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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Gronau

Funded by: Federal Minstery of Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Granted project volume: 227.510 €

Run-time: 01.01.2020 – 31.12.2022


The injection molding industry includes manufacturers of plastics, plastic goods, and machinery manufacturers for processing plastics. These three main players in the industry already represent a multilateral market. Therefore, from an economic perspective, this industry is particularly suitable for IoT platforms and offers great potential to exploit the opportunities of the platform economy. However, entering this highly dynamic market with currently more than 360 commercial IoT platforms and numerous stand-alone solutions from a wide variety of companies poses extensive problems for kmUs in the injection molding industry from both a technological and economic perspective. 

Main research question:

How can SMEs in the injection molding industry use IoT platforms to transform existing business models and open up new business areas?

Research objective:

By establishing IoT platforms, the increasing cost pressure in the core business of the injection molding industry can be addressed by complementary digital business models as well as internal product and process optimizations for all platform players. The IoT- Business Model Evolution research project aims to enable SMEs in the injection molding industry to develop and use platform-based business models. To this end, research is being conducted into the development of a validated roadmapping procedure for evaluating different business model alternatives and the steps required to implement IoT platform-based business models. Accordingly, the project contributes to the preservation and expansion of existing, but also to the development of new business areas for kmU in the injection molding industry.