MINT Camp Production Technology 2019


MINT-EC Camp 2019 Offers Exciting Insights Into Cluster Research

group of students Copyright: © MINT EC

In 2019 the Cluster of Excellence had the pleasure of welcoming another extremely motivated group of senior pupils at the annual MINT-EC Camp in order to introduce the technologically inclined young adults to the world of production technology. 19 committed senior pupils from all over Germany and the world had a week-long chance of gaining insights into various future oriented research projects, exploring their own skills and interests and trying their own hands at experimental and practical workshops.

This year’s MINT-Camp took place on November 12 to 15 and offered an interesting program, exciting new insights into the world of production full of hands-on technology as well as a lot of fun and a preview of the famous student life at RWTH University.

Their first day as guests of the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” offered a direct introduction to the variety of the Cluster’s research topics and the everyday life at a techical university. The Camp started with a lecture on “Industrial Robotic”, held by Christoph Nicksch (WZL), in which the STEM-Pupils were able to insert their own mathematical know-how. Naturally, a guided tour through the institute’s machine hall “MARS - Metrology, Assembly and Robotic Systems” was not left out. During the tour the research projects could be experienced by means of so-called demonstrators.

  Pupil with Data Glasses Copyright: © MINT EC

His colleague Melanie Buchsbaum, another Cluster researcher at the WZL, focused on the topic of “Automatization”, offering a well-received mixture of theory and practical appliance. At the Smart Automation Lab the participants discovered not only collaborative robots, but also smart gadgets, i.e. for the area of assembly, where the “Google glass” data glasses are employed as assistance tools.

During the breaks, which were of course spent at the local cafeteria, another lifelike apect of student life was taken part in.

A special highlight was hosted by the WZL colleagues with a visit at the WZL Escape Room. Offered fot the first time this year, this new item on the agenda, hosted by Amelie Metzmacher and colleagues, was met with much enthusiasm by the group. In addition to the employment of digital assistance tools to escape the detailed room, the topic of error management with mobile data collection was on the menu, requiring communication skills and team work.

  Small Group Copyright: © MINT EC

The researchers of various institutes involved in this year’s camp were able to give interesting insights into their daily work and show the pupils how the Aachen research community works together interdisciplinarily to create the technolgy of the future.

In a practical workshop hosted by Kathrin Schäfer of the Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics (IAW) on the topic “Humans and the Production of the Future”, the participants constructed smart and user friendly interfaces for the control of production robots in small groups. This activity gave the pupils a chance to work on their presentation skills and cooperate within their small groups, as well as making use of their own technical knowledge to explore how the usage of smart devices gains importance for the interaction between humans and machines.

  Pupis working Copyright: © MINT EC

In the afternoon, a MINT-Camp classic, the so called “Beer Game”, a supply chain management game, organized by the Research Institute for Rationalization (FIR) e.V. and präsented by IoP-Researcher Markus Fischer took place. With the help of crown caps, the students were able to get to know the dynamics and risks of a supply chain and gain their first insights into technical management.

The Camp ended on Friday with presentations on the small groups’ experiences gained over the last five days as well as more input on studying at RWTH University. The week consisted of exciting days in Aachen for the future students as well as everyone involved, in which many new impressions were gaines. We wish all participants good luck with their A-levels and will be glad to see some of them again very soon.