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Advanced Technologies for Industry

Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Fraunhofer IWU)

Upper organisation
Research Center

Reichenhainer Str. 88
09126 Chemnitz


As a leading institute for resource-efficient production within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, with over 600 staff members, Fraunhofer IWU is an important R&D partner for the automotive/ vehicle, machine tool and mechanical engineering industries. Strong collaborations with European stakeholders are in:

  • Manufacturing processes such as forming, joining, machining (cutting) including machine tools and automation
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Acoustical solutions for industry
  • Lightweight design (metal foam, fibres, sheet metals)
  • Functional surfaces and micro manufacturing

Innovation at Fraunhofer IWU is grouped into three areas:

  •  Mechatronics and Lightweight Structures including
    • Adaptronics and acoustics
    • Medical engineering
    • Additive manufacturing
    • Functionally-integrated lightweight structures
    • Functional textiles
    • Applied polymers/plastics processing
  • Forming and Joining Technologies including
    • Sheet metal forming
    • Hydroforming
    • Hot bulk metal forming
    • Cold and precision forming
    • Thermal and mechanical joining technologies
  • Machine Tools, Production Systems and Machining Technologies including
    • Machine Tools
    • Robotics and automation
    • Digitisation in production
    • Assembly technologies
    • Production management
    • Machining and cutting technologies
    • Functional surfaces and micro manufacturing

International network participation

The institute is a member of CIRP, the International Academy for Production Technologies, EFFRA, the European Factories of the Future Research Association, European Joining Platform, European Additive Manufacturing Platform, euRobotics and of EARPA, the European Automotive Research Partners Association. Fraunhofer IWU is also an active player in Saxony’s smart specialisation strategy via the Vanguard Initiative.

Regional network participation

  • VEMASinnovativ- Mechanical Engineering Network Saxony
  • Kompetenzzentrum Maschinenbau Chemnitz/ Sachsen e.V. (network of Chemnitz companies working in the area of mechanical engineering)
  • EnergySaxony
  • Network of machine tool builders and researchers

Institute staff are active in numerous national research and industry networks.

Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Fraunhofer IWU)

Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Fraunhofer IWU)

Contact Person

is SME contact

Forming machine tools

  • Clutch-controlled screw press
  • Die rolling machine
  • Cross rolling machine
  • Spin extrusion machine
  • Several hydraulic presses with press forces ranging from 50 kN to 16,000 kN
  • Two hydroforming presses (4,000 bar; press force: 15,000/50,000 kN)
  • Profile rolling machines
  • Rotary swaging machine
  • Pulsed power generator for electromagnetic forming
  • Precision forming machines for micro hot embossing
  • Testing station for high speed micro-forming

Machine tool thermal behaviour testing equipment (including a thermal cell to generate defined variable ambient conditions)

Additive Manufacturing: Laser Beam Melting

  • Several laser beam melting systems  

Robotics and assembly engineering

  • Car body construction plant for assembling car doors including different robot clamping fixtures
  • HRI experimenting platform including different heavy-duty KUKA robots  

Production Management/ Factory Planning

  • Laser scanner for 2D/3D detection of building outlines and inventory

Machining and cutting technologies and machine technology

  • 5-axis machining centers
  • 5-axis horizontal machining centers
  • 3-axis vertical machining centers
  • CNC-turning machine N20 with high pressure unit
  • Turning and milling machining center
  • Grinding machines

Micro cutting machine technology

  • 5-axis micro machining center
  • 3-axis micro machining center
  • Jig grinding machine
  • Mobile CO2 snow jet cleaning system

Removal machine technology

  • PEM center 8000 (PECM) with x-y table (Pulsed Electro-Chemical Machining)
  • Prototype plant Jet-ECM (Electro-Chemical Machining)
  • System for micro electrical discharge machining
  • Laser micro structuring machines

Tool and mould-making: cooling lubrication systems

Mechanical joining technology

  • Riveting: several machines for self-pierce riveting, radial-point riveting, impulse-riveting, wobble-riveting
  • Clinching machine
  • Adhesive technology

Thermal joining using laser

  • 10 kW disk laser
  • 6 kW disk laser with industrial robot and linear axis
  • Laser welding tongs
  • Diode laser 2x 500 W for laser hardening and laser soldering

Welding equipment

  • Plasma / TIG welding
  • Capacitor discharge welding equipment
  • Friction welding equipment

Lightweight construction by intelligent materials combination

  • Pultrusion plant for manufacturing straight and curved profiles
  • Press technology for processing organic sheet metals, SMC etc. 

Polymer processing technologies

  • FDM plant FORTUS 900mc (technology of molten layers)
  • SLS plant sPro60 HD-HS (selective laser sintering)
  • Elastomer-reactivation plant

Basic microbiology lab

Medical Engineering

  • Materials testing machine for tension, compression and torsion
  • Servo pneumatic tension-compression testing machine
  • GOM PONTOS: dynamic detection of dynamic or quasi-static movements / deformations, e.g. for creating movement models
  • Microcomputer tomography



We offer a wide range of services in material testing and characterisation to our customers. Exemplary technologies we use are listed below:

  • Spatially-resolved strain measurement
  • Tensile testing machines
  • Machine for rapid stress-rupturing
  • Maxi bulge test station
  • X-ray diffractometer
  • Dilatometer
  • Calorimeter
  • Reflected-light microscope
  • Tools for sample preparation/ metallography
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • Optical metrology systems such as  high-speed cameras and high-speed thermographic systems
  • White light interferometer
  • Confocal microscope
  • Ultrasound
  • Tomography
  • EDX system
  • 3D laser sensor
  • 3D laser scanning vibrometer, rotation vibrometer
  • Ultrasonic wall thickness gauges
  • Tribometers
  • Laser interferometer
  • Compact mass spectrometer
  • Parallel kinematic test plant 3POD
  • Test plant for feed axes
  • Adaptive spindle holder
  • Active absorber for wind energy plants
  • Sensors for force, pressure, temperature, AE and acceleration
  • Acoustic array measurement technology for use in machines, tools, vehicles and building environments
  • Acoustic holography
  • Anechoic room (semi-free-field room class 1)
  • Corrosion test chamber
  • Innovation Services
  • Access to newest knowledge and technologies with expertise in solving industry problems
  • Applied research experts
  • Skills training and workshops for companies
  • Technology and process optimisation
  • Technology and knowledge transfer
  • Prototype development
  • Iterative and participative design
Service for Industry and SMEs