DIN Innovation Prize awarded at Hanover Fair

Innovation is closely linked to the effective transfer of knowledge. At the Hanover Fair, DIN presented three "Innovation Prizes" to entries exemplifying how standards and specifications support the practical implementation of new knowledge.


One prize was awarded to Gerald Däuble, whose Master's thesis submitted to the University of Hamburg investigated the determinants of the success of hybrid products, and thus of their added value. Hybrid value creation - that is, the bundling of products and services that are optimally aligned with one another - not only applies to concrete objects and services but also to solving problems for the individual customer, and is increasingly being used by small and medium enterprises as a strategy for enhancing customer loyalty. But until now, an integrated consideration of the interdependency between various determinants throughout an entire life cycle has not been possible. This is, however, absolutely essential for the effective management of hybrid solutions such as "service packages" in which products and services are combined. Däuble's main aim was therefore to develop a model to support decision-making in hybrid value creation. He used as a basis the extensive practical experience documented in a project on assessing life cycle costs in product-service systems carried out as part of the "Innovation with Norms and Standards (INS)" programme funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The project results most relevant to practical application have been documented in DIN SPEC 77224 "Achieving customer delight through service excellence".

In another winning entry, Dirk Jahn, Optical Designer at Carl Zeiss AG in Jena, addresses optical free-form surfaces. Complex free-form surfaces play an important role in the development of modern optical equipment. For example, they can be used in reflex-free fundus cameras (used in ocular diagnosis) to create a projection system having an ultimate contrast ratio of 2500000:1. However, free-form surfaces present new problems along the production chain. For example, in data transmissions from the optical design stage to the production stage, data formats and conventions are often prone to error or insufficient. In addition, manufactured parts often have errors that cannot be described using normal methods. In conventional product development and production, similar problems are avoided by using suitable standards. A logical step was thus to specify a standardized method that is appropriate for these new free-form surfaces. In his entry Jahn prepared the way for using a German BMWi-supported research project as the basis for developing the International Standard ISO 10110-19, which is now at draft stage.

The third DIN Innovation Prize was awarded to Dr. Fabian Grasse and Malte Zur for making an innovative method for shear testing fibre-reinforced plastic composites available for practical application, by publishing a DIN Specification, DIN SPEC 4885. The methods of testing fibre-reinforced plastic composites used up to now are often not suitable for the special characteristics of these new materials, particularly their shear properties. Before founding their own firm, Grasse and Zur worked together at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) where they recognized the huge potential of new methods of testing and simulating fibre-reinforced plastic composites. Here, the authors helped develop a prototype for a new kind of shear frame for testing purposes. It became clear to them that such a shear frame would be in great demand in industry, but that a better means of determining characteristic values for fibre-reinforced plastic composites was still needed. To this end the shear frame had to be improved, for example in terms of improve test duration and changing samples. The authors then set up their own start-up company "Grasse Zur Industriegesellschaft mbH" to solve these problems. Grasse and Zur enhanced this shear testing method and optimized it for industrial use. Documenting the method in a DIN SPEC will increase awareness of this method and ensure its broad acceptance.