To finish off their Innovation Management II course, the third semester MBA students of the HTWG Pforzheim visit us for a workshop with Dr. Frank J. Maile, Director BU Coatings & Plastics at Schlenk Metallic Pigments GmbH. Guntram Eydner, responsible for new products and innovation, accompanied the class throughout the entire excursion to 3A Composites. Passionate from start till the end, he introduced the students not only to the production site but also to the newly developed innovations and our vast product diversity.
The visit started with a thorough plant tour, during which the students could observe the entire production chain, from plain aluminum to finished facades, including the milling of aluminum into thin foils and the finishing coatings applied to the foil.
After the plant tour, Guntram Eydner guided the MBA batch through a presentation about the history, the international presence and the product range offered by the company. The students were introduced to innovative ideas like digital coating of the facades or an online tool where the customer can not only create an own façade design but also can see how the new design will look on an entire building.
On the second day, all students participated in Dr. Maile’s Innovation Workshop at the technicum, our new development centre, in Singen. In the morning, the students underwent the “gift giving experience” invented by Stanford Design School. This workshop simulates the complete DESIGN THINKING cycle and allows the participants to collect human centric design know-how in a group activity. The innovation day then was continued by a design challenge where the students had to add an innovation to an already existing product. Finally, they had to present their solution to a jury. In order to simulate real business life conditions, the presenting groups were confronted with high complexity, incomplete information and time pressure.
During these two days, the MBA students experienced first-hand innovation applied to a company and its products and how much passion and creativity it takes to implement innovations within a company.