The concept of Functional Product Innovation will be the main contribution to sustainable growth in that the function provider will have the responsibility of the physical artefact throughout the life-cycle and by innovations also have the capacity to continuously improve the customer value. Hence, the provider will be able to reengineer, reuse and recycle the physical artefact.
The characteristics of Functional Product Innovation are:
Total life-cycle commitment: The functional provider of the total offer retains ownership of the physical artefact throughout the total life-cycle.
Extended enterprise: Collaboration between value-chain partners ensures that the total offer is composed of elements making up the Functional Product. Within the extended enterprise, knowledge-sharing activities take place, as well as the shared risks, shared responsibilities, and shared profits of the functions provided. The combining and recombining of resources is feasible within the extended enterprise and is enabled by computational tools.
Ecological and economical sustainability: Instead of transacting goods and focusing on the profit of aftermarket activities, the long term commitment to provide functions throughout the physical artefact’s life-cycle makes minimising of aftermarket activities and remanufacturing interesting and economically viable.
Added value: This characteristic is two-fold. Firstly, value in the form of additional knowledge, additional resources, risk sharing, etc. is achieved between the collaborative value-chain partners. This value is perceived as a win-win situation within the extended enterprise. Secondly, customer perceived value is achieved through the total offer, e.g. released resources like time, cost, etc. through the functional providers assuming responsibility for the functions of the physical artefacts.
The industrial interest in functional sales and the need for value-chain collaboration to develop Functional Products, will force industrial companies to address the challenges of transforming into functional providers. These challenges include:
Integrating services and hardware into functional provisions.
Creating innovative collaboration methods and technologies to increase agility in global value-chain partnerships.
Finding new ways of modelling and simulating both business and technology for the purpose of functional provision.
Creating competitive knowledge assets to achieve win-win in the extended enterprise.
Finding and incorporating life-cycle customer needs in Functional Product Development.
The structure of the ownership of functional products is thought of as a consortium, the extended enterprise. Undoubtedly, the shifted view captured in the concept of Functional Products demands innovative methods, tools and approaches.
New methods and tools have been developed enabling functional products with optimized lifecycle cost and customer value and enabling the industry partners to take lead in functional product businesses.
To show how physical artefacts and services may be designed and developed to become an element in a total offer, as well as enhance integrated product development to extend towards functional product development. The Faste Laboratory will therefore become a leading resource for sustainable growth.
The focus on Functional Product Innovation, building on the strong and innovative research in Functional Product Development, Simulation Driven Design and Distributed Collaborative Engineering, creating the capability to identify, model and simulate offer components in the early phases of the development process, and to support a closer collaboration between value-chain partners.
There is a strong renewal aspect in the concept of Functional Product Innovation. The further renewal of the research at the Faste Laboratory will build on the strong collaboration between academia and industry, supported by a solid management of the centre, a process to enhance the collaboration between industry and academia and a well defined exploitation and dissemination process.