Sensor technology for metal forming

Sensory thermoforming tool.
© Fraunhofer WKI, Manuela Lingnau
Sensory thermoforming tool.
Das 9. Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung der UN: Industrie, Innovation und Infrastruktur.


In order to remain globally competitive, manufacturers need a deeper understanding of in-situ and real-time acquisition of process data. For example, parameters such as temperature and pressure are important for quality and optimization. The CORNET project SensoFut provides the answer for the collection of this data by means of a sensor coating for metal forming that can continuously collect information.


In this project, the Fraunhofer IST has developed a multisensory thin-film system which is applied directly to the surface of tools and modular inserts. It is a multilayer system which, in addition to local force and pressure measurement on complex-shaped surfaces, also enables local temperature measurement in different areas of the component and exhibits a high wear resistance.

Added value

The sensory tools for metal forming, in this case thermoforming and bending, were integrated into machines at the Fraunhofer IWU. They measure pressure and temperature distributions in contact with the sheet metal to be formed during the forming process. This makes it possible, for example, to avoid cracks and wrinkles in the thermoformed material.

Further information



Saskia Biehl, Christian Rumposch, Nancy Paetsch, Günter Bräuer, Dieter Weise, Peter Scholz, Dirk Landgrebe

Multifunctional thin film sensor system as monitoring system in production.

In: Microsystem Technologies (2016), Volume 22, pages 1757–1765.

Funding reference

The results described were achieved within the SensoFut project (Sensorized Future - Sensing of temperature and pressure in harsh environments), on which the Fraunhofer IST worked in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU and the Belgian research association Sirris. SensoFut was funded in the 13th Cornet Call (Collective Research Networking) by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF).

Logo of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action
(formerly Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)
Logo der Industriellen Gemeinschaftsforschung IGF

We offer solutions for your applications


Industry solutions

Plant and mechanical engineering, tools