Mike Freitag wins Burbidge prize

Mike Freitag wins Burbidge prize
Foto: Bernd Müller, © Fraunhofer IAO


Service researcher at Fraunhofer IAO wins Best Paper Award at APMS 2015 conference

Fraunhofer IAO service researcher Dr. Mike Freitag was presented with the Burbidge Award for best scientific paper at the international Advances for Production Management Systems (APMS) conference. In cooperation with two fellow researchers, he developed a method that allows interactions between product and service development to be factored in during the development phase.

Today, bringing a product to market often entails not only selling the product itself, but also providing a related service. This creates an added benefit for the customer, but for the seller it has meant an additional expenditure due to increased development complexity. Deploying the related service as a smart service, however, makes it easier to address distinct target groups. The development process becomes less complex for each additional group being targeted, since development can build on the existing digital platform. For instance, Belgian vendor BIVOLINO has developed an app for tablets that is used to configure, order, produce and deliver tailored men’s shirts for end customers. Based on this app, a second app for work clothes was created with a narrower range of services to provide tailored shirts for hotels and restaurants as well. The interaction method that had already been created accelerated the development process.

Fraunhofer IAO service researcher Dr. Mike Freitag developed a method for identifying, classifying and then visualizing interactions between product and service development together with scientists Ingo Westphal and Prof. Klaus-Dieter Thoben of the Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics at the University of Bremen (BIBA). “This allows producers to understand the interdependencies between products and services. Only then can they estimate how new business models will affect their products and services,” says Freitag.

For their scientific publication the researchers received the International Federation for Information Processing’s Best Paper Award, also known as the Burbidge Award, at the Advances for Production Management Systems (APMS) conference in early September 2015. The award is presented each year for a research publication that demonstrates excellence in the areas of innovation, practical relevance and supporting evidence.

The publication was created as part of the EU’s PSymbiosys research project, in which procedures and methodologies for the design of product-service systems are being developed in collaboration with ten other research and application partners. Fraunhofer IAO provides support and assistance with a special focus on mechanical and systems engineering enterprises as they transition from a product to a service orientation.