Assembly engineering and robotics

In assembly engineering we react to the increasing number of variants by investigating novel and economically efficient technologies. One main research topic comprises the development of production systems with a high degree of flexibility and autonomy. In our research factory “Resource-Efficient Production” we represent essential manufacturing stages of car body production. Furthermore, we thoroughly analyze complete solutions for future automotive applications and test them under realistic conditions of production.

  • Sensitive robotics for complex assembly tasks
  • Human-robot interaction systems
  • Knowledge-based process control based on artificial intelligence
  • Flexible technologies for handling, fixtures and joining
  • Application-specific and cost optimized robot systems
  • Software for intelligent automation of planning and developing tasks, including their optimization
  • Bionic lightweight construction of joining systems

Flexibility and variability

  • Flexible car body construction
  • Automated fine alignment of fixtures in car body construction
  • Modular system applied for manufacturing of numerous variants
  • Snake-like robot for aerospace applications
  • Modular facility for testing components
  • Wireless energy transmission

Human-robot interaction

  • Human-robot interaction
  • Automated thread testing
  • Modular HRI system for in-process control in specific situations
  • Resource efficiency due to intelligent disassembly strategies (recycling, re-use)

Intelligent assistance

  • Fine alignment in car body construction – new quality control loop
  • Software development for tasks involving planning, construction or optimization
  • Optimization methods of collective intelligence for lightweight construction of manufacturing equipment
  • Property analysis of evaluation methods for manufacturing equipment
  • Energy certificate for robots (AIDA)

  • Flexibility and variability
  • Management of entire process chains – from development up to production
  • Sensitivity
  • Increase in efficiency and quality by using force-controlled robot systems for controlling processes of handling, joining or testing
  • Reducing the human workload by human-robot interaction systems
  • Intelligence
  • Reducing the expenditure for planning and design (e.g. by automated design)
  • Optimization of manufacturing equipment (e.g. lightweight construction) and process parameters (e.g. cycle time)
  • Development of evaluation methods

Development of process chains

  • Market analysis
  • Investigation of process chains
  • Process optimization
  • Cost-benefit calculation
  • Development of manufacturing concepts
  • Planning and technological development of processes, tools and machines
  • Recommendations for investments in machines and technologies

Development and evaluation

  • Market analysis
  • Feasibility studies
  • Benchmarking
  • Technology development
  • System development (robots, handling technology, fixtures, joining technology, etc.)
  • Numerical simulation
  • Manufacturing of prototypes

Quality assurance

  • Quality concepts (e.g. based on compliant robots)
  • In-process controls
  • Software for compliance with standards and regulations

Machine technology

  • Flexible fixture platform (1.8 m x 3.6 m)
  • 6-axis industrial robot KR 240-2 (KUKA)
  • Servo-pneumatic robotic welding tongs C50 (Düring)
  • Profi-Net cell controller (PhoenixContact)
  • Tryout fixture: modular system for representing arbitrary fixtures in car body construction
  • Car body construction plant for assembling car doors
  • Clamping fixture with clamping points automatically adjustable by using tablet computers and AI software


  • CATIA V5
  • Matlab
  • Process Designer

Testing technology

  • Modular component testing facility with 20 actuators that can be universally adjusted and programed for applying tension-compression to the tested component, including determination of forces and deformation
  • Laser triangulation system Steinbichler T-Scan CS in combination with fringe projection system Comet 6 using photogrammetry
  • Romer coordinate measuring arm (Hexagon)
  • Optical 3D measuring system by ISRA VISION (SGS 3D)
  • DEWETRON energy measuring device DEWE 2600 with 32 channels
  • Safety Eye by Pilz
  • HBM MGCplus data acquisition system (64 channels, extensible), e.g. for strain measurements, determining forces, measuring displacement

Demonstration units

  • Clamping fixture with clamping points automatically adjustable by using tablet computers and AI software
  • Facility for automated testing of threads with KUKA LBR 4+, control KR C2 lr
  • Joining pliers (servo-electric, force/displacement controlled) incl. Beckhoff controller (riveting die with feed force of up to 50 kN and 100 Nm or 500 U/min rotations; 50 kN clamping device)
  • Indoor robot, dimensions: 1000 x 1000 x 3000 mm (L/W/H)
  • HRI experimenting platform, incl. KUKA robot KR 150 R2700 extra and KR 180, sensors for detecting and monitoring humans, robot force-controlled to avoid collisions and adjust trajectories