The Chair of Automation of the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, which is led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Berger since 2001, is not only carrying a legacy of research and development in cutting edge scientific and technological domains but also a legacy of education in the fields of planning, programming and experimental validation of automatized production systems. The focuses of work include model based control engineering, prototypical development of machines and plants supported by robots, simulation based conception and interdisciplinary research concerning the interaction of humans and machines in the operational environment. For research and education purposes the Chair offers technical equipment and production cells oriented towards realistic production units including a considerable robotic and machine-tool laboratory as well as a CAD/CAM-Pool. Thus, students are educated in complex teaching and learning environments distinguished by a combination of programming environment and system simulation.

Derived from the main focuses of work current research at the Chair of Automation concentrates on the simulation and employee-related visualization of production processes using augmented reality. Moreover, the Chair investigates hybrid manufacturing technologies in partly or completely automatized production cells. In this connection basic concepts of cooperative robots in flexible manufacturing cells for assembling tasks of complex components were developed. Further issues result from the validation of PLC user programs in safety-related applications and for numerically controlled machines, with the emphasis on simulation and testing of processes with the help of 3D-simulation environments. Here, mainly the draft and validation of control programs using model based simulations are considered. In addition to joint research projects (BMBF, BMWI) with well-known German companies, international EU projects are carried. Also, selected scholarship students of the DAAD and other organizations are involved in the Chair’s research.

To support small and medium-sized companies in Brandenburg, the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Spreeland is operated at the Automation Technology Chair. The center assist in overcoming the challenges arising from the increasing automation and digitization of business processes. A model factory, workshops and events are offered. Strategies for action and qualification concepts are developed for companies that want to position themselves in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable way.