FROM IDEA TO CUSTOMER BENEFIT
Atlas Copco Compressor Technique uses a special “innovation process” for the development of new products and services. It begins with an Idea-to-Concept process that includes an analysis of the economic and technical implications. Ideas that are deemed to be within reach are then handed over to the respective divisions.
“The trick is to find a balance between the evolution in the market and the evolution of new technology,” says Luc De Beul, head of development in the Oil-free Air division.
De Beul is responsible for the Concept-to-Product process that brings new products and services to the market. This stage-gate process includes several stages: feasibility study, functional prototype phase, production prototype phase, pilot batch and field follow-up. Each of them ends with a “gate” where the projects are reviewed with regard to the business plan and a decision to stop or go ahead is taken.
“The goal is to ensure that we always end up with a serial product of high quality and the best value for the customers that it is intended for,” says De Beul, noting that routines are not enough to achieve this. “Innovation is not just a process, it’s something that needs to live within every person in the organization and in everything we do.”
Written by Ake R. Malm