The methodical combination of the three basic elements expertise, experience and imagination yields promising product ideas


The third of five milestones in the innovation project IP - Integrated Product Development was successfully completed by the development teams in cooperation with thyssenkrupp. As part of the task "From big-scale machines to smart organisms in the future-relevant supply of resources - Creating innovative solutions by utilizing the potential of Automation, Digitalization & Modularization" IPEK supervisors, thyssenkrupp experts and the development teams, consisting of KIT students, discussed concepts and later chose the ones to further pursue.


During the design phase, the teams focused on the development of initial concept solutions by utilizing various creativity methods. Among others, these included diverse morphologic methods such as the morphological box, or the negation and construction to break down prejudices and beliefs as well as the use of emotive words and imagery. The resulting conceptual ideas were validated in an augmented reality (AR) environment based on corresponding product profiles. This was used as basis for the team-internal validation and decision process. Within this framework, requirements of the system in development were first elicited. Finally, a consistency analysis of partially virtual subsystems was performed, and the AR interface was selected. The third milestone was used to further validate the product ideas.


The first prototypes were created based on the newly acquired knowledge in terms of early validation. These were then evaluated in the milestone together with the thyssenkrupp experts based on previously defined validation criteria. The focus was particularly on the basic solution idea, emphasizing the technical solution principle, by which the previously created product profile will be satisfied. One central task for the development teams was to determine the degree of satisfaction of the product profile by the product ideas.

The development teams had to develop and present three possible solutions. Also, each development team must prove feasibility and fulfillment of various customers’ needs by each of its final product ideas. Experts evaluated opportunities, weaknesses and risks associated with them and weighted the solutions in order to select the most beneficial one.



“We are impressed by the diversity of product ideas, their great potential and the compelling presentations. IP facilitates new ideas that advance our innovation process” – Dr.-Ing. Peter Börsting Head of Technology, Innovation, Sustainability & Think Tank at Mining Technologies


After successful completion of phase three, the development teams start the specification phase, together with the thyssenkrupp experts and the IPEK team.


Text by Thilo Richter, Jan-Hendrik Witt and Johannes Gesk