Cognitive Engineering and Production

Towards more competitive manufacturing enterprises and more attractive workplaces

With the digital transformation and Industrie 4.0 knocking at their door, companies are having to reinvent their R&D and manufacturing practices. Increasingly connected people, products, IT systems, machines, plants and the like are talking to each other, often via mobile devices.

Many enterprises are wondering how they can best harness the power of digitalization and tap its vast potential. Our services can help you align your strategies, processes and organization in an efficient and systematic way to make the most of state-of-the-art technologies in your manufacturing company. Drawing on many years’ experience in real-world consulting projects and the latest findings in cutting-edge science and research, we have what it takes to make the transition work for you.

By applying innovative methods and insights born of many years’ experience in the development of products and production, our expert teams investigate the product development process from the inceptive idea to final production. We test new products and processes in virtual environments such as our “Immersive Engineering Lab“ to build solutions that sharpen your competitive edge. Then we fine-tune these processes in real-world environments such as the “Future Work Lab“ to speed their journey to practical implementation.

Our key areas of research:

  • Designing human-centered R&D and manufacturing workflows
  • Implementing Industrie 4.0 and digitalization in R&D and manufacturing
  • Inventing tomorrow’s product development processes with advanced systems engineering
  • Exploring crowd-based, open and digital engineering methods of the future
  • Creating frugal innovations for tomorrow’s products and markets
  • Combining lean practices and Industrie 4.0 for future manufacturing systems
  • Tapping the power of AI to organize manufacturing workflows
  • Employer branding – enhancing workplace attractiveness with flexible production
  • Configuring agile organizations for the future shop floor
  • Delivering next-gen 2D and 3D visualization technologies and collaborative VR



ARENA2036 - »Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles«

It’s all in the name: The “Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles“, or ARENA2036 for short, enables science and industry partners to collaborate in new ways and jointly explore the future of manufacturing and lightweighting at the same research campus.


Mobile plug-in lab for advanced systems engineering

A mobile plug-in lab will provide SMEs in Baden-Württemberg with hands-on experience in the development of complex technical systems.   



The mission: build a platform to enable community-based development of service robots. Its purpose: support workflows and tools, and afford access to legacy hardware components. 


Future Work Lab

Where is work headed? On the factory floor, but also with regard to processes and services, digitalization is raising many new questions. Headed by Fraunhofer IAO, the newly opened “Future Work Lab – an innovation laboratory for work, people and technology” offers innovative approaches and answers.  


CoAvatar: Collective spatial problem solving in virtual space

Which spatial and sensory information is most helpful in solving spatial problems, and how do people solve these problems? Examining these research questions will enable mental representations of objects, the environment, and one's own body, as well as those of other users, to be perceived as natural and has been already proven to be important for spatially related tasks. 


V/AR Application Centers

The Fraunhofer IAO, the Virtual Dimension Center (VDC) and the Animationsinstitut of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg are teaming up in a project called V/AR Application Centers to bring down the barriers impeding the use of virtual reality and augmented reality in business.