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Production Technology meets Industry 4.0 Summer School

RWTH International Academy
3 weeks
Full time
Summer / Short course
Scholarships available
On campus
August 2021
Application deadline: 01 May 2021
2,990 EUR

Program description

I. Academic Content

The Summer School provides students with an overview of RWTH Aachen’s research concerning Industry 4.0. Headed by the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” of RWTH, actual research topics ranging from automation to information technology, materials science, production technology, smart decision support as well as smart factory are explored, enabling students to acquire a better understanding of the potentials and risks of Industry 4.0. Practical examples are presented in case studies and use cases from different fields of production technology.

II. German Language and Culture

Summer School students gain insight not only into the student life in the beautiful city of Aachen but also into the rich and vibrant German culture and history. Through the university’s “Summer Mentor” program, international students have the chance to immerse themselves in the vibrant student community at RWTH Aachen University. Participants will get to know Aachen from a true student’s perspective: They learn more about academic and cultural practices in Germany with the support of their German “Mentor” who is typically a student enrolled at RWTH Aachen University and can so offer first-hand experiences in and around the campus, painting an authentic picture of university life.

III. Social Events - Have fun while studying!

RWTH International Academy offers an extensive support program next to the academic courses in which participants meet like-minded people from around the world. All students from our different Summer School programs are invited to take part in sporting or dancing events, cooking nights and get-togethers. There is a wide offer of intercultural activities and excursions in and around Aachen –enjoy your stay!

Being in the heart of Europe, Summer School students will also have the opportunity to explore Aachen’s surrounding area – be it other German cities close-by such as the former German capital Bonn, Düsseldorf and Cologne or enjoy the European diversity in cities like Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Admission requirements

  • B.Sc./B.E. student enrolled at a renowned university
  • Studying mechanical engineering or a related field
  • Minimum age to participate is 18
  • Minimum English language proficiency equivalent to:
    TOEFL ibt : 72 points
    IELTS: 5.5 band score
    TOEIC: 785 points
    Cambridge: FCE, Grade C
    CEFR = B2

Required Documents

  • Your Cover Letter 
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (Resume)
  • Your academic records (Transcript of Records)
  • A color photo of yourself
  • Additional documents to support your application (optional)
  • English Proficiency Test (optional)

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Program content

Academic Staff

The Summer School is headed by the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” and supported by numerous institutes, including the WZL, IGMR, VR Group, Cybernetics Lab, IAW, DAP/Fraunhofer ILT, IKV, IBF, ITA and IEHK, making this our most interdisciplinary program.

Description of Modules

The Summer School provides students with an introduction to new production technologies in connection with Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is an initiative by the German government which promotes the integration of industrial production with information and communication technologies.

The lectures are conducted by the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” and numerous institutes of RWTH Aachen University, making this our most diverse Summer School. Internet of Production refers to the secure and real-time availability of data anytime, anywhere, making it a core feature of Industry 4.0.

Students will explore fundamental areas of Industry 4.0 and acquire a better understanding of current and future requirements in production technology. Subjects include but are not limited to the following topics: Modern and smart factories, digital supply chains, robotics, networked production systems and human-machine interaction. Throughout the program, students will study the generation of applied and innovative solutions in production technology.

Internet of Production
Within this module, a comprehensive introduction to the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” and highlights from the achieved research results will be given. This module will provide a framework for the other modules of the Summer School. The vision of the Internet of Production describes a common research roadmap of RWTH Aachen University concerning Industry 4.0. An overview of actual research topics, as well as potentials and risks for producing industries in the context of the Internet of Production will be given. Core concepts like the Digital Shadow, a new reference infrastructure and approaches for a new level of cross-domain collaboration will be explained. Practical examples will be presented by means of chosen use cases from different fields of production technology.

Mobile Robots for Flexible Intralogistics
The module covers the basic concepts and software-frameworks of mobile robots within the application area of intralogistics. Guided through the sense-think-act loop of autonomous systems, the software-modules of mobile robots are depicted and several approaches for localization, mapping and navigation in factory environments will be described.

The RoboCup Logistics League will be used as a use case of mobile robots solving intralogistics tasks in an Industry 4.0 designed factory environment.

Simulation of Lean Principles within the Demonstration Factory Aachen
In this lecture, the basic principles of lean manufacturing will be introduced. The lecture starts with a short motivation followed by the steps needed in order to introduce lean manufacturing. Following to the theoretical background, the students will get an insight into the implementation of IoP technologies in an actual operating production area at the Demonstration Factory at the Smart Logistics Cluster. Finally, in the third part of this lecture, the students can apply their gained knowledge about lean manufacturing in an educational game.

Innovations and Trends in Metal Forming
In metal forming, the part geometry and the material microstructure are very important product properties. Today, numerical simulation is well established in the development of products and processes. For the process design and optimization, process parameters, the machine behavior and the microstructural evolution have to be taken into account. On the one hand, the machine, tools and work piece interact with each other during the process. On the other hand, the thermomechanical process parameters determine the microstructure, which in turn determine the properties of the product.

This module will give an overview of the interdependencies in metal forming that have to be considered for the planning and optimization of a process. Furthermore, the simulation methods, which are used on various scales, are presented. Finally, trends in metal forming are shown by examples of current research in the areas rolling, forging and sheet metal forming.

Innovative Plastics Technology Powered by Internet of Production
Plastics products play a vital role in today’s society and economy: electronic devices, lightweight cars or the seemingly simple packaging of foodstuff; plastic products affect every aspect of our lives. Like any other technology, plastics processing is also always advancing to increase precision, resource efficiency or throughput and to decrease costs, waste and energy consumption.

This module focusses on the latest developments in automation and digitalization in plastics production technology. After a short introduction to the chemical basis of modern plastics, the injection molding process is discussed in further detail and taken as an example on how modern simulation and combination technologies are used to produce highly complex parts. Furthermore, potentials of additive manufacturing as a new means of production are illustrated.

Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing offers the possibility to produce complex parts without the design constraints of traditional manufacturing technologies. The module will illustrate the process chain of additive manufacturing optimized parts. After an introduction to additive manufacturing technologies, the design restrictions, topology optimization and necessary CAD tools will be discussed. The students will learn in a practical session how to use software tools to structural optimize the part geometry for lightweight design. After that, the optimized geometry will be manufactured via 3D Printers. Finally, a lab-tour will visualize the technology field of additive manufacturing on industrial scale.

Assembly Robotics and Smart Automation
The lectures are divided into a theoretical and a practical module. The theory covers robotic theory, including design and components of robotic systems, robot types, workrooms and coordinate systems, human-machine-cooperation, and programming and simulation. The practice introduces the robot programming language RAPID; the arrangement of robot tools and –work objects, the programming of robot movements, as well as the design of simple handling tasks.

Ergonomic Design of Human-Machine Interaction in Advanced Manufacturing Systems
Based on a comprehensive introduction into the topic of industry- and technology-oriented work systems and human information processing, design principles and concepts of user centered HMI design are mediated. Via industry derived case studies, participants get the chance for hands-on experiences in human centered design. The aim of this module is to provide participants with basic knowledge for a science-based assessment of HMI design and the application of according subjective and objective evaluation techniques.

Smart Automation for Future Production Technology
The entry of digitalization into modern production has increased drastically in the last years, resulting in emerging of so-called cyber-physical production systems. Nowadays embedded systems such as programmable logic controller, sensors, actors, robots or machines are the building blocks of production systems. Therefore the lecture starts with an overview of the current state of the art in automation. After a short introduction up-to-date concepts and paradigms in the context of Industry 4.0 are presented. All theoretical sessions are complemented by practical exercises in the fields of robotics, plc programming and digital image processing.

Self-Optimized Machines and Human-Machine Interaction in the Future Textile Production
Textile producers have to cope with the trend for smaller lot sizes in combination with the demand for increasing product variations. One possibility to cope with the dilemma scale vs. scope consists in manufacturing with cognitive machinery. The self-optimized weaving process handles small lot sizes by reducing changeover time and set-up costs. A weaving machine is transformed into an intelligent self-adapting production system which is aligned to the trend towards the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. The interaction with intelligent production systems together with an increasing automation level lead to changing challenges and tasks of employees at all levels. To discuss the newest results of research and development of our research group “Soziotex” at the Institut of Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University, we invite all international students to our lab tour and experiments during this module.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee for this course is 2990€. Contact the university for more information and detailed pricing.



At the end of the Summer School program, you will receive a Certificate of Participation together with a Certificate Supplement from RWTH Aachen University, stating the workload and the academic content of the Summer School.

Upon successful completion of the Summer School, you will furthermore receive an Executive Certificate and a Certificate of Performance from RWTH Aachen University, stating the final grade.


2-week programs (about 60 hours): 2 ECTS credits can be awarded

3-week programs (about 90 hours): 3 ECTS credits can be awarded

4-week programs (about 120 hours): 4 ECTS credits can be awarded

Please note:
Ultimately it is up to your home institution as to how many credits may be awarded. For details, please speak to your home institution’s Study Abroad Adviser!

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Want to know more about this program, Production Technology meets Industry 4.0 Summer School? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.


Join RWTH Aachen University, one of the largest and most renowned universities of technology in Germany which offers top level study and research opportunities.

About this institute

RWTH International Academy

RWTH Aachen University - One of Europe's Leading Universities in Engineering & Sciences

RWTH Aachen University is one of the largest and most renowned universities of technology in Germany which offers top level study and research opportunities. Numerous partnerships between RWTH Aachen University and international universities as well as industrial companies offer excellent...

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RWTH International Academy

Campus-Boulevard 30
52074 Aachen

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