Research Experience

Seeing | Experiencing | Understanding | Implementing

Guided tours at the Smart Logistics Cluster

The Smart Logistics Cluster offers you a special experience in all aspects of connectivity and digitalization. On the cluster’s premises you will be able to discover demonstrators, use cases and real applications “hands-on” and understand how and to what benefit data is actually used.

Would you like to take a look behind the scenes of a high-tech research building? The Enterprise Integration Center offers you standardized guided tours. We would also be pleased to arrange an individual tour for you.

Theme Park

Here we present innovative solutions for the topic of “digitized industry” in the form of demonstrators for e.g. tracking & tracing applications or predictive maintenance solutions. Complex issues are made more accessible, technologies are presented instructively and “virtual” processes and organizational hierarchies become more tangible. You will also experience first-hand some of the current research results the cluster has come up with on relevant center topics.

Innovation Labs

The Innovation Labs serve as research environments for all activities of the centers and their members in the Smart Logistics Cluster. Here we operate various machines and systems that are used to test and apply new sensor and actuator technology and which are linked to other systems. Sensor kits and tool sets are available, enabling practical research, which are applied in workshops. This is how prototypes are constructed, which are tested and further developed under realistic conditions.

Accelerating innovation cycles help generate new technologies all the time. Businesses are often faced with the daunting task of documenting and assessing these new technologies. The centers at the Smart Logistics Cluster have taken over that task with the implementation of the “Key Enabling Technologies” trend radar, which recognizes interesting technologies early and identifies new business opportunities.

The centers inspect new and newly deployed technologies at the Innovation Labs and determine their possible benefits for specific applications as well as possible combinations that offer new solutions. The main question to be answered is always whether or not the new technology has reached the necessary maturity and robustness for reliable industrial deployment. Another important aspect is the cost-benefit equation for its application.
The results of these “tests” are then displayed on demonstrators. Our visitors can therefore experience the functions and benefits of a technology in real-life applications for more transparency and better understanding.

Smart Application Innovation Lab

At the Smart Application Innovation Lab located at the Enterprise Resource Planning Center, viable technologies, standards and concepts in the area of operational application systems at the forefront of technical possibilities are developed and demonstrated within the framework of consortial efforts.
The center develops innovations and drives them until implementation maturity is reached. The objective here is the efficient linking of operational software to optimally support business processes. The bundling of competences on RWTH Aachen Campus and specifically in the Smart Logistics Cluster, creates the basis for viable industry standards that can be applied directly. In the context of IT landscapes, our focus lies specifically on the improvement and deployment of ERP+, MES+, PLM and the integrationof IoT platforms.

Smart Systems Innovation Lab

The research done at the Smart Systems Innovation Lab of the Connected Industry Center delves into the optimization and further development of data provisioning by way of smart systems. In addition to technical aspects of smart systems, one main focus is on the application context dimension. Smart systems can assist in the implementation of new cybernetic approaches in production and logistics, and allow the development and design of new services.
The Smart Systems Innovation Lab serves as a development environment for smart products and – equipped with all relevant tools from 3D printers to IoT cases – is a perfect place for experimentation. With our CPS Construction Kit (CPS: Cyber-physical system) we provide users with the right tool for the development of new solutions, so they can concentrate on their valuable industry knowledge and experience the proven Aachen development methodology. Visitors and guests will gain insights into how companies can use iterative sprints to scale up their idea to an industrially viable product in the shortest possible time.

Service Science Innovation Lab

The Service Science Innovation Lab of the Smart Services Center functions as an incubator for the development of new service and digital services ideas at the Smart Logistics Cluster. We support and accelerate the process from the initial idea to a market-ready service product with innovative methods and tools as well as our experienced coaches. Visitors and guests are able to observe companies developing their first minimum viable service and testing initial core functionalities with potential customers while receiving direct feedback. The Smart Services Center does not just offer support during initial ideation – but also applies the entire knowledge from over 50 service and digital projects to make your new business idea market-ready.

Demonstration Factory

DFA Demonstration Factory Aachen is an Industrie 4.0 reference factory and therefore the central production environment on RWTH Aachen Campus. It is a competent partner from the development and fabrication of prototypes until the realization of small series production in the area of metal forming. DFA manufactures subassemblies and individual components for numerous customers, realizes innovative projects in collaboration with customers from a variety of industries and is a reliable partner, for small to medium-sized companies as well. Within the cluster, it is the environment for digitalized production. An authentic, multi-level production facility, embedded in a value creation chain. Here, the solutions invented in the Innovation Labs are applied in practice in a Living Lab environment.