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Innovation management

Innovation management

Product responsibility over the entire lifecycle

Product responsibility over the entire lifecycle, sustainability, a clear assessment of future markets and the ability to bring new ideas to market quickly – those are the keystones of our innovation strategy. How do we do it? Product Lifecycle Management ensures seamless integration and real-time availability of all data generated during a product’s lifecycle. Innovation Foresight ensures that our decisions today are the right ones for tomorrow. Our TechCenters are focused on cross-cutting technologies that will shape our future. Our aim is to advance these technologies quickly – and leverage them for the Group.

Product Lifecycle Management: All the data – all the time

Product Lifecycle Management: All the data – all the time

Innovation is putting a new product, not just inventing it.

The economist Joseph Schumpeter described innovation as “the market introduction of a novelty, not just its invention” – in other words, a good idea alone is not enough to create a successful product.

Having a structured product development process helps keep innovation work on the right track. Our Product Lifecycle Management system (PLM) ensures the seamless integration and real-time availability of all information generated over the lifetime of a product. The PLM process includes not only the innovation/invention, plus portfolio management, and early integration of customer and market requirements, but also its engineering, production, and after-sales service, right through to the end of the product life cycle when we take the product off the market.

Our Group-wide requirements for PLM apply to all products, solutions, and services of thyssenkrupp. They are adapted by the business areas to their specific needs. This framework sets out a process which enables us to harmonize and manage all stages of a product life cycle. Among other things it allows us to provide our customers with products and services tailored exactly to their requirements.

PLM is also part of thyssenkrupp’s digital transformation and one of the three main elements for the implementation of Industry 4.0. Connecting all areas involved in the value chain ensures that all relevant information is available all the time.

Since for us, too, innovation is the market introduction of a novelty – not just its invention.

Innovation Foresight: Leap into the future

Innovation Foresight: Leap into the future

Strategy needs a vision of the future. Ultimately, it’s about making decisions today that set us in the right long-term direction. And the future here means in more than 20 years.

"Making decisions today that will be proven right more than 20 years from now."

We have a process that helps us develop our vision of the future. Innovation Foresight is a variety of futurology, an academic research discipline with reliable methods used by many companies.

And when someone from thyssenkrupp goes to an OEM today, they are naturally asked: “What do you think mobility will look like in the future?” Foresight makes it possible to provide competent answers to such questions.

Mobility and the forms it may take after 2030 is one of the fields we address in the Innovation Foresight process. Others include agriculture, air, and water quality, buildings and infrastructure, and production. In these areas we develop scenarios to which we align our long-term research activities.

TechCenter: As creative as start-ups

Our TechCenters bring together a variety of experts, from aircraft developers to automotive experts, machine builders to elevator engineers, materials experts to project planners. Each can contribute their own experience and ideas. Each can profit from the results developed at the TechCenters. And they all work on a cross-sector basis.

"Everyone can profit from the results of the TechCenters."

But what are these TechCenters? They are essentially innovation service providers for the business areas. They address specific cross-sectoral technologies that will be of importance for us in the future. The aim is to advance these technologies quickly and make them available to the Group. The TechCenters are like high-speed boats that make the Group mother ship even faster.

Take the TechCenter Carbon Composites, for example: Work here focuses on carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRPs), including both part design and processing technology. TechCenter Carbon Composites provides support along the entire value chain, from part planning to selection of additives to recycling.

TechCenter Control Technology brings together specialists for drive, control, and automation applications. The engineering team also shares its experience in maglev technology.

The interdisciplinary team has been working together successfully for several years on demanding system and process development projects at our companies.

The aim of the TechCenter is to help the companies build out their own expertise and impart an understanding of the functional relationships to their teams.

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