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    Mechanical Engineering

    The word “engineering” comes from the Latin ingenium, which means something genius, a brilliant idea. Its origin dates back to the 16th century and originally described the profession of an artistic inventor. Engineers apply the knowledge of mathematics and natural sciences (physics and biology), combined with judgment and creativity, in order to develop ways to utilize materials and forces of nature for the benefit of humankind. /1/

    Mechanical engineering is the branch of engineering sciences concerned with the design, creation, installation, and operation of engines and machines, and with manufacturing processes. This field emerged in the late 18th century with the invention of the steam engine and the subsequent industrial revolution. /2/

    Evolving throughout the centuries, production engineering finally approaches the era of the 4th industrial revolution, the Industrie 4.0. Growing with its challenges, the field of mechanical engineering, within the production context, is now a multidisciplinary area of research combining many different specialist subjects.

    PTW, within the Department of Mechanical Engineering of TU Darmstadt, is the Institute of Production Management, Technology, and Machine Tools. Its goal is to attain excellence in production by optimally combining technology and organization. PTW’s associates obtain technical specialization through six research groups: /3/

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    CiP Learning Factory

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    Additionally, the PTW runs two learning factories. Emerging from the idea to integrate industrial practices into the university’s syllabus, the CiP learning factory was built in 2007. This facility allows to study and learn production concepts in a real producing environment on campus Lichtwiese. Complementary to CiP, which is mainly concerned with lean production processes, the ETA factory was established in 2016. The second learning factory explores the issues of energy efficiency and follows a holistic approach on integrated and interlinked production, including building services engineering.

    ETA Learning Factory

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    Literature

    /1/ International Association of Engineers, http://www.iaeng.org/about_IAENG.html (accessed November 1, 2017).

    /2/ Encyclopedia Britannica Online, https://www.britannica.com/technology/mechanical-engineering (accessed November 1, 2017).

    /3/ PTW website, http://www.ptw.tu-darmstadt.de/landingpage_ptw/das_ptw_1/unser_verstaendnis_2/verstaendnis_ptw.en.jsp (accessed November 1, 2017).