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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


The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU is a driver for innovation in production engineering. Around 670 highly qualified employees at our locations in Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig, Wolfsburg and Zittau tap the new potential for competitive manufacturing in automotive and mechanical engineering, aerospace technology, medical engineering, electrical engineering and precision and micro engineering applications. We focus on scientific developments and industrial contract research concerning components, processes, methods and associated complex machine systems – the entire factory.

We develop technologies and intelligent production systems for sheet metal materials, composite materials, plastics, functional materials and hybrid material components. Recently, a large chunk of our work has included research that helps implementing circular economy solutions such as easy-to-disassemble joining technologies, refurbishing and remanufacturing technologies, digitisation and data management solutions as enablers of material and component cycles. We innovate in standard key enabling technologies such as forming, cutting and joining processes including additive manufacturing while taking into account the whole process chain.

The transition of manufacturing environments into cognitive production systems using AI and robotics technologies is at the heart of many of our research projects with European research partners and for industry clients. The ”E3 Research Factory for Resource-Efficient Production” serves as an example of our comprehensive approach. Combining the expertise from research and industry results in solutions for efficient technologies and concepts for planning and managing factories. Our objective lies in flexible, resource-efficient production based on renewable energies with novel information technologies and visualisation methods for humans guaranteeing success in tomorrow’s factory.

Fraunhofer IWU is a member of CIRP, the International Academy for Production Technologies, euRobotics, Made in Europe, the European Joining Platform, the European Additive Manufacturing Platform, 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.

In December 2017, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft was awarded the logo »HR Excellence in Research« from the European Commission in recognition of its outstanding Integrated Human Resources Management. The Logo »HR Excellence in Research« is based on the 40 principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (»EU-Charta & Code«). As Europe’s leading organisation for applied research and as project partner many EU-projects, Fraunhofer fulfills these principles.  Fraunhofer is one of the first organisations for applied research in Germany to have received the award.

Regional network participation

  • VEMASinnovativ- Mechanical Engineering Network Saxony
  • CircularSaxony
  • EnergySaxony
  • SiliconSaxony
  • HZwo- regional hydrogen network

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

Sensors and Actuators

Remanufacturing, Refurbishment, Recycling of various materials

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

Additive Manufacturing: Laser Beam Melting, Pultrusion

SEAM- Screw Extrusion Additive Manuafacturing (ultra-fast)


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

Factory planning and operation, BIM

Machining and cutting technologies

Micro cutting machine technology

Electro-chemical machining technology

Micro-electrical discharge machining

Laser micro structuring

Tool and mould-making

Mechanical joining technology incl. de-joining expertise

Thermal joining using laser incl. de-joining expertise

Welding equipment

Lightweight construction by intelligent materials combination

Polymer processing technologies

Basic microbiology lab

Medical Engineering

Acoustical Testing incl. anechoic chamber (semi-free field room class 1)



We offer a wide range of services in material testing and characterisation to our customers.

  • Innovation Services
  • Access to newest knowledge and technologies with expertise in solving industry problems
  • Applied research experts
  • Skills training and workshops for companies
  • Fit-for-Industry-4.0-Test
  • Development of digitisation strategies
  • Technology and knowledge transfer
  • Prototype development
  • Iterative and participative design
Other activities
- Circular Economy solutions, primarily for metals and composite products
Service for Industry and SMEs