Laboratory for Digital Factory and Product Development


Teaching in the laboratory covers design and virtual product development and thus holistic product development from component design, construction (CAD), testing (simulation) to manufacturing in the field of mechanical engineering. Special emphasis is placed on innovative methods of product development in the areas of mobility, regenerative energies and sustainable production technology.

The lectures, laboratories, seminars, exercises and project work are represented in both the Bachelor's and Master's degree courses of Faculty II.


The laboratory actively participates in the various research activities according to the research priorities of the Hochschule Hannover – University of Applied Sciences and Arts, especially in the "Industry 4.0” research cluster. 

In the laboratory, students and companies are prepared for the new world of work. In addition to design and virtual product development, topics such as networked production "Industry 4.0", the intelligent linking of manufacturing processes "Smart Factory" and the use of internet-enabled, networked production systems (Cyber Physical Production Systems) are dealt with vividly.

Interesting techniques

Smart Factory

In order to plan intelligent factories (Smart Factories), the individual planning steps are virtually produced and simulated in the laboratory using special software after the CAD models have been modelled. Using "rapid prototyping", i.e. the rapid production of test parts using 3D printing, individual models of the products and production systems can then be produced on a reduced scale. These can be equipped with motors and sensors and their own controls so that the planning steps previously carried out virtually can be implemented in reality.

Virtual Reality

To develop application scenarios in product and process development, virtual reality glasses and haptic features are used in the laboratory in addition to 3D screens. Due to the stereoscopic effect of the glasses, a three-dimensional spatial impression can be conveyed and thus immersed in the 3D CAD models. This is even more effective in avoiding planning errors in the industrial environment and saves costs & time in product development.

Industry 4.0

A flexible manufacturing cell with different production systems is available in the laboratory for the practice-oriented implementation of the simulations carried out in the context of digitalisation and Industry 4.0. The use of internet-enabled, networked production systems (Cyber Physical Production Systems) are thus dealt with vividly. Among other things, the lab has a KR6 industrial robot from KUKA, a UR3 collaborative robot from Universal Robot and a Dobot Magnifcant desktop robot from Dobot with powerful grippers and camera technology.


The laboratory has a flexible manufacturing cell with industrial robot, a test vehicle, two 3D printers, two cooperative robots, several AR/VR glasses, a workbench for prototyping, and 10 PC workstations with the following software in use for teaching:

  • CATIA V6, Creo, Solid Edge, Siemens NX:Design and development of components and assemblies, creation of CAD models.
  • KUKA SimPro: Robot simulation
  • RoboDK: Robot simulation,
  • Enterprise Dynamics 10.1: Simulation of material flows and layout planning
  • Box plan: VR software for factory planning


The team