WZL Presents Details About Substitute Sites and New Foundation


After the destruction of a machine hall through fire, the Laboratory of Machine Tools and Production Engineering, the BLB, the RWTH management, and RWTH's facility management division have joined forces to secure the WZL's future viability.

  Professors Schuh, Schmitt and Klocke, WZL, and Dr. Klaus Essel presenting a map Copyright: © Nora Tretau Professors Schuh, Schmitt and Klocke, WZL, and Dr. Klaus Essel from the Association of Friends of WZL present a map of the substitute sites available for use by the research institute.

Currently the material damage is estimated at 100 million Euros. The costs of substitute buildings will be about 30 million Euros, the costs of new machines, lab facilities, and equipment are estimated at about 60 million Euros. Securing the full functionality of the WZL during the reconstruction period will cost about 10 million Euros.

Receiving overwhelming support from partners and neighboring institutions, WZL now restates its goals for the future: Under the motto of ‘Now More than Ever,’ according to WZL Director Günther Schuh, “not only do we want to rectify the damage, but become an opinion leader in a digitally enriched and networked world of production.”

Substitute Sites and Machine Park

Leading machine tool companies and equipment manufacturers have already announced to support WZL by providing the research institute with machines on a loan basis for the next two years.

WZL is in need of 25 larger tool and measuring machines (a list of these machines is available for download below). As regards interim office and lab space replacing the destroyed hall, about 3,500 square meters of space are required. The Institute received offers for 30 sites of about 15,000 square meters in total, out of which they chose 10 sites that were logistically convenient to ensure good communication with the other WZL sites.

The reconstruction of the hall is scheduled to take 18 to 24 months, and the new hall will be slightly bigger than the destroyed one. Furthermore, WZL will ask the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia to approve the construction of an additional hall, in order to be able to stay abreast of new developments in manufacturing and measuring research: Today, it is necessary to investigate entire process chains instead of individual manufacturing processes. Over the last years, WZL has demonstrated its role as an internationally recognized driver of such progress in research.

WZL Foundation and Call for Donations

In order to be able to build this additional hall, WZL must make financial contribution. For this reason, the research institute needs support from third parties. In order to generate funding for the additional hall, lab equipment, and seed funding for research projects, a new WZL Foundation has now been established.

The professors of WZL will fully donate their private shares of WZL Aachen GmbH as a contribution to the new foundation, thus providing more than two million Euros to the foundation’s capital. In order to be able to realize the additional hall, a further four million Euros will be required from donations.

Donations can be made to the following account:

Freundeskreis des WZL der RWTH Aachen e.V.
IBAN: DE94 3907 0024 0203 8628 01

All donors will receive a donation receipt as soon as the WZL Foundation has been officially approved and registered. Upon approval of the foundation, all donations received by the Freundeskreis/Association of Friends will be transferred to the WZL Foundation.


Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL at RWTH Aachen University
Manfred-Weck Haus, Steinbachstraße 19, 52074 Aachen

Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh, Managing Director
Phone: +49 241 80 27404

Sonja Hartmeyer, Head of Finances at WZL
Phone: +49 241 8027419