Fraunhofer IWU, Dresden Branch of the Institute

Brief Profile

The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU is a driver for innovations in the field of production research and development. With about 550 employees at the locations in Chemnitz, Dresden and Zittau we are tapping potentials for competitive manufacturing. Our science and contract research focuses on components, processes and the related complex machine system – the entire factory.

As a leading institute for resource-efficient production, we focus not only on the development of efficient technologies and intelligent production systems for manufacturing car body and powertrain components, we also optimize their related manufacturing processes of forming and cutting. The development of lightweight structures and technologies for processing new materials, but also the transfer of functions into assembly units are crucial factors of success.

The progressing digitization is currently one of the main future topics. For this purpose, we develop integrated solutions with specific added value, which will also strengthen and enhance the competitive position of our partners. The basis is the “E³-Forschungsfabrik Resource-Efficient Production”.  Together with partners in research and industry we create solutions for efficient technologies and concepts of factory planning for flexible, resource-efficient production and innovative information technologies and visualization in order to integrate humans into the factory of the future as guarantors for success.

Since 2006, Fraunhofer IWU in Dresden has also been located in direct vicinity to the Technische Universität. The institute branch includes, among other things, a technical center of approx. 1000 m² for research in the areas of adaptronic and acoustics, additive manufacturing, mechanical joining technology and medical engineering.

In addition to modern machine technology and plants, the technical center has an anechoic room where acoustic investigations can be conducted on machines, vehicles and plants.

Research Highlights


Manufacturing beyond the limits of today’s processes – additive manufacturing

The laypersons calls it 3D printing, the expert talks about additive manufacturing. Strictly speaking, nothing is printed, but built up layer by layer using various materials.


Smart facade with energy-saving effect – project house smart³

Almost 40 percent of the total energy consumption in Germany is attributed to buildings.


Precisely adapting artificial hip joints – medical engineering

In Germany more than 200,000 people need a hip prosthesis every year


A smart drive repairs itself – adaptronic

Ball screw drives are the drive systems most commonly used in machine tools.


Joining of thick sheets – joining technologies

In boxing clinch means a tight clinch of the opponent from which he can hardly break lose. A very tight connection is also the meaning of clinching in terms of joining technology.


More quiet on the rail via simulation – technical acoustics

Environmental noise has a decisive influence on health and quality of life.