Research in production engineering has a long history in Munich. The iwb as an institute was first established as a part of the Munich-based polytechnic school which achieved the status of "technical university" in 1868.
1875 - Prof. Egbert von Hoyer is appointed ordinarius by King Ludwig II. He engages himself primarily with mechanical technology, metallurgy, and textile and paper machinery.
1913 - Prof. Christian Prinz brings time-saving methods and questions on factory organization to the forefront of research.
1933 - The work of Prof. Heinrich Schallbroch concentrates on the fundamental principles of metal-cutting processes. He makes important contributions to the improvement of machine tool design through his studies on cutting temperature, machinability of materials, and new cutting material applications.
1949 - Prof. Felix Eisele puts countless approaches from the areas of dynamic machine tool behavior and staff management into practice.
1967 - Prof. Karl G. Müller brings questions relating to factory planning, information technology, and production engineering to the forefront of research. He is concerned technically with electro-discharge machining, machine tools dynamics, and automation solutions.
1981- Prof. Joachim Milberg introduces industrial robots and assembly technologies as research focal points for the iwb and expands the range of research topics to the present-day level. His work in the area of computer-integrated production receives special recognition. During his tenure, the Dornach Research Center is constructed (1984), the münchener Kolloquium is reestablished (1985), and the Application Center for Production Engineering is founded in Augsburg (1992).
1993 - Prof. Gunther Reinhart joins Prof. Milberg in the management of the iwb. The Institute's activities are enhanced with the construction of a model factory as a "research platform for industrial companies" and the integration of quality control aspects and control technologies. In 1994, the Application Center in Augsburg is opened for use. In 1997, the iwb moves into the new faculty building for mechanical engineering on the Garching Campus. In 1998, Professor Milberg leaves the iwb, and Professor Reinhart takes over the management of the Institute.
2002 - Prof. Michael Zäh is appointed Chair of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Technology after six years of work experience within the industry. He dedicates himself to questions regarding the structural behaviour of machine tools and the further development of innovative joining processes and generative production processes. Since 2006, he has also taken a keen interest in cognition for technical systems.