Research and development for intelligent production and smart industry

The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK is your R&D partner in production technology with a focus on IT competence. We offer system solutions, individual technologies and services for digitally integrated production. We provide comprehensive support to companies along the entire value chain: from product development, planning and control of machines and systems, including technologies for parts manufacturing, to comprehensive automation and management of factory operations.

Our topics and technologies


Corporate and production management

  • Toolbox for smart business design
  • Benchmarking
  • Crowd production
  • Agile process management from strategy to shop floor
  • Factory management – adaptive, consistent, digital
  • Knowledge and skills management
  • Qualification for the workplace of tomorrow
  • Implementing innovation systems

Digital engineering

  • Digital development of the future
  • Digital twins
  • Information factory for PLM and IoT
  • Digital factory and inspection
  • Smart products and services
  • Model-based systems engineering

Production processes and facilities

  • High-performance manufacturing
  • Precision manufacturing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Joining and coating
  • High-performance machine tools


  • Industrial image processing
  • Virtual reconstruction
  • Computer vision for safety and security
  • Industrial robotics
  • Process technology and optimization
  • Intelligent systems for health and ergonomics

We asked our industry partners what specific challenges and needs manufacturing companies will be facing in the next few years. The result: technologies for five topics will have top priority for us in the coming years.

Trend 1: Zeros and Ones at the Factory

Data Management, Networking and Analysis

Trend 2: Manufacturing without Takt and Assembly Line

Manufacturing systems and production control

Trend 3: When the ­Machine Reports Its Status

Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Technology

Trend 4: Focusing on the Human Being

Knowledge and assistance in production

Trend 5: Greenwashing Is Yesterday’s News

Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility

R&D Trends 2022 / 2023

Successful Production in a Volatile Environment

Holistic answers to current industry challenges

In addition to the R&D trends above, we also tackle cross-cutting topics with an interdisciplinary approach. In our six business divisions, we can map all aspects of such trend topics along the entire process chain, from production management, product development and manufacturing to the maintenance of capital goods. The various competencies of our research areas are optimally interlinked for the benefit of our clients.

Industry 4.0

What is Industry 4.0?

»Digitally Integrated Production« – our answer to the challenges of Industry 4.0

Additive Manufacturing

How can additive manufacturing help you?

Development times can be drastically reduced and highly complex component geometries can be manufactured cost-effectively.

Smart Maintenance

How can your production benefit from Smart Maintenance?

Processes and technologies in the field of maintenance, repair and overhaul can be designed to be energy- and resource-efficient.

Artificial Intelligence

How do we at Fraunhofer IPK deal with machine learning and artificial intelligence?

Above all, people are at the center of production.

Manufacturing in Times of Corona

Do you need support to tackle your challenges?

We help you to quickly adapt to changed conditions.

Digital Twins

You want to use Digital Twins to flexibilize production? 

We are developing customized solutions that exploit the full potential of digital twins.