In order to survive in global competition, manufacturing companies, product suppliers as well as actors along the entire supply chain have to adapt their product portfolios to constantly changing circumstances and challenges.
In addition, we are observing the trend toward servitization, i.e., the expansion of (physical) core products with additional services and digital (online) services, not only to make the products more competitive, but also to ensure value creation over the entire life cycle of the product - from the procurement of materials and production through accompanying services to recycling.
This creates an extended product - an Extended Product - which we use in the Business Informatics research centre to address the challenges in modern product development: Creating a holistic view of extended value creation, cooperative development and improvement of products, continuous support of products through digitized services, and ensuring the innovative power of companies through pioneering product portfolios.
Technological approaches to extended products have been around for quite some time, but active use has been lacking. For this reason, the Business Informatics research centre is conducting research into a combination of technologies and their preparation for productive use. As supporting technologies for the Extended Product, we primarily use the concept of self-control, information transparency and data security (such as Digital Twin / Digital Avatars), integration of smart products in combination with Data Science or Artificial Intelligence, automation of data exchange (such as Smart Contracts and DLT technologies) as well as semantic analysis of data (such as the creation of ontologies).