Research Infrastructure

The AMT has an excellent infrastructure to promote interdisciplinary, practice-oriented, and forward-looking activities in the field of research & transfer. These include, in particular, the Learning Factory and the Nivelstein Living Lab.

Learning Factory

In line with the concept of the Learning Factory, that has been used for some years now in response to the challenges of the Internet of Things in manufacturing technology, the Learning Factory Mining 4.0 is a "hands-on" approach to learning, in which the technology elements of a Mining 4.0 environment are made available in real and/or digital form. This enables a "learning by doing" approach, especially in group work, and allows all "learning types" (auditory, visual, haptic, communicative) to experience the best possible development of their skills.

The aim is to ensure that our future, conscientious and critical specialists and managers receive excellent training in the sense of holistic and modern competence-oriented university teaching and are thus prepared in the best possible way for the diverse and complex challenges and tasks they will face in their professional lives ("Educating engineers, who can engineer").

In essence, flexible, modular teaching and learning elements shall be created on the basis of cyber-physical modules with flexibly combinable basic modules and different mining-related application modules, which shall be used in a variety of ways in the courses offered at the AMT for both attendance time and self-study. Multisensory flexible innovation spaces provide the necessary teaching, learning and development environment.

The construction and implementation of the Learning Factory Mining 4.0 is financially supported by the non-profit Ulrich Thiele Foundation.

Living Lab Nivelstein

The Living Lab Nivelstein in Herzogenrath near Aachen represents a unique research facility on the premises of an active raw material extraction plant. It comprises a research hall and a co-working space with a total area of over 150 m². The venue, which became operational in 2021, is equipped with modern facilities and a comprehensive IT infrastructure.

In the living lab, novel technologies and processes for a sustainable raw material and energy supply are developed and researched. In addition to the possibility of setting up pilot plants in the research hall, the proximity to real production processes and the testing of new technologies in a real industrial environment is a major advantage of the living lab. The co-working space also enables integrated utilization of the knowledge gained and, last but not least, provides space for workshops, teaching events and much more.

The close cooperation already existing with our core partners Nivelsteiner Sandwerke und Sandsteinbrüche GmbH and the Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Aufbereitung Mineralischer Rohstoffe (AMR, RWTH Aachen) as well as with other partners from industry & research is to be further expanded in the coming years. Are you interested in a cooperation in the real laboratory? Then please contact us!


Test Benches

The development of automation and digitalization solutions for modern high-performance mining requires the latest technologies and test facilities to extensively test one's own developments.

To perform extensive in-house testing, the AMT has a wide range of different sensor technologies at its disposal: from laser scanners and radar sensors to various camera systems (visual, infrared, 3D, etc.) and radio modules in various frequency ranges.

Furthermore, with our new UAVs and UGVs, state-of-the-art computer technology, a climatic chamber and a vibration test bench, we can provide optimal conditions for extensive laboratory testing.

Mechanical and Electrical Workshops

Research and development is increasingly characterized by short interation cycles and ever more specific requirements. As an institute, we have already benefited for decades from being able to have mechanical and electrical work carried out by specialists, each in their respective workshops.

Mechanical workshop:

The services offered by our mechanical workshop, located on Lochnerstrasse, range from conventional turning, milling, drilling and filing as well as sophisticated bench work to edging and forming and coating. Due to the long-standing close relationship with the raw material industry, our mechanical workshop always manufactures according to very high and special requirements, e.g. in terms of mechanical durability or the often low available construction volume. In order to pass on this knowledge to future generations, our mechanical workshop trains apprentices for the profession of industrial mechanic in every apprenticeship year. Depending on the order situation of the institute, the mechanical workshop also accepts orders from industry. Please contact us for this without obligation.


Electrical workshop:

Our electrical workshop, located at Wüllnerstraße, supports the research and development of the AMT in planning, designing and manufacturing electrical and electronic systems and devices. Many years of experience in the raw materials industry and modern equipment, including a circuit board milling machine, a soldering oven and the latest test equipment, enable us to develop microelectronic solutions for some of the largest machines in the world.

In addition, two electronics technicians for devices and systems are continuously trained in the electrical workshop.



Rock-Cutting Center

The RockCutting Center (RCC) of the Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT) is continuously being expanded and modernized. The cutting technology laboratory is available for research and industry services.

The measured variables that can be recorded are:

  • Excavation volume/grain fraction
  • Dust generation
  • Structure-borne sound / acoustic emission
  • Tool and cutting path temperature
  • Pressure and cutting forces
  • Speed and torque
  • Motor power (current, voltage)
  • HD video recordings

Rotary cutting stand

Interchangeable picks with carbide cutting edge
Other bit geometries possible

Technical data:

  • Driving power 18,5kW
  • Torque 543Nm
  • Cutting speed up to 5m/s

Linear cutting stand

Interchangeable radial cutting tools with carbide cutting edge

Technical data:

  • Drive power 2,39 kW
  • Torque 7,6 Nm
  • Cutting speed up to 0.14 m/s

Research areas

  • Fundamentals of rock destruction
  • Investigation of cutting specific parameters
  • Grain size distribution and excavation volume during cutting
  • Influence of bit geometry and bit designs
  • Optimization of loosening power and spec. energy

Smart Cutting Sensors

  • Boundary layer detection
  • Condition monitoring of cutting tools
  • Acoustic Emission Analysis and Infrared
  • Real-time measurement of cutting tool forces

Activated cutting tools

  • Increase of solution volume
  • Improvement of spec. energy consumption
  • Optimization of wear behavior
  • Variation of cutting curves and cutting speeds

Dust generation

  • Influence of operating and machine parameters on dust formation
  • Mass generation and composition
  • Health protection
  • Possibilities of utilization - Material recognition