Service Technologie Laboratory (CAST)

The Center of Automotive Service Technology (CAST) is a teaching and research laboratory in the Faculty of Automotive Engineering which offers teaching, learning and Service research in new dimensions.

Location: City Campus Esslingen, building 3


360°-Laboratory-Round Tour

Areas of activity

Areas of activity

The main fields of expertise here are:
Vehicle Diagnostics
•    Diagnostics engineering
•    Metrology
•    Diagnostics on high-voltage vehicles and components
•    Diagnostic strategies
•    Vehicle networking
•    Bus simulation

Service Technology
•    Repair methods for multi-material car bodies
•    Innovative repair methods (e. g. repair of carbon-fibre reinforced plastics)
•    Statutory vehicle inspection
•    Suspension measurements while undergoing service and in production
•    Workshop equipment and special tools
•    Service-friendly design
•    Quality audit
•    Handling of electric vehicles in the Service department

Service Processes
•    Vehicle workshop information systems
•    Parts logistics
•    Procedures in the Service business
•    Business process optimisation
•    Lean Management
•    Dealer management systems

Laboratory exercises and projects

Method: Theory and practice 

The laboratory classes listed below form part of the degree programme:

  • Vehicle Diagnostics
  • Service Technology
  • Service Processes

The focus in the Motor Vehicle Diagnostics Laboratory is on the diagnostics of current vehicle models in conjunction with practical troubleshooting and the development of various troubleshooting strategies. The students should be equipped with the skills to recognise and autonomously solve technical problems which occur in connection with commissioning, maintenance, repair and operation.

In the Service Technology Laboratory, the principles of service-friendly engineering design are examined in a practically relevant way. In addition, the students are allowed to use innovative repair procedures themselves and experience the challenges posed by the diverse measurement and testing activities of the different pieces of vehicle workshop equipment such as the exhaust emission measurement or the execution of a “service disconnect” on high-voltage vehicles.

In the Service Processes Laboratory, the students are allowed to gather their own experience with a dealer management system. They also have the opportunity to learn the principles of business process optimisations, lean management and Six Sigma.

The projects and final thesis projects cover the whole Service segment, inventiveness knows no bounds here. Research work currently being undertaken here is investigating the Service Vehicle Workshop 4.0, for example, or testing the effects of digitisation on the Service information.

Laboratory equipment

At the same time, CAST offers various options for external training facilities, institutions and industry to use. Special events of a general nature, seminars, conferences, meetings, vehicle inspections, car clinics etc.: the Center organises a wide-ranging programme.

Its overall objective: to be the hub of innovative Service expertise.

Overview laboratory equipment:

  • Diagnostics tools of the Audi (ODIS), BMW (ISTA), Bosch (ESItronic), Hyundai (G-Scan) and Mercedes-Benz (Xentry) brands
  • Infrastructure equipment such as the 4-pillar hydraulic lift (AQUA-Lift) or brake test bench
  • Tools and testing equipment for service, maintenance and repair, e. g. battery charger, chassis and suspension adjustment equipment, headlamp adjustment device, exhaust emission tester, motor vehicle glazing repair set


Research and teaching in theory and practice

In the Center of Automotive Service Technology, the research closely intermeshes with the teaching as well as with partners from industry and the public sector. On the one hand, CAST examines the impact of new technologies, the changing automotive industry and new societal trends in automobile After-Sales. On the other, it investigates the opportunities to recognise new technologies and find ways of fitting them into the automotive value added chain. The applied research fields concentrate on the following issues:

  • After-Sales for electromobility

The maintenance, fault diagnosis and repair of electric vehicles will undergo immense changes compared to the situation with conventionally powered vehicles. Many issues regarding the maintenance and repair of battery-powered electric vehicles and those with fuel cells are still largely unclear and are solved in very different ways by the various players in the market.
Detailed information on the opportunities and risks which electric mobility will bring for the motor vehicle trade and for After-Sales in particular can be found in the study "Entwicklung der Beschäftigung im After Sales - Effekte aus der Elektromobilität (Employment trends in After-Sales - effects from electromobility". This was also explored using resources available at CAST.
Innovative maintenance and repair concepts
Various combinations of materials, composites and joining technologies are providing more and more varied challenges for the Service companies when repairing accident-damaged vehicles.

  • Vehicle diagnostics of the future

New technologies offer completely new possibilities and also challenges for the diagnosis of faults in motor vehicles. Since vehicles can be individualised more and more and the mechatronic and electronic systems in the vehicles are becoming increasingly more complex, this can bring conventional diagnostic systems and processes to their limits. This is where technologies such as Big Data or Data Science and artificial intelligence offer promising opportunities to further develop automotive diagnostics for the benefit of all parties concerned.

  • Going down new roads in the man-machine interaction

The closely intermeshed collaboration between man and machine is also having a bigger and bigger impact on the routine work in the vehicle workshop. It is quite a few years ago now that digital tools made their entry into the vehicle workshop to help humans to service and repair vehicles. No-one today can imagine a workshop without digital testers or workshop information systems. The man-machine collaboration is still predominantly characterised by the flow of information. To improve it, it is conceivable that augmented reality or other innovative technologies will be used in the workshop processes.

Apply for summer semester 2021!

Application period for programmes starting in the summer semester 2021
Bachelor’s programmes: 1 December 2020 to 15 january 2021
Master’s programmes (German): 15 October 2020 to 15 January 2021
Applicants to our international programmes should please see the Graduate School website for deadlines

Apply now