Germany: North Rhine-Westphalia


SmartFactoryOWL - NRW Competence Center for Digital Factories

The OWL University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Application Center IOSB-INA are located in Lemgo in the german state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Within their initiative - both institutes unify their competencies around industry 4.0 and demonstrate those technologies in the Factory of the Future - the SmartFactoryOWL.

The SmartFactoryOWL is located in the region OWL with a high density of manufacturing and automation vendor companies. Close collaboration between industry and the research institutes contributes to a high innovativity and cluster building in the area of ICT, automation and smart production. Due to these competencies, a competence center was established in those research institutes serving as a main contact and information point for SMEs to access new technologies in ICT. The creation of this competence center started in 2016 and a variety of offers with regard to qualification and technology transfer is currently… Gain an overview over the SmartFactoryOWL:

SMEs have the chance to gain insight in the technologies of additive manufacturing. Several 3D Printers and correlated technologies are part of th SmartFactoryOWL and visualize the possibilities of rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing.

Additive Manufacturing

Different approaches of additive manufacturing technologies e.g. 3D Printing can be reviewed in the SmartFactoryOWL as well as correlated technologies. SMEs can get an overview over the possibilities of rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing.

Assistant Systems

Whether projection based assistant systems, robotic or Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality - assembly and manufacturing is guided in the SmartFactoryOWL with assistant systems best as possible.

Connectivity and Big Data 

Technologies of gathering, analyzing and using data are getting more important in production plants in order to improve performance and maintenance…. How does the SmartFactoryOWL support SMEs?

Demonstration: the 1800m² large Factory ( demonstrates several industry 4.0 technologies and enables SMEs to understand what those technologies comprise
Pilot Production: SMEs can extend parts of their production into the SmartFactoryOWL to test and evaluate new technologies or processes
Prototype Development: SMEs can enable their products for industry 4.0 with new hardware and software components offered by the institutes
Technology Services: SMEs can contact the SmartFactoryOWL for different services


Lab Tours: SMEs can visit the SmartFactoryOWL to feel and touch Industry 4.0 technologies
excursion: SMEs can visit the SmartFactoryOWL and cooperating companies in groups from far located regions
networks: SMEs can participate to networks in order to interact with other companies about Smart Production       


Demonstration of Industry 4.0 enabled demonstrators

…. Yes. service.

Automotive - Consumer goods/products - Energy - Electronics - Machinery
Smart Manufacturing / Industry 4.0 - Robotics / Human machine interaction - Monitoring and control - High performance computing / cloud-based simulation services - Additive manufacturing - High-performance production (flexibility, productivity, precision and zero defect) - Intelligent/ sensor-based equipment