About us

Vision: Closing the digital gaps in the construction industry

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IP, RWTH

The Center Construction Robotics and its members aim to close the digital gaps in the construction industry from planning through production to implementation with the help of intelligent machines.

The construction industry has great potential for robotic automation as a result of the current challenges it faces:

  • Digital gap between planning, execution and operation
  • Shortage of skilled workers
  • Increasing proportion of construction tasks in existing building stock
  • Increasing requirements in terms of quality, time and safety
  • Uneven distribution of the value added through BIM among the participating construction companies of the value added through BIM
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Picture: Loss of Digital Information Throughout a Building’s Lifecycle
A possible application scenario for digitizing construction processes is the production and assembly of large and complex building envelope systems. So far, there is a lack of fundamentally digital solutions that enable a holistic, digitally networked process, from data-based planning and automated prefabrication to machine-supported assembly. The Center Construction Robotics aims to take advantage of this automation potential and close the digital gap in construction.
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Picture: Roadmap of the Center Construction Robotics for the Scientific Development of Future Building Production
As a consortium, we work together on various topics of different levels of technological maturity. Analyses of processes and potentials in cross-company surveys benefit from access to the university’s research expertise and the technological competence of the enablers among the members. This allows us to jointly identify automation potentials along the entire value chain.

The stronger integration of design and process software requires new interfaces, standards and particularly user concepts. The center can accelerate these developments with demonstrators, prototypes and a reference construction site for testing. The same applies to the transformation of construction machinery and production facilities. The research infrastructure of the RWTH offers our members world class facilities and know-how for the development and validation of their products.

The research construction and construction sites scheduled for the RWTH Aachen Campus will enable our consortium to develop automation-compatible construction systems and test them under realistic conditions. These facilities are also available for training and further education. In addition, the members are provided with office space on and near the reference construction site so that the developments can be integrated into the members’ own activities in rapid coordination cycles.

Mission: Creating flexible automation solutions for construction production

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Main areas of focus for flexible solutions

In order to advance digitalization in the construction industry and the automation of construction sites, we develop flexible automation solutions for construction processes. The following aspects play an key role at our center towards strengthening the value chain of the construction industry:

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Transfer

Technology transfer from highly automated industries to the construction industry

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Data

Effective procurement of data for the individual processes of construction stakeholders from the common BIM data source

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Expertise

Systems for the design of tailor-made tools to safeguard know-how

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Interfaces

Interfaces for the use of automation solutions in the construction industry

Prefabrication and in-situ production at the construction site

The center aims to automate construction from two directions: in a bottom-up process, starting from pre-fabrication, as well as from advances in on-site production. This combination allows for the identification of higher-level issues and process-based strategies. Detached from individual products or data silos, common working methods can be created along the value chain.

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Picture: Strategy for the concurrent digitization of prefabrication and on-site processes along the construction value chain

Strategy: Sustainable development through collaboration

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IP, RWTH

In order to advance digitalization not only from a scientific point of view but also in an application-oriented way, the composition of the industrial members and university institutes in the Center is of great strategic importance. We attach particular importance to bringing together players from the field of construction with technological enablers. This enables both users and equipment manufacturers to identify new automation technologies and application potentials and to jointly open up and develop sustainable fields of application.

Technologies can be developed in a user-centered manner and immediately evaluated by both manufacturers and users. New products and processes are thus created along the value chain of the construction industry, making the members leaders in the field of construction robotics.

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Picture: The Center Construction Robotics’ strength is based on the collaboration of technology users and enablers from the construction industry
Our offerings are directed especially at companies who want to research individualized user-specific technologies with the aim of establishing digital automated construction processes in order to break new ground for the commercial use of construction robotics.

Have we sparked your interest? We would be happy to design individual cooperation possibilities for you – just write us a message! You can find out more about membership in the Center Construction Robotics here.

Initiators

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IP

Prof. Dr.-techn. Sigrid Brell-Cokcan

Chair for Individualized Production

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MLB

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Kuhnhenne

Institute for Steel Construction

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WZL

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Schmitt

Chair of Production Metrology and Quality Management at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL)

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IP

The chair of Individualized Production in Architecture researches intuitive systems for the use of construction robots, from the design and planning stages, through prefabrication and assembly to the deconstruction. Automation and technical consulting for construction processes are further fields of activity.
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MLB

The Institute of Steel Construction researches both steel construction as well as composite construction methods in interdisciplinary topics such as windpower, timber and glass construction as well as light weight structures. The emphasis lies on the development of innovative and multifunctional facade systems.
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WZL

One focus for Production Metrology and Quality Management lies in production integrated metrology and flexible automation of large scale assembly processes. Technical competence in the fields of positional measurements over large workspaces, computer vision and sensor technologies is complemented with expertise regarding quality and innovation management systems.

Members

We measure our success by the success of our members. Less than a year has passed since we were founded, but we can already look back on the first fruits of interdisciplinary cooperation with our members and research partners. The challenges of digitalization and our built environment can only be solved together.

Team

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Elisa Lublasser, M.Sc.

Chief Executive Officer

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Dipl.-Ing. Baris Cokcan

Chief Operating Officer

References

The Construction Robotics Center continuously works on projects in which we support and advise our members on their way to digital construction. Potential areas of application are constantly growing and changing as the construction industry moves towards digitalization and automation. The topics and roadmap of the Construction Robotics Center are therefore continuously developed by the consortium of registered members.

The first Construction Robotics Center project was published in January 2019 and is a study on “Industry 4.0 in the cement industry – status quo and prospects” for the German cement industry. The study was commissioned by the Social Policy Working Group of the German Cement Industry, (Sozialpolitische Arbeitsgemeinschaft der deutschen Zementindustrie (SPADZ) gemeinsam mit der Industriegewerkschaft Bauen–Agrar–Umwelt (IG BAU), der Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, Chemie, Energie (IG BCE) sowie dem Verein Deutscher Zementwerke (VDZ)).

The study was carried out by an interdisciplinary team of RWTH scientists from the Chair for  Individualized Production for Architecture, the WZL Machine Tool Laboratory, represented by the Chair of Production Metrology and Quality Management and the Institute of Building Materials Research, represented by the Chair of Building Materials Science.

For details of the study, please refer to the press release under News or the VDZ homepage.

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