Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik: Research Factory for AI-integrated Production

Short description

Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize established production processes and upgrade immature processes - and thus gain tangible competitive advantages: This is the mission of the Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik (Karlsruhe Research Factory), which Fraunhofer IOSB operates together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT and the wbk Institute of Production Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Companies can research and develop intelligent production in areas such as electromobility, lightweight construction and Industrie 4.0 in close cooperation with the research institutes.

Goals of the Karlsruhe Research Factory

Using Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, science and industry are jointly transferring innovative, challenging manufacturing processes from the idea to operational practice in the shortest possible time. This enables companies with their own production facilities as well as machine and plant manufacturers to supply the market with new products earlier.

This is made possible by “over-instrumenting” the processes with sensors and actuators, whereby data is obtained quickly and comprehensively and evaluated using machine learning methods. This in turn enables optimized control of even incompletely understood processes. Fraunhofer IOSB is focusing in particular on the development and testing of a systematic approach to the use of AI in production, AI Systems Engineering.

Current status

Fraunhofer IOSB will incorporate the results from the lighthouse project ML4P - Machine Learning for Production and from the Karlsruhe Competence Center for AI Systems Engineering (CC-KING), among others, into the research factory. This also applies to the results of the work in the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies, in which IOSB is represented in the Machine Learning Research Center. Fraunhofer IOSB focuses on comprehensible, robust learning methods combined with production-specific expert knowledge. With its flexible infrastructure, the research factory will here become an important test and demonstration environment.


The Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik offers SMEs and large companies various research laboratories with direct access to the know-how of the competent scientific staff. By working closely with the developing staff, new and innovative services and business models can be developed or existing processes can be rethought.

Currently, laboratories are offered on these topics:

  • Manufacturing IT Future Lab - the Industrial IoT Architecture of the Future
  • Intelligent machines and components lab - machines and components for Industry 4.0 and the IoT

Embedded Scientists is also offered as a special format of cooperation with various options between one or more institutes of the research factory and industry. Here, companies can 'send' selected developers / engineers to the Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik so that they can research together with scientists and experts for a limited period of time, independently of their day-to-day business.

For more information on the services offered by the Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik, including workshops and training courses, please visit the Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik website.

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT
  • wbk Institute of Production Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Project details

Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik for AI-integrated Production

Project duration: since 2020

The project is funded by: European Regional Development Fund, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Construction Baden-Württemberg, Ministry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg, Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Business units of Fraunhofer IOSB

You can find out more about our projects in this area on the pages of the respective business units.