Excellent Cooperation

Our membership in networks and cooperative projects gives us the ability to solve interdisciplinary problems that would otherwise be beyond the scope of a single institute. The extensive research spectrum covered by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the proximity to RWTH Aachen University gives us access to a far greater pool of knowledge to draw from.  


Location Aachen

Here, we closely cooperate with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of RWTH Aachen University in all our work areas. On the Melaten campus, eleven research clusters, focusing on different areas, are currently under development, a project which the Fraunhofer IPT is also closely involved in.


Inside the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the leading organization for applied research in Europe, we are a member of the Fraunhofer Group for Production and part of a network of 74 institutes and research units.


International Cooperations

International cooperations are increasingly gaining importance for the Fraunhofer IPT: We cooperate with universities, research facilities and companies at various locations around the world, jointly supporting production-oriented research and development projects.



The Fraunhofer IPT accommodates an increasing number of start-ups which emerged from projects by ambitious employees of our institute. The aim is to transfer application-oriented research into concrete industrial products and services. Apart from that, further spin-offs have been successfully active inside their own offices, laboratories and machine halls for years.

In our hometown of Aachen, we closely cooperate in all our areas of activity with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of the RWTH Aachen University, and our administrative structures are interwoven with those of the Technical University: four fully tenured professors from the RWTH Aachen University also make up the Fraunhofer IPT’s Board of Directors. The name of the WZL has for decades been globally synonymous for successful and groundbreaking research as well as innovative ideas in the field of production technology. The WZL conducts basic as well as commercially driven research projects (which are aligned with the require-ments of the manufacturing industry) in six departments and develops practice-oriented solutions for lean and efficient production lines.

© Fraunhofer IPT
Image of the Fraunhofer IPT

© ARTVISU Artur Krause
FFB battery cell research production in Münster

Our Network on the RWTH Aachen Campus

Eleven dedicated research clusters are currently being developed on the RWTH Aachen Campus at Melaten. The Fraunhofer IPT is providing this project with technical and personal assistance. The clusters are intended as a platform for manufacturers and research institutions to pool resources, to create synergies and to exchange their findings. This close cooperation will reduce friction losses in alignment processes, accelerate the speed of the scientific progress and improve the quality of the research activities. It will also help to reduce the costs of research and development. The Fraunhofer IPT is cooperating particularly closely with the clusters for produc-tion technology, photonics and smart logistics.



International Center for Networked Adaptive Production ICNAP

On 12 and 13 December 2018, the International Center for Networked Adaptive Production (ICNAP) convened its members for its first annual assembly in Aachen to determine its research and development priorities for the coming year. ICNAP aims to establish itself as a leading research community for new digitalization and networking production technologies by first designing and then developing new Industrie 4.0 production systems and value chains to the point where they can be integrated into industrial manufacturing lines. It was for this purpose that the ICNAP was formally established at the Hannover Messe in April 2018 by the Fraunhofer Institutes IPT, ILT and IME as well as renowned manufacturers from a wide range of industries including metrology and sensorics, IT, heavy engineering and systems engineering. Participants of the moderated research community will have access to the test and research data that will be made available within the community. ICNAP members will also be allowed to run their own applications through the community’s comprehensively networked pool of sophisticated equipment that features top-of-the-range sensorics as well as 5G data transmission facilities and that is integrated into the “Virtual Fort Knox” Fraunhofer Cloud. All of this equipment can be used in the context of joint as well as bilateral research and development projects.

The ICNAP was originally established in late 2016 as the Fraunhofer High Performance Center Networked Adaptive Production. Based on an initiative of the state government of North-Rhine-Westphalia and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, it received massive support from the industry and operated on an initial budget of 6.4 million euros. The ICNAP has been designed to operate as an institutional framework that sustains the activities of the partners in the High Performance Center and remains open for other companies that want to join.

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International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing ICTM

The International Center for Turbomachinery ICTM was estab-lished at Aachen through a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer IPT, the Fraunhofer ILT and the WZL oft the RWTH Aachen University as well as the Institute for Additive Production (DAP) of the RWTH Aachen University. The ICTM’s activities reflect the entire range of technologies that is covered by the four founding members and aim to provide the turbomachinery manufacturing and maintenance industry with top-of-the-range research and development services. The ICTM was established in close cooperation with partners from the industry and is designed to accelerate the implementation of technological innovations and their integration into industrial production lines.

INC Invention Center

The Invention Center on the RWTH Aachen Campus is a place where the technical university’s partners can acquire further qualifications in technology and innovation management and strive to find perfect solutions for their manufacturing challenges. In coordination with TIME Research Area, the Fraunhofer IPT, the WZL of the RWTH Aachen University and KEX Knowledge Exchange AG, the INC Invention Center has developed INCworX, a creative space designed to provide people who are responsible for future planning and current decision-making processes in the industry with an inspiring environment for the various stages of the innovation process, from the development of initial ideas to the series production of products for commercial distribution.

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Aachen Center for Optics Production ACOP

Networking of individual processes and process chains Digitization concepts and strategies are already a topic in many companies today, including in the optics industry and among its customers. However, cross-process chain networking of all manufacturing steps has not yet been implemented in most cases. In addition, many companies are faced with the question of which of the numerous digitization approaches will add value to their own production. The Aachen Center for Optics Production ACOP is an initiative of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT with the intention of promoting cooperation with industry in the field of optics. The aim of this cooperation within the framework of the ACOP Partner Community is to carry out practical R&D projects in the field of digital and physical networking in optics production and to actively identify and implement new development priorities.

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Fraunhofer Research Institution for Battery Cell Production FFB

The FFB battery cell research production facility is currently being built at the Münster site as a close partner of the Fraunhofer IPT.

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© Fraunhofer

Cooperation in the Fraunhofer Group for Production

The Fraunhofer IPT is a member of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s Group for Production. This Group comprises eleven Fraunhofer Institutes and other bodies which have decided to pool their resources to conduct joint production-oriented research and development projects. By uniting the different skill sets and experiences of the individual institutes, the Group is capable of providing clients with a broad portfolio of research and development services and of addressing virtually all production issues of a modern company – including the challenges of Industry 4.0, the potential of additive manufacturing, Big Data and new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and biological transformation.

Fraunhofer Group for Production

About Fraunhofer

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organization for applied research in Europe. Its research activities are conducted by 74 institutes and research units at locations throughout Germany. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft employs a staff of more than 28,000, who work with an annual research budget of 2.8 billion euros. Of this sum, 2.3 billion euros is generated through contract research. Around 70 percent of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s contract research revenue is derived from contracts with industry and from publicly financed research projects.  International collaborations with excellent research partners and innovative companies around the world ensure direct access to regions of the greatest importance to present and future scientific progress and economic development.

Customers and contract partners are

  • Industry
  • Service sectors
  • Public administration


Membership of Fraunhofer Groups and Alliances

The Fraunhofer IPT also participates in a number of Fraunhofer Alliances. All Alliances aim to coordinate their efforts of exploring certain research areas as well as their marketing activities.

Fraunhofer AutoMOBILE Production Alliance  

Fraunhofer Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Alliance

Fraunhofer Additive Manufacturing Alliance  

Fraunhofer Lightweight Design Alliance  

Fraunhofer Numerical Simulation of Products, Processes Alliance

Fraunhofer Vision Alliance  

© pogonici – stock.adobe.com

»Powertrain Manufacturing for Heavy Vehicles Application Lab« in Stockholm

Four years ago, a consortium of powertrain manufacturers and research institutions was established in Sweden with a view to strengthening and securing the competitiveness of its industrial members. The Powertrain Manufacturing for Heavy Vehicles Application Lab was established on 13 September 2016 by the Fraunhofer IPT, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the Swerea KIMAB and Swerea IVF research institutes (members of the research network RISE – Research Institutes of Sweden), the Technical University of Chalmers and the industrial manufac-turers Scania, Volvo Trucks and Sandvik. Through the projects of the new centre, the partners will develop technologies for the mass production of components in the powertrains of heavy-duty vehicles and improve conventional production processes.

On 26 April 2017, the consortium started a separate German-Swedish initiative to support and encourage exchanges of Industry 4.0 technologies and of new ideas of how to implement them, called the “Swedish-German Testbed for Smart Production”. The joint venture had been inspired by a panel discussion to mark the opening of the technology forum which was jointly hosted by the German-Swedish Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) and which was attended by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. In their joint declaration, the governments of both countries had emphasized the importance of four research areas: life sciences, production and materials, mobility, and energy / the environment. The test beds are designed as pilot lines for the assessment of innovative smart products or production systems and for the development of ways to combine them into efficiently operating networks.

Powertrain Manufacturing for Heavy Vehicles Application Lab

»Fraunhofer Project Centre for Design and Production Engineering for Complex High-Tech Systems« at the University of Twente  

In January 2017, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft opened the Fraunhofer Project Center (FPC) on the campus of the University of Twente. The FPC is a joint venture of the Fraunhofer IPT, the University of Twente and the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Enschede. These three institutions aim to accelerate the cross-border development of complex and sophisticated technologies for Industrie 4.0 in Germany as well as the Netherlands. The joint venture is designed to strengthen the competitive position of all partners, supporting the market-oriented development of “smart industries” on both sides of the Dutch-German border.

Center for Design and Production Engineering for Complex High-Tech Systems

»Centre for Embedded Bioanalytical Solutions« in Dublin

In May 2017, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft opened its first Fraunhofer Project Centre in Ireland, a joint venture of the Fraunhofer IPT and Dublin City University (DCU). The FPC@DCU intends to combine the two partners’ skills and experience in the development of micro-fluidic lab-on-a-chip systems that are employed for applications in medicine, the pharmaceutical in-dustry, production and analytics. The Science Foundation Ireland and Fraunhofer support the project with an amount of EUR 2.5 million euros each for a period of five years. The Fraunhofer IPT hopes to use the joint venture as a means of gaining access to potential clients from the medical technology industry (which is very strong in Ireland), while our Irish partners welcome the opportunity of establishing contacts and networks within the international research community of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.


»Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation CMI« in Boston

For many years, the Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing In-novation CMI has been closely cooperating with the Fraunhofer IPT in many areas of research. Together with Boston University, the Fraunhofer CMI has developed production technology solutions for various industries ranging from biotechnology and biomedicine and photonics to renewable energies. Their joint research has focused on high-precision automation systems for high-tech applications and medical technology equipment. Their close partnership allows both Fraunhofer IPT and CMI to offer foreign clients production technology research and develop-ment services at their own production sites while providing a bridge for mutually beneficial technology transfers between European and US-based manufacturers.

Fraunhofer CMI

Further cooperation with international partners and networks

  • Centro de Competência em Manufatura, Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, Brasilien
  • Fundação CERTI (Centros de Referência em Tecnologias Inovadoras), Brasilien
  • Laboratorio de Mecanica de Precisao, Brasilien
  • ITTC, VR China
  • Tsinghua Universität, VR China
  • Tokyo Women's Medical University, Japan
  • Universiti Teknologi, Malaysia
  • Boston University, USA

© ShpilbergStudios – stock.adobe.com

Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing GmbH

The Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing aims to enable manufacturers of any size to integrate additive manufacturing techniques profitably into their production processes. The ACAM community welcomes industrial partners and offers them a wide range of services from project development to staff training, feasibility studies, business consultancy and access to information about the latest technologies.

Aixemtec GmbH

Aixemtec was established in November 2016 as a spin-off of the Fraunhofer IPT. The company holds a license from the Fraunhofer IPT for high-end assembly solutions, combining the technological know-how of the Fraunhofer IPT in the field of optical system assembly with a customer-oriented service concept. Its business model allows Aixemtec to provide its customers with customized and sophisticated high-tech assembly solutions for their manufacturing requirements.

Aixtooling GmbH

Aixtooling GmbH was founded in 2005 as a spin-off company of the Fraunhofer IPT, with the vision of establishing precision molding of optical glass as a standard technology for the optical industry in Europe. The company has extensive competencies in every significant component of the process chain for the replicative fabrication of precision glass optics. The core competencies of Aixtooling GmbH are mold design, process layout, and the fabrication of ultra-precision molding systems.

Invention Center

The Invention Center is located on the campus of RWTH Aachen University and offers its partners access to technology and  opportunities of acquiring additional innovation management qualifications while also providing optimized solutions for technological challenges. In close coordination with the TIME Research Area, the Fraunhofer IPT, the WZL and KEX Knowledge Exchange AG, the Center provides a technology expertise that allows executives who are planning the future of their manufacturing businesses to acquire a deeper understanding of the process from the original product idea via the drawing board to the large series production in an industrial environment.

Innoclamp GmbH

Innoclamp GmbH was established in 2015 in Aachen and is specialized in the development and construction of automatic clamping systems for the high-precision arrangement of complex free-formed workpieces in machine tools and their low-vibration fixation. Innoclamp designs serial products as well as unique clamping and automation solutions that have been customized to meet the production requirements of individual customers.

Innolite GmbH

Innolite GmbH was founded in August 2008 as a Fraunhofer IPT spin off. Their core business has since been the ultra-precision mold-making for the replication of plastic optics as well as the direct manufacturing of metal optics. In 2009, the first successful projects in the field of plastic injection compression molding were completed. A decisive contribution to our customers was first made possible thanks to the close cooperation with our partners Arburg and the Institute of Plastics Processing IKV of the RWTH Aachen University.

KEX Knowledge Exchange AG

The KEX Konwledge Exchange AG is a professional information provider for technology and market information, founded in 2013. Intelligent knowledge management systems, complete accessibility to exclusive sources of information and a unique network of experts allow effective scanning, scouting and monitoring of technologies and markets. By means of a demand-specific compilation and assessment of information, the KEX is best placed to support a wide range of business decisions.


MABRI.VISION GmbH is a start-up company that develops non-destructive optical measurement technologies for plastic and glass products. The company designs and manufactures measuring equipment for the off-line and in-line-quality assessment of transparent and semi-transparent materials, specifically focusing on the detection of barrier layers in injection-molded or extruded products. The technology is based on optical coherence tomography and enables the non-destructive optical imaging of cross sections.

oculavis GmbH

oculavis GmbH was founded in 2016 and offers the award-winning software platform oculavis SHARE, which brings visual assistance and augmented reality workflows to service and support processes in mechanical and plant engineering. Headquartered in Aachen, Germany, with locations in Chicago (US) and Shanghai (China), the company empowers over 200 customers worldwide to save costs, shorten response times, and establish digital business models in after sales service.

polyscale GmbH & Co. KG

polyscale develops, manufactures and distributes micro-structured components with optical features. A complex production process allows new properties of structured surfaces, opening various fields of applications. polyscale concentrates on LEDdriven technologies to develop and manufacture light guide plates. polyscale’s light guide solutions provide customized products for various industries to meet the highest possible standards of performance, efficiency and individuality.

son-x GmbH

son-x GmbH was founded in the summer of 2011 in Aachen, Germany, as a spin-off company of the Fraunhofer IPT that offers tooling systems for ultrasonic-assisted ultra-precision machining. By means of this technology, son-x enables direct machining of hardened steel and other materials with single-crystal diamond tools in an optical quality. Through the long-term experience of son-x’s employees in the field of ultra-precision machining and optics manufacturing, a strong basis of know-how could be established.

WBA – Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie GmbH

The WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie GmbH concentrates the competencies of the Fraunhofer IPT and the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of the RWTH Aachen University for tool, mold, and die making companies. The WBA was founded in 2010 and owns a tool shop for demonstration purposes. The corporation offers continuing education programs as well as a master’s program in collaboration with the RWTH Aachen University. In the partnership model of the WBA, small and medium sized companies are able to work on research projects that have a practical orientation. Besides, the WBA answers technological and organizational questions of companies of the industry.


Forms of Cooperation

Our services range from detailed solutions to the optimization of complex production processes and systems. In order to carry out this work, we cooperate with clients and partners in ways that best suit their individual needs. We aim to transfer know-how from scientific research and development into industry. Particularly small and medium-sized companies benefit when we help them introduce new technologies and processes.

Bilateral industrial projects

Short to medium-term contract research for industrial clients with individual commissioning and joint, long-term problem-solving projects in areas in which competition is minimal.

  • Advice on technologies and methods
  • Feasibility studies
  • Analysis and assessments
  • Techniques, machines and methods
    • New developments
    • Optimization
    • Implementation
  • Prototype and machine construction
  • Training

Public funding

Medium to long-term research projects carried out by a network of research and industrial partners.

  • Joint BMBF projects
  • Joint EU projects
  • Coordination of industrial project consortia
  • Advice on national and EU research contract applications

Knowledge transfer

  • Market research
  • Market assessment
  • Site set-up
  • Prototype construction and testing of small series

Strategic preliminary research

  • Special research fields and fundamental projects contracted out by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation).
  • Studies into future fields of national and international research

Our services are intended to help companies achieve efficient and cost-effective development processes. The transfer of the latest research findings to our partners gives them the ability to use innovative technologies for the development of products that have the potential for success.