Industrial Automation

Modern industry is marked by a strong tendency towards digitization of all industrial processes. Whether they are individual machines, industrial robots, or complete assembly lines – all the components of an intelligent factory require robust, efficient, and reliable microelectronics as basic technology. Tiny, multifunctional, independent sensors record all systemically relevant physical, chemical, and biological readings and results, together with their spatial and temporal coordinates. They transmit the data to the control computers operating in the background, smoothing the way for smart industrial production. Smart power electronics, in turn, allow energy-efficient regulation and control of all processes.

In the “Industrial Automation” business unit of the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics, researchers are developing the required micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Sensors and actuators as well as power electronics and system integration technologies for the industry of the future. 

Application Examples


Examination of 3D printed high-frequency components

SAMMI is a high-frequency screening system, which can quickly and securely verifiy materials and their density distribution at various frequencies.



Fraunhofer IPMS offers a RFID OPC-UA AutoID (ROAD) server for Industry 4.0 environments. This middleware enables the easy integration of RFID readers, tags and sensors into complex production environments regardless of manufacturer. Once implemented on the basis of the OPC-UA interface, applications can continue to be used unaffected even by changes in reader or transponder population.


RFID-based fire protection for electrical cabinets

One of the most important measures for fire protection is early detection. That is exactly what “Electrical Cabinet Monitoring” from Fraunhofer IMS ensures.


Intelligent mobile order-picking systems with s-net®

Wireless Pick-by-Light that allows for flexible adaptation to new circumstances through ad hoc networking. : 

Energy-efficient communication protocols ensure a low-maintenance system (less time and effort required for changing the battery)

Localization components for increased picking performance  

Connection with the warehouse management system  



Reliable Wireless Networks in Industry

By using the Wireless Network Analyzer of Fraunhofer IIS/EAS industrial wireless networks can easily be analyzed in real time.


360-degree radar for a safe human-machine collaboration

The new high frequency radar scanner can monitor its environment in a 360-degree radius with a precision of less than a micrometer and a transmission range of up to several hundred meters. It also shines trough optically intransparent materials such as smoke, fog, paper, boxes, or plastic boards.


Acoustic spectroscopy

By analyzing the frequency-dependent attenuation and speed of sound, quality conclusions and the composition of oils, alcohol-water mixtures or other liquids can be determined, providing an ideal complement to optical spectroscopy.


Real-time layer thickness measurement with terahertz

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI has successfully developed a cost-efficient and compact measurement system that conducts real-time measurements of the thickness of multi-layer systems for the first time, an essential technology e.g. for lacquering lines.