of the most important conventions for production technology. Opitz’s aim was to close the gap in research that resulted from World War II as well as to re-establish the contacts to the manufacturing industry.
Despite many obstacles, the first AWK with about 250 participants was already a great success. The number of participants of the subsequent events increased rapidly – from 900 in 1953 to 2, 018 in 1971. Today, the organizers look back on more than 70 years of AWK and thus, on more than 70 years of trendsetting impulses to production technology.
Already in 1971, Professor Herwart Opitz said in his opening speech: “The name Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium does not completely apply to this event anymore today as it used to. The integration of the production process is on the rise and we have to deal with the questions of economic planning, designing and manufacturing. The machine tool is a link in this chain whose significance remains to be emphasized.” What Opitz already realized almost 40 years ago is still valid today.
Today it is the holistic, integrated production technology for high-wage countries, which is placed at the center of focus. The AWK aims to give impetus and to show how the production in high-wage countries can compete with the emerging, low-cost countries in Asia in the long run.