Our core competencies

Core competencies


Holistic development is the cornerstone of successful technical systems. The Fraunhofer IEM supports companies of all sizes in putting interdisciplinary engineering into practice. From customized product development and long-term concepts for model-based and secure engineering to the realization of digital visions of the future such as Industrie 4.0, the work we do at the Fraunhofer IEM is based on six core competencies: Intelligent technical systems, digital transformation, systems engineering, virtualization and modeling, IT security and software engineering.

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Intelligent technical systems 

Intelligent technical systems require a broad base of highly sophisticated technologies. Be it virtual sensor technology, self-optimizing controls, machine learning, molded interconnect devices, location-based services or augmented and virtual reality, the Fraunhofer IEM masters the state of the art and sets standards in individual areas. Our focus is always on the demand-oriented application of these technologies.

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Systems engineering

Digitalization is changing the market performance of companies and the manner in which this performance is achieved. No single specialist discipline can implement such complex technical systems on its own. Systems engineering provides interdisciplinary methods of thinking and acting. It facilitates communication and cooperation between all the people involved and makes the emergent system tangible and evaluable. To this end, the Fraunhofer IEM works on methods, processes and IT solutions for interdisciplinary, holistic engineering.

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Digital transformation

The digitalization of products, processes and business models entails a comprehensive transformation process that must be managed on a company-specific basis. The Fraunhofer IEM is a reliable partner in this endeavor. With strategic expertise, methodological knowledge and technological know-how, it develops customized solutions that take into account both the technological perspective and the company’s own requirements, capabilities and objectives.

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Virtualization and modeling

Modern simulation and virtualization solutions increase efficiency in development processes. Even in the early stages of product development, virtual models and partially virtualized systems replace elaborate functional models and prototypes. They enable flexible system testing, effective troubleshooting, reduce development times and costs, and can be used throughout the entire lifecycle. In this context, the Fraunhofer IEM refers to these as digital twins.

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IT security

To effectively defend against cyber attacks, software-intensive systems need to be developed and deployed securely. The Fraunhofer IEM supports software and hardware solution providers in introducing and implementing a secure development lifecycle that is tailored to their own processes and based on powerful software tools. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronic Systems Design IEM designs and tests reliable IT security concepts and measures for manufacturers and operators of systems.

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Software engineering

Innovative functions of technical systems are increasingly based on software. This indispensable component opens the door to complementary digital services, e.g. for monitoring and optimizing ongoing operations. The quality of products and services offered depends to a large extent on the quality of the software. The Fraunhofer IEM supports companies with tailor-made processes, methods and tool chains in the efficient development of secure software of the highest quality.