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Exploring New Application Fields for the iContour Technology

Wintersemester 2013 / 2014

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Problem

CleverContour GmbH developed a process to create any surface shape out of plastic using 3D scanning/modeling technology. The task was to maximize the value of the new technology by expanding it to new markets and application fields.

Project Goal

The objective was to find attractive markets and to develop a market entry strategy suited for the company's goals and limitations.

Methodology

During the research phase, a method called "technological competence leveraging" was utilized. During this process, interviews with current and potential users as well as experts in various fields were conducted to uncover new application fields.

Results

Analyzing the data gathered in the interviews revealed a total of 31 new application fields, which were then ranked by criteria provided by the project partner, operationalized into two factors: "strategic fit" (includes the time necessary to enter the target market, the probability of being able to sell the production machine directly and the estimated margins) and "benefit relevance"  (the match between the benefits provided by the technology and the ones required in each individual application field).

The three most promising application fields were selected in consultation with the project partner. A business model and a commercialization strategy were designed for the chosen application fields. Analysis tools included SWOT/TOWS analyses, Porter five forces analysis and Business Model Canvas as a basis for the project partner's entrance decision into the selected markets.

1) Bathtub liners: iContour technology can be utilized to produce exact-fitting protective liners for sanitary equipment such as bathtubs. It was revealed that existing sanitary refurbishing methods - without entirely replacing the bathtubs - are cost-intense and unsatisfactory. Additionally, market data shows large demand in the target market.

2) Formework construction: Applying iContour technology to the formwork construction sector would satisfy architects' demands for customized special formworks at a lower price level than today's solutions which often rely on manual labor to achieve the shapes desired.

3) Wall and ceiling panels: Manufacturing decorative canopies with non-standard designs and shapes was the third application field researched. iContour technology is faster than existing alternatives and satisfies industry demand at a lower price level.

Cooperation Partner

Student team

  • Kenneth Auer
    Linus Fraundorfer
    Gerold Grabner
    Tobias Henkel
    Peter Krück
    Kaan Kuzugüdenli
    Maximilian Pfeffer

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