In our experience, a systematic, holistic and user-centered innovation and design process is the key to success in the product development cycle, resulting in the creation of innovative products for a company and establishing sustainable product and market leadership for a brand. In our process of 7 steps, questions are asked that are directed towards the future and thus identify so-called innovation fields. When these fields of innovation are illuminated through the eyes of the target groups, we find the product ideas that the market really needs.
The products shown from Franz Schneider Brakel – or FSB for short – are a clear example of how Michael Schmidt, together with a team from FSB, leveraged this process to create the first product innovations.
It takes an agile, interdisciplinary team of individuals not only to create visions and ideas for new products or services, but also to drive them to series production. The FSB innovation team incorporates experts from all of the disciplines that are required for product creation – from design, marketing and product management, right up to development and sales.
In our innovation development process (as for a Scrum process), it is important that the entire team participates in all phases of the ongoing project in order to form a group ‘WE’ momentum, also enabling each team member to contribute his or her individual strengths to the project.
In the difficult times of today, ingenuity and a very clear understanding of one’s own strengths and potentials are required.
Please feel free to request an individual appointment for further explanation of our methodology including details of all relevant process stages.
The briefing was short and concise: “To design an integrated SATTLER luminaire series from just a few basic components that would inspire a wide variety of users”. The result is a modular system that can be designed from individual luminaires to branched, biomorphic structures. The core elements of AVVENI are the extremely light and flat luminaire head and the magnetic ball connector, which is based on a human shoulder joint.
Avveni was designed as a completely modular system right from the beginning – both in terms of lighting technology as well as modular, spatial extendability. Ulrich Sattler, creative head and owner of SATTLER, had the following to say about the collaboration with C2D: “Michael Schmidt and his team immediately understood the Sattler company philosophy and remained focused throughout the entire development process on what would work best for us.”
“Avveni should bear all the hallmarks of a Sattler product: innovative, clear, scalable and technical with a high-quality finish and precise, formal surfaces and transitions. Attention to detail must be visible in every aspect of the product.” (Quote: Michael Schmidt)
Goldcard/Tancy is one of the world’s leading companies in gas flow measurement and the industry leader in China. IoT’s user-friendly devices, such as the transmission of real-time data for gas measurement services and applications, are particularly noteworthy.
The first product designed by Michael Schmidt and his C2D team is a smart industrial gas meter for Tancy – a powerful, high-quality and robust product family for onshore and offshore use.
Michael Schmidt: “Our vision was to design a product with personality that creates high recognition through clear coding in terms of form language, graphics and the brand colour blue as an accent. A design that works internationally and which transports and communicates the high quality of Goldcard/Tancy in terms of its user-friendly and digital know-how.”
Schmidt and his team have succeeded in creating a design that appears more friendly and more inviting than competing products. This conveys confidence, reliability and security.
The design is both powerful and robust thanks to deliberately positioned waistlines and overstretched surfaces, the skilful interplay of precise edges and soft surface transitions.
An example of this is the collaboration between C2D and the Italian furniture label Bross. Against the background of an even stronger international orientation of the brand, C2D was commissioned to develop an expansion strategy for international markets and convert it into products.
Since 2013, four chair collections and a side table have been created in this strategic collaboration, which have significantly increased the reputation and sales success of Bross in international competition.
A valuable tool – Corporate Industrial Design makes the outstanding German engineering art of SICK visible and tangible. SICK AG is one of the leading German sensor specialists and is the industry leader in sensor measurement technology for gas flow measurement. Corresponding devices such as the new FLOWSIC 600-XT are regarded as the “top class” in the industry. They must meet the highest safety and precise measurement performance requirements and be explosion-protected. They are used under extreme conditions, on- and offshore, on drilling platforms or in transcontinental gas pipelines.
Michael Schmidt and his design team’s strategic approach convinced SICK: “Both see capital goods design as a valuable tool for making high-quality German engineering visible to the outside world. In the design of a new ultrasonic natural gas meter, robustness, reliability and measuring accuracy are the top priorities. “These strengths are excellently underlined by the unique and consistent design,” says Thomas Horst, Head of Product Management at SICK Engineering GmbH.
The result: a sophisticated modular system with easily combinable elements, which are geared to the individual needs of the users. Installing and mounting the elements is fast, intuitive and tool-free – in a cabinet body or in a designed aluminum frame system. Everything fits together perfectly – and a new connector system developed by Häfele ensures a personalized cabinet interior in no time at all.
“Only a designer who clearly recognizes the wishes and needs of customers and target groups, questions the traditional and has a feel for new developments and trends, can design successful products.” (Quote: Michael Schmidt)
How can production work for people be both attractive and productive?How can work systems be designed flexibly and with a focus on the user?
As part of the „Future Work Lab“ research project funded by the BMBF, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO is working with partners from industrial companies and technology suppliers to examine what the future of work in the context of digitization (Industrie 4.0) will look like. Against the background of rising volatilities, uncertainties and complexities on the one hand, and new expectations of the work of future employee generations on the other, companies are faced with the challenge of implementing flexible, modular and at the same time attractive, healthy and productive worksystems.
In cooperation with the design studio code2design and the companies aucobo, Ambright, Elabo and HoloLight, the Fraunhofer IAO is examining what such a work system can look like in its innovation laboratory »Future Work Lab« as an example of a future assembly workstation as part of the molecular production system.