Design­ing and es­tab­lish­ing di­git­al busi­ness mod­els des­pite a short­age of skilled la­bour: A new ap­proach for in­dus­tri­al prac­tice

 |  Heinz Nixdorf InstitutProduktentstehung / Heinz Nixdorf Institut

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality - digital technologies offer enormous business potential, whether for processes, systems or maintenance. But how do companies that have previously defined themselves through their expertise in mechanical and plant engineering manage to get started? Successful implementation and integration remains a challenge. Success no longer lies solely in the manufacture of a product, but in the efficient interaction between suppliers and users. This means that companies must develop expertise for the entire product life cycle. The "KLUG" project aims to provide new solutions for this goal. The joint project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), aims to create a "collaboration and learning environment for value-oriented business model generation". Paderborn University is working together with key technology, education and application partners as the project coordinator. "KLUG" was launched in January and has a volume of around 3.7 million euros for a period of three years.

In order to overcome the hurdles of digital transformation, companies are relying on sustainable strategies and targeted skills development. However, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular are affected by the increasing shortage of skilled labour. For the network partners, the solution is therefore based on three pillars: entrepreneurs must be empowered in strategy development, select key technologies sustainably and make them usable through skills development at an operational level. "The prerequisite for digital business models is the targeted use of key technologies, such as virtual reality. The potential must be tangible in advance and the impact of investments must be comprehensible," explains network coordinator Prof Dr Iris Gräßler from the Heinz Nixdorf Institute at Paderborn University.

At the Chair of Product Creation, she is working on decision support for SMEs for the development of digital business models and future-oriented strategy development. One of the aims is a learning portfolio with various formats such as learning videos and templates. The chair is supported by the management consultancy "Werkstatt für Kundenorientierung". Thanks to the clear focus on customer needs, the diverse possibilities of digital value creation are considered holistically. Partners for the use of key technologies enable SMEs to apply key technologies in the company so that they can realise digital business models independently. As a software solution provider, "PerFact Innovation" provides support in particular in process data analysis using artificial intelligence: SMEs are enabled to analyse complex process data, for example in the context of plant maintenance. This is supported by the development of expertise in an experiential training factory from ZEUS in order to pick up employees at an operational level. The training factory will constantly provide illustrative and inspiring teaching examples using a demonstrator, the DigiTech toolbox. The primary task of the application partners HARTING Applied Technologies, Michael Weinig and eShoppen Germany is to validate the suitability of the project results using their own practical case studies. The partners represent companies from the manufacturing industry and eCommerce. The Chair of Business Law at Paderborn University will validate the results. A guide to legally compliant data and technology management is also being produced as part of the project. Follow-up utilisation is also provided for: "The results are presented at regular transfer events in the region with the target group of SMEs," says Gräßler.

This text has been translated automatically.

Photo (Ulrich Hüsken, Heinz Nixdorf Institute): Remote maintenance using AR technology.


business-card image

Prof. Dr. Iris Gräßler

Produktentstehung / Heinz Nixdorf Institut


Write email +49 5251 60-6275