Skip to main content
European Commission logo
Advanced Technologies for Industry
Upper organisation
OWL University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IOSB-INA
Research Center

Langenbruch 17
32657 Lemgo


SmartFactoryOWL - NRW Competence Center for Digital Factories

The OWL University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Application Center IOSB-INA are located in Lemgo in the german state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Within their initiative - both institutes unify their competencies around industry 4.0 and demonstrate those technologies in the Factory of the Future - the SmartFactoryOWL.

The SmartFactoryOWL is located in the region OWL with a high density of manufacturing and automation vendor companies. Close collaboration between industry and the research institutes contributes to a high innovativity and cluster building in the area of ICT, automation and smart production. Due to these competencies, a competence center was established in those research institutes serving as a main contact and information point for SMEs to access new technologies in ICT. The creation of this competence center started in 2016 and a variety of offers with regard to qualification and technology transfer is currently being enrolled. The two research institutes in Lemgo are well experienced in the collaboration with SMEs in ICT projects.

Both research institutes are leading institutions in the domain of industrial automation for smart production and manufacturing technologies. The main research focus is on communication systems, data analytics and cloud services, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, sensor fusion, internet of things and direct digital manufacturing. Digital solutions are developed along the complete value chain of the product development cycle to support efficient production processes.

As partners in the german leading-edge technology cluster it´s OWL the OWL University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer IOSB-INA have performed a range of collaborative and transfer projects with the industry since 2012. These cooperations are now continued and broadened with a special focus on SMEs within the SmartFactoryOWL.

Technology keywords

  • Real-time communication, localization technologies, middleware
  • 3D printing, Additive Manufacturing, Rapid Prototyping
  • Information processing systems, Workflow
  • Big Data, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence
  • Manufacturing plants networks
  • Plant Design and Maintenance
  • Process automation

NACE keywords

  • Computer programming activities
  • Data processing, hosting and related activities
  • Other information technology and computer service activities
  • Web portals

Languages spoken

  • English
  • German
  • Spanish


SmartFactoryOWL participates in two special programs for the transfer of industry 4.0 technologies to SMEs:

BMWi - Kompetenzzentrum Digital in NRW:

EFRE - Industrie 4.0 für den Mittelstand:



Contact Person

is SME contact

Gain an overview over the SmartFactoryOWL:

SMEs have the chance to gain insight in the technologies of additive manufacturing. Several 3D Printers and correlated technologies are part of th SmartFactoryOWL and visualize the possibilities of rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing.

Additive Manufacturing

Different approaches of additive manufacturing technologies e.g. 3D Printing can be reviewed in the SmartFactoryOWL as well as correlated technologies. SMEs can get an overview over the possibilities of rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing.

Assistant Systems

Whether projection based assistant systems, robotic or Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality - assembly and manufacturing is guided in the SmartFactoryOWL with assistant systems best as possible.

Connectivity and Big Data 

Technologies of gathering, analyzing and using data are getting more important in production plants in order to improve performance and maintenance. In Internet of Things (IoT) applications smart systems transfer information real-time through every place. SMEs gain an overview over the possibilities of connected production in the SmartFactoryOWL


How does the SmartFactoryOWL support SMEs?

  • Demonstration: the 1800m² large Factory ( demonstrates several industry 4.0 technologies and enables SMEs to understand what those technologies comprise
  • Pilot Production: SMEs can extend parts of their production into the SmartFactoryOWL to test and evaluate new technologies or processes
  • Prototype Development: SMEs can enable their products for industry 4.0 with new hardware and software components offered by the institutes
  • Technology Services: SMEs can contact the SmartFactoryOWL for different services
    • Information
      • Lab Tours: SMEs can visit the SmartFactoryOWL to feel and touch Industry 4.0 technologies
      • excursion: SMEs can visit the SmartFactoryOWL and cooperating companies in groups from far located regions
      • networks: SMEs can participate to networks in order to interact with other companies about Smart Production       
    • Demonstration
      • Demonstration of Industry 4.0 enabled demonstrators
    • Qualification
      • trainings: SMEs can participate to trainings for different topics (e.g. Robotic, Assistant Systems, IT Security...)
      • specific consulting: SMEs can receive special consulting by experts on their specific questions
    • Transfer
      • quick-checks: SMEs can check their production on its potential for digitization technologies
      • transfer projects to improve a focused question at the SME production or development site

More information about the programs the SmartFactoryOWL is involved on:

BMWi - Kompetenzzentrum Digital in NRW:

EFRE - Industrie 4.0 für den Mittelstand:

Service for Industry and SMEs