9. March 2021

Develop innovative service concepts for additive manufacturing

SLM Solutions Group AG, headquartered in Lübeck, a stock exchange-listed manufacturer of 3D metal printers and co-owner of the SLM® word mark, was the partner and taskmaster of our Case Competition this semester. This competition enables companies to have relevant business cases worked on by students from RWTH Aachen University, and thus from a completely different perspective. A total of eleven approaches reached the jury on the topic: “Develop innovative service concepts for additive manufacturing”.

The approaches impressed the jury once again this year in terms of content: All of the submissions from the students of the “Service Design and Engineering” lecture convinced the jury with their innovative ideas and promising approaches. The committee consisting of Klaus Kehrt, Peter Dietrich, Martin Kappler and André Thiemann from SLM, Prof. Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum from the Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing, as well as Prof. Stich, Dr. Jana Frank, Ruben Conrad and Benedikt Moser from the ranks of the Cluster Smart Logistics were thus spoilt for choice when it came to selecting the five favored teams, as Klaus Kehrt, Head of Global Service at SLM Solutions Group AG, reports.

Due to the large number of exciting ideas, the nine-member jury focused on the idea that could be implemented the fastest when selecting the winning case. This came from Frederik Scholing and Jason Grüninger with the idea: “Platform based user community”. A community that better connects users and SLM and allows the placement of relevant offers.

The idea of Katrin Joedicke and Valentin Polinowski in second place: “All in One Service Retrofit, Recycling, Breakdown Service, Leasing” was also convincing. Here, the jury was particularly impressed by the sustainability, because this approach was dedicated to the recycling of metal powder and the associated opportunities within the framework of a circular economy.
The idea of the third-place winners Patrick Böttcher and Paul Schmidt-Tiedemann: “Predictive Maintenance Kit” convinced the jury with the option of equipping both new plants and plants in the field via retrofit with a predictive maintenance sensor kit and thus creating new possibilities for predictive maintenance.

However, the jury sees the greatest potential in the students and so it was announced that they will soon enter into talks with all participants of the competition and make them various offers, from an accompanied master’s thesis to internships to a permanent position, everything is possible, because by solving the problem, the students have proven that they know how to deal with problems and issues of the industry, coupled with the necessary imagination and the courage to stand up for their own idea, this is exactly what the company SLM is looking for its ranks.

In short, this case competition was once again a complete success for the company that set the task and for the students who took on the challenge. As in previous cases, it is not uncommon for companies to meet their new employees here, and students have the option of diving deep into company processes and thus finding out during the competition whether or not they fit in with the company and the industry.

If you would like to become a partner of our Case Competition, please contact our colleague Lukas Bruhns. Maybe it is your challenge that can be solved by the students in the winter semester 2022.

You can find further insights into past problems and solutions or partners here