Our Core Competencies

Im Technologie-Netzwerk Intelligente Technische Systeme OstWestfalenLippe - kurz it's OWL - haben sich 174  Unternehmen, Hochschulen und weitere Partner zusammengeschlossen. Ausgezeichnet als Spitzencluster durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) werden in 46 Forschungsprojekten Intelligente Technische Systeme entwickelt und Industrie 4.0 zur Realität.

Future mechanical engineering systems will be based on close collaboration of mechanics, electrical engineering, electronics, control engineering, software engineering and new materials, and will exhibit inherent intelligence, going beyond conventional mechatronics. We refer to such systems as Intelligent Technical Systems: They save resources, are reliable and handled intuitively. Here are three examples: First, smart agricultural engines that adjust themselves to harvesting conditions automatically, increase their utilization and optimize transport logistics. Second, a production system that optimally processes an individual customer’s order in minimized time. Third, an industrial laundry that automatically washes, dries, irons and folds 800,000 pieces of laundry per week in best quality using a minimum of water, energy and detergent. Such systems embody an innovative leap orientating towards the general principle of industry 4.0.

We offer comprehensive concepts of advanced control engineering such as adaptive regulation, algorithms to realize Self-X capabilities (automatic diagnosis, optimization, configuration, self-healing etc.) especially in cyber-physical systems as well as dedicated methods from the field of data analytics.

Our Activities


Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalenLippe

it´s OWL

174 companies, universities and further partners are allied in the technology network Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalenLippe, abreviated it's OWL. Rewarded as Leading-Edge Cluster by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Intelligent Technical Systems are developed in 46 research projects making industry 4.0 a reality.

Special research field 614 Self-optimizing mechanical engineering systems

SFB 614

The special research field 614 “Self-optimizing mechanical engineering systems” expired after eleven years of funding by the German Research Foundation on July 30, 2013. It mainly based on one of the outstanding strengths of the University of Paderborn, which is the symbiosis of computer science, engineering and mathematics.  

The symbiosis expresses itself, among others, through distinct mechatronics expertise that - combined with optimization methods - formed the basis for the SRF 614. At the close of SRF 614, a virtual exhibition has been created in which you can learn about our research results.


Fraunhofer Adaptronics Alliance

Adaptronics Alliance

In a Fraunhofer Alliance, specialists from different Fraunhofer institutes are organized into teams that combine their single competences into a common, integrative area of business. In the Adaptronics Alliance the competences of these institutes, which lie in the areas of development, application and optimization of intelligent material systems and components, systems and applications are combined.

Intelligent technical systems improve the user-friendliness, reliability and resource efficiency of products and production systems. The benefit accrues from the combination of different components and technologies. This results in high requirements for the product engineering process such as holistic system understanding and consideration of the entire product lifecycle. For this purpose, different disciplines have to be brought together to form an overarching design methodology. This is referred to as Systems Engineering (SE). Up to now though, only individual solutions exist and a holistic methodology is still missing. This leads to long development times, high coordination efforts, subsequent changes and lack of quality.

We offer methods for efficient development of complex multidisciplinary systems such as cross-disciplinary systems specification and analysis, processes for system modularization, procedures for system integration and model-driven quality analysis through simulation and formal verification.

Our Activities


Council for Systems Engineering


GfSE, a non-profit organization, promotes science and education in the field of Systems Engineering in industry, research and doctrine. It participates in the activities of INCOSE at European and international level and moreover offers services around the topic of Systems Engineering in German. INCOSE itself was constituted in 1990 as an international, non-profit organization.


Systems Engineering Live Lab

SE Live Lab

The SE LIVE LAB in Paderborn is an application and transfer center in which latest methods and tools for the design of technical systems are tested, compared and utilized. It brings industry and research together. Our topics are SE trainings and SE pilot projects, Systems Engineering-RoI as well as Model-Based Development.


International Spring School on Systems Engineering


The International Spring School on Systems Engineering (IS3E) is a cooperative course and addresses international PhD students of all disciplines whose working areas are intensely dealing with Systems Engineering (SE).


Fraunhofer Group for Production

Production Group

The Fraunhofer Group for Production is a cooperation of Fraunhofer Institutes that aims to carry out research and development together focusing on production. By combining diverse competencies and experience of each institute, we offer integrated solutions to our customers in industry, commerce and services from a single source.



Systems Engineering in industrial practice

The study provides insight into the application of Systems Engineering (SE) in all branches of industry and analyzes the need for SE processes, methods and IT tools in industrial organizations of different industries.

Im Technologie-Netzwerk Intelligente Technische Systeme OstWestfalenLippe - kurz it's OWL - haben sich 174  Unternehmen, Hochschulen und weitere Partner zusammengeschlossen. Ausgezeichnet als Spitzencluster durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) werden in 46 Forschungsprojekten Intelligente Technische Systeme entwickelt und Industrie 4.0 zur Realität.

A key aspect of systems design for complex technical systems is virtualization. Computer models of products in development can be created and analyzed using virtual prototyping. This saves time and money as the development and testing of real prototypes can largely be abandoned. Mounting and dismounting tests conductible via virtual prototyping are a simple example: Is the constructed product generally mountable? Do collisions occur between individual components?  One can answer such questions by simulation without having to build a physical prototype. Moreover, the virtual prototype can be used in the entire operational process - from product engineering to factory and production planning to sales. Thus, there are great opportunities for competitive advantage for companies that use VPS technology in many areas.

We offer methods and techniques for development-accompanying creation and analysis of digital models in order to reduce the costly building and testing of real prototypes to a minimum. It is of particular importance that for one thing, models are integrated that each cover specific aspects and for another thing, different modeling depths are supported while respecting the coherence of the models.

Our Activities


Virtual Prototyping & Simulation OstWestfalenLippe

OWL ViProSim

The purpose of OWL ViProSim is to provide support to particularly mid-sized businesses in the OWL region with the acquisition of basic and applied knowledge about Virtual Prototyping & Simulation (VPS) for development and production planning process. Hereby, pace and power of innovation are held at the highest level in the future.


Your product engineering to the test

VPS Benchmark

The market offers different tools for digital product engineering - from CAD to PDM up to flow simulation. With VPS benchmark, you will find out how future-proof your product engineering is positioned! In addition to information about your current performance, you obtain anonymous comparisons to organizations facing similar challenges.


Virtual Prototyping

Virtual baking line

Within the scope of the Leading-Edge Cluster it’s OWL, an interactive virtual prototype of a baking line for donuts was designed for cluster partner WP Kemper, which provides detailed insight into the processes at all steps of the donut production.