How will we work and manufacture in the future?



Save the Date: IFF Science Days

We invite you to attend the IFF Science Days from June 21 to 24, 2016 in Magdeburg.

28 Apr 2016 10:00:00 GMT

Automatically Harvesting Cauliflower

Machines that harvest vegetables pick everything at once – even unripe heads when harvesting cauliflower. This is why human helpers often perform this tedious job. In the future, a machine will make selective harvesting possible fully automatically. Fraunhofer researchers are developing this smart harvester together with industry partners.

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10 Mar 2016 10:00:00 GMT

The ALLIANCE project

A new project on sustainable transport interchanges commenced on January 1st 2016, financed by the European Union under the HORIZON 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

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01 Apr 2016 10:00:00 GMT

Tactile Power Steering for Order Picking Carts

Vehicles in logistics centers will be more intuitive to steer in the future, thus making work easier and safer. “Tactile” handles being developed by Fraunhofer researchers will make this possible: They employ pressure sensors to detect the direction in which a user is pushing or pulling the cart. Whenever there is a risk of a collision, the cart stops immediately.

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Research Magazine


  • Large-scale Battery Storage Test
  • Managing Power Smartly
  • Sensitive, Sensible Grids

Research Magazine


  • Vineyards: Aerial Analysis
  • Tracking Down Beet Diseases
  • Utilizing Meat and Bone Meal

The Human in Manufacturing

All of the systems in a digital factory of tomorrow are interconnected. Production controls itself. All of the systems communicate with one another. Fortunately, the prediction of deserted factories in which only robots work has proven to be false: People have kept their jobs and guide and control operations creatively and flexibly. They control the manufacturing’s growing interconnectedness. They are adding the strength, precision and indefatigability of technical systems to their skills. Humans and machines are moving closer together in work areas. Their combined capabilities make it possible to shorten manufacturing cycles and increase the range of models of products. Manufacturing is becoming more flexible.

A great deal of research and development is still needed to make sure this works. We need technical assistance systems that enable humans and machines to work together safely in shared work areas. Not least, this division of labor is a response to the demographic trend: We are already suffering a shortage of young professionals. We will have to support the skilled labor we have with technical assistance systems that match their skills. We will thus enable them to work more capably and longer in workplaces designed for an aging workforce.