Mechanical and plant engineering

From traditional mechanical engineering to the digital, networked world

Process and product understanding are the two cornerstones of modern mechanical and plant engineering. While traditional mechanical engineering still worked strictly with a view to firmly defined, rigid requirements, flexibility in production is now moving forward as the predominant development principle.

Products and services are subject to ever shorter development cycles and the diversity of the product spectrum is constantly expanding. Mechanical and plant engineering can respond to these requirements by linking product and process knowledge more closely and using digital concepts to further increase efficiency.

The use of self-learning algorithms to monitor process and plant states and the networking of all production data within a digital infrastructure pave the way for making production predictable and transparent. High product quality, low scrap and maximum machine utilization remain the goal in mechanical and plant engineering. New technologies and materials as well as the demand for climate-conscious and sustainable production require new recycling and material cycles. Last but not least, politically and socially motivated goals such as the energy turnaround are also shaping the development of new production technologies.

Always at the cutting edge: modules and systems for the digital process chain

Fraunhofer IPT has more than 40 years of research and development experience – both in classic mechanical and plant engineering and in the development of individual and high-performance special machines and system components. We develop and accompany our plants and systems throughout their entire service life. For the complete process chain, we develop individual modules and components in overall responsibility or in cooperation with industrial system integrators. This applies not only to technical development, but also to communication between the parties involved, risk management, and also contractual arrangements, for example in the form of licenses or contracts for work and services.

Innovation from experience:
Our offer for mechanical and plant engineering

With its origins in the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University, the Fraunhofer IPT combines a history of more than 100 years of basic research with its affiliation to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and its strong focus on applied research. In this mix, we combine experience and innovation in one of the most important research institutions for modern mechanical and plant engineering.


Optimizing machines

With new metrology and optimization concepts, we determine critical parameters of your manufacturing processes to increase the performance of machines and systems.


Hybrid plants and special machines

From conception to commissioning, we support you in the development of highly specialized machines and systems.




For efficient production processes, we develop modular automated systems and processes that go beyond the state of the art and make tomorrow's production possible in the first place.


Optimizing processes

We improve existing manufacturing methods with new technologies and processes at your site and integrate mechanics and software.







New business models

Together with you, we develop new opportunities for the exploitation of your products and services and support you in the selection and implementation of a suitable digitization strategy.


Always well informed

We are happy to inform you about our research topics, projects and events.