The tasks in this area include the development of new manufacturing processes and products, the planning of production facilities and entire locations. In order to adapt the control and regulation of processes of all kinds to the digital age, graduates of this field of study design automation concepts ("Industry 4.0") and develop the necessary hardware and software. Automation tasks and control engineering problems require, among other things, the use of methods of system theory and control engineering, sensor and measurement technology, process control and communication technology. Multimedia techniques play a crucial role at the human-machine interface in order to meaningfully visualize and utilize data for the users. Internet and web technologies allow global control, monitoring and remote maintenance of entire factories and production facilities.
Automation and production technology
Industrial production is characterized by a degree of automation. In order to optimize production processes, processes and plants are increasingly digitized. As a cross-sectional technology, automation and production technology occupy a key position here.
The study field at a glance
Degree programs in this area are offered on a basic and continuing basis. In addition to "automation technology", "production technology" and "production engineering", there are also degree programs such as "Industrial Technology", "Internet of Things", "Industrial Automation and Mechatronics", "Smart Automation", but also "Robotics", "Autonomous Systems" or "Smart Technology". Master's programs focus on sustainability ("value added management") or specific fields of application ("automotive production and engineering").
Contents of the course
Mathematical, scientific and engineering contents are taught in the relevant areas of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and information technology for automation and production technology. In addition to subjects such as electrical, measuring and digital technology, there are also thermodynamics, design, CAD, material science, business administration, computer science, programming and often also English on the curriculum.
Almost all programs in this field have integrated internships or semesters.
Admission criteria & course application
Depending on the university and degree program, the university entrance qualification is sufficient for the application on the admission-free study programs. In addition, some colleges conduct an internal university selection process.
Possible careers after graduation
Production and automation engineers work in all industries where products are manufactured industrially. Employment opportunities offered for example in mechanical and plant engineering, in motor vehicle construction, in energy production, in the electrical industry, precision engineering industry, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, textile industry, paper industry, iron and steel industry, food and beverage industry. In addition, they are used in engineering firms, in business, professional organizations and in the civil service, e.g. employed in the labor inspectorate or at occupational health and safety offices. Also a self-employed activity, e.g. in sales or in consultation is possible.