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Basic Idea

A sustainable, meaning an economically optimized and environmentally friendly production, is a success factor for the future conduct of manufacturing companies. Against this background, the research team „Sustainable Production“ was found in 1996 at the PTW. In the following years, the research team initially acquired basic expertise on the development of environmentally friendly products and gained pertinent experience in the domain of sustainable design in industrial production.

A key origin of our research activities is the question of how the energy consumption in production can be reduced and thus the energy efficiency of the whole production system can be increased. As early as in 2008, the research team „Sustainable Production“ worked on the vision to transfer the successful concept of the process learning factory CiP to the field of energy efficiency under the direction of the head of the institute Prof. Dr.Eng. Eberhard Abele. An energy efficiency factory was to be built on campus where students can become acquainted with industrial processes and especially the PhD students of the research team can conduct their research in a more practical manner.

Realization of the ETA-Factory

After the elaboration of the concept and the clarification of the circumstances, the construction of the ETA-Factory started in 2013, just in time for the 120th anniversary of the academic chair. Only through strong collaborative commitment and with the support of the BMWi, the federal state Hesse as well as the University of Technology Darmstadt was it possible to open the factory already three years later. Since then, manufacturing research has been made tangible and new impulses for tomorrow‘s environmentally friendly production are being set. The ETA-Factory as a large-scale research instrument opens the unique possibility to explore the research areas of energy and resource efficiency more profoundly, to make new areas of research, like the coherence of the energy turnaround and energy flexibility, accessible and to put newly developed solutions to the test.

The factory is the core of today’s research activities and the main office of the ETA research group.

Milestones of the Research Team



The logo of the research team „ETA“

Change of name of the interdisciplinary research team to „ETA | Energy Technologies and Application in Production“.

The research team reached a size of twenty employees. Furthermore the project ETA-Factory was completed. The research will now continue with ETA 2.


Realization and Opening of the ETA-Factory

The factory becomes the core of the research activities and the main office of the interdisciplinary research team.


Groundbreaking Ceremony of the ETA-Factory


Start of construction work at the ETA-Factory
The project ETA-Factory started with six employees
120 years of the PTW

2013 was a very eventful year for the research team „Sustainable Production“. The project ETA-Factory launched with six co-workers, the construction work of the ETA-Factory began and the PTW celebrated its 120th Birthday.


Founding of the Research Team „Sustainable Production“


The logo of the research team „Sustainable Production“


1894 – 1903 Professor Heinrich Krauß

Founding of the PTW as fourth Academic Chair of the Faculty for Mechanical Engineering

Heinrich Krauß, previously teacher at the K.K. state trade school in Vienna, assumes the newly established professorship mechanical engineering IV for mechanical technologies and mechanical drawing in 1894. He is mainly dedicated to teaching and the scientific understanding of mechanical technologies. In 1903 Professor Krauß accepted a call to the Technische Hochschule Graz.


Founding of the Technische Universität Darmstadt on the 10th of October

In 1877, Ludwig IV., Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, raises the polytechnic school, attended by prospective architects, engineers, machine and chemical technicians, manufacturers and tradesmen, to the „Technische Universität zu Darmstadt“ and thereby to an academic institution.

View at the Hochschulstraße with the main building on the left and the building extensions, 1908. Image source: archive of the TU Darmstadt

Details on the History of the PTW