R&D Exchange Day
between Siemens Digital Industries and RWTH Aachen University
One of the main objectives of RWTH Innovation is the transfer of research into practical applications. Therefore, the Siemens Research and Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) Office @ RWTH Innovation fosters the exchange between both institutions. Our most recent activity was an R&D Exchange Day between employees from Siemens Digital Industries and leading researchers from RWTH Aachen University, the lead university in the Aachen-Arc ecosystem.
Initiated by Prof. Thomas Bergs, Chair of Manufacturing Technology, WZL, RWTH Aachen and und Dr. Peter Körte, CTO & CSO of Siemens AG, roughly 60 technology experts got together in different sessions to discuss collaboration possibilities. Dirk Vielsäcker, CTO of Siemens Digital Industries Motion Control, gave a very interesting overview on the R&D topics and how Siemens DI wants to combine the real and the digital world: “We create sustainable industrial innovation for a world we want to live in, today and tomorrow.” Inspired by the many overlapping core technologies, 13 professors and researchers of the university presented their take on these research fields and laid out potential cooperation opportunities. The four partly parallel sessions focused on different topics relevant to the business units of Siemens DI: In one session the spotlight was on digitalisation in production and how to get data out of the machine to be able to predict potential outages. Other experts talked about dynamic optimisation problems for optimal process operation and the goal to generalise operation function handling and thereby enable standardisation in the process industry. The third elaborated on the topic of Additive Manufacturing, which can take a lot of different forms and has various aspects along the value chain that can be further developed and improved – be it the way an alloy composition is determined, or a laser beam is applied onto a printer. The fourth group of R&D professionals talked about software aspects with a focus on digital twins and their functional modelling mechanisms and solutions as well as their system elements. Furthermore, the researchers gave insights into model checkers for software reliability and model hierarchies for predictive flow simulation.
One very interesting discussion point was the definition of “digital twin”. Both sides agreed that this concept needed a new and more complex understanding. When combining the real and the digital world and by checking and validating the architecture, things will be right from the start and trial-and-error tests can be reduced. It is important to consider all aspects in this equation, meaning the construction part, the tool, the machine as well as the process and the overall assembly lines and the production plant.
Christina Mertsch, Siemens RIE Manager at RWTH Innovation:
“By being at the interchange between both worlds I get interesting insights into the two institutions and get to connect like-minded people. Through this focused exchange, the long-standing and successful relationship between Siemens and RWTH grew even stronger and will hopefully result in many more research projects.”